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DW Stadium

Wigan Athletic  v Sunderland
Premier League  
Saturday, January 19th 2013, 3pm
By Chris Henry
(Sunderland fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Sunderland always take a good away crowd to most places so I was looking forward to a good day out with a good atmosphere. Wigan is also our second closest away day after Newcastle so this could almost technically be seen as a derby clash! I have been to the DW once before in 2007 (3-0 defeat) and was looking forward to seeing us win there having been on a decent run in the league. Lancashire away days are always days I look forward to.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

The weather conditions weren't great with heavy snow in the North East during the week, we went down by mini bus and got to Wigan at 1pm.  Had a pint in a local pub 10 minutes from the DW then back onto the minibus where we accidentally parked at a fire station! We were obviously moved on but ended up parking the bus next to the chippy behind the away end!

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Had a few pints 10 minutes from the DW, can't remember the places name but was friendly and welcoming. Didn't really interact with many home fans with us getting to the ground at 2.50pm. With something that happens at most away grounds, the home fans closest to the away end tend to make suggestive gestures in the direction of the visiting supporters. Wigan was no differente but I'd never take this as a reflection on all the fans!

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

On my previous visit I wasn't that impressed with the DW, this visit done nothing to change my mind. It's a decent looking stadium, your bog standard new ground with four sides surrounded by a soulless retail park with no pubs. The concourses are very cramped and unorganised, especially with 5,000 away fans there, in this day and age I really don't think you should have to push and force yourself to get to where you want to be. One other slight grievance I had was the match ticket had the wrong access gate printed on it.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Game was good, Sunderland were 3-1 up at half time. We made difficult work of it in the second half but scraped the 3-2 win. Atmosphere from the away end was superb, didn't have any interaction with the stewards other than asking for directions to my seat, they didn't seem to be bothered we were standing the whole game. I'd read a lot about the Wigan pies beforehand, reviews saying they were some of the best in the country but I have to admit I was disappointed. The Pooles steak pie was pretty tasteless. The queues on the concourse were huge, service was slow and it took me nearly the whole of half time to get served. The kiosk wasn't very well placed from the area of the ground I was sitting in.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After some misinformation on where our bus was now, we eventually got to it. We left when the crowd around us cleared but still took us 10 minutes or so to get out of the DW area.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The DW has it's issues but that's unlikely to change. Wigan away is a good day out like most Lancashire away days, Wigan are a credit to the Premier and they would be missed if they were relegated.

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