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W Stadium
Wigan Atheltic v Arsenal 
Premier League  
Saturday, December 3rd 2011, 3pm
By Elliot Guthrie
(Arsenal fan)

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

Having previously been to the DW I had found it an easy ground to get both in and out of by car (not rail) and also easy to acquire a ticket in the away end due to the large 4,400 allocation given to visiting supporters.

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

Having travelled by train we arrived at Wigan North Western station around 3 hours before kick-off. Be warned: directions to the ground aren’t signposted and it is a good 15-20 minute walk, so make sure you have the diections handy from this website, or by using Google Maps.

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

We ate in one of the numerous fast food outlets on the surrounding retail park and although busy, service was fast and they could cope with the crowds. The home fans were fine and we could comfortably walk around in our Red and White arsenal colours and Wigan is definitely one of the least intimidating away games there is.

We also had a few pints in the designated away fans pub the ‘Red Robin’ which is two minutes walk away from the visitors turnstiles, but the drinks were pricey and the pub had no Sky tv to show the early kick-off. However, beside the away end is the entrance to a marquee/hospitality suite which is free entry to away fans and has Sky tv/drinks/food etc.

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

The concourse is accessed by a few flights of stairs and is surprisingly narrow considering the number of fans it accommodates for. Again, this has all you expect including screens showing latest scores etc. Inside it was a fantastic view mainly due to the steepness of the stand which means you are right on top of the action even at the back. However, the rest of the stadium looks bland and due to the home fans not selling out, plenty of empty seats on show.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

Arsenal strolled out comfortable 4-0 winners creating a fantastic atmosphere amongst us away fans. However, the home supporters were fairly silent throughout and the empty seats detracted from the already limited atmosphere. The stewards were fine and no problems were encountered.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Upon exiting the stadium the away fans looking to travel back to the rail station were directed to the right and followed a partially-signposted route through an industrial estate which had minimal lighting in the darkness However the mass of fans meant it was impossible to get lost although this may be a concern of fans with smaller followings. This route came out directly by the rail station.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall, cheap tickets at £25 and a big away following means it feels as though your side is literally taking over the town and stadium. The views of the action are brilliant and unrestricted but the atmosphere from the home fans can be lacking and make for an unmemorable away day added to the awkward journey to and from the rail station.

Are you an away or general football fan who has visited the DW Stadium recently?
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