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D
W Stadium
Wigan Athletic  v West Ham United
Premier League  
  Saturday, May 15th 2011, 3pm
By Zac Cohen
(West Ham United fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground?

After years of travelling up and down the nation to follow the hammers, I'd become a fanatic. New football grounds had become an addiction for me and the DW was high on list to go to. The game held special significance for my club - we had to win. If we didn't we were relegated.

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

The club ran a free coach service for the game, so I was driven from Upton Park to The DW. Ordinarily, I am a train goer  and my friends have told me that the ground is easy to get to from the station. Coaches park in a car park one minute from the ground. The journey from London was relatively traffic free.

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

Hot Dog stands are situated around the ground and to my surprise, at very cheap prices. A large hot dog was £2 from the vendor outside the away end. Being younger than drinking age means I didn't purchase alcohol from the sports lounge/bar by the car park. I did go inside to use the facilities however. The pub seemed to allow both sets of fans inside.

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

The view from outside the ground is similar to most modern grounds in all honesty. Simple, relatively clean & generally dull. Once inside the atmosphere was great. It was like a carnival, with people throwing inflatable beach balls around. Once I left the underside of the stand and took my seats, one can see how small the ground is. It is 1 tier all the way round and the stand to ones left is slightly restricted with an advert on the seats separating fans (when the stands aren't joined).

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

Final Result: Wigan 3-2 West Ham United

The result was harsh on the hammers, but summed up the season perfectly. Our inability to keep a lead was evident on that day. We were 2-0 up in the first half with 2 goals from Demba Ba. This with the news that Fulham were winning too sent the stand into pandemonium.... temporarily.

Wigan's introduction of Connor Sammon was great one. He scored a tap in, and Charles N'Zogbia scored a free-kick which was destined to fly in. In the 90th minute, Robert Green had a calamitous moment and Wigan had winner. We were relegated. The final whistle blew, and the Wigan fans invaded the pitch taunting us hammers (who had many stewards and police in the stand and on the edge of the pitch to prevent anything escalating), which was a bit annoying considering that Wigan weren't still safe from relegation themselves.

The facilities are basic. The toilets are small, and there isn't a great deal of space in the concourse. The atmosphere was the best I have ever seen (from West Ham), due to the occasion more than the hospitality. Wigan's fans were non-existent until the final whistle had blown.

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

It was slow getting out of the ground itself, but once out of the stadium, one was free to get on the coach which had a police escort to motorway. We were gone very quickly. The only positive of the day in hindsight

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Horrific. That was down to the football more than the hospitality in all honesty. The ground was mediocre to be polite. The concourse is far too small. The programme was decent. The prices of the tickets weren't a rip off, that said, they weren't cheap either. I'd go there again, no doubt. The steward outside the ground are friendly too!

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