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Official Review by Rob Campion, Stadium Journey Guest Correspondent
Bootham Crescent is the home of fourth tier York City and is surrounded by housing to the north of the city centre. The club was reformed in 1922 after the original club folded during the First World War, and joined the Football League (FL) six years later. The first six years were spent in the (now defunct) Midland League, while the majority of their time in the FL has been spent in the lower two divisions. Until the summer of 2012 the club spent seven years in the fifth tier of the English football pyramid, before promotion via play-offs secured the return of league football to the city of York.
The stadium itself is varied with both seating and standing accommodation for supporters. Home fans have access to three sides of the ground, two of which are seated and a covered terrace behind one of the goals. Away supporters are housed mainly in an uncovered terraced behind the other goal, though some seats are available in the Popular Side.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
The fare on offer is basic and with a limited choice for away supporters. I paid £3.30 for a hot dog and it was one of those pre-cooked variety that comes in a tin and you heat up. It had no taste and was a complete rip-off. My advice would be to eat at one of the many eating establishments in the city centre. If you fancy an alcoholic drink then there are a couple of bars outside the ground, one of which is for visiting supporters only.
Like a lot of clubs at this level of football the atmosphere is nothing special, though both sets of fans tried to lift their respective team during my most recent visit. It wasn't helped due to the game I witnessed being as dull as dishwater.
York is a walled city and has a population of 202,400 inhabitants. It is one of England's most historic cities and has plenty of attractions that show off its heritage. It was founded by the Romans in 71AD under the name of Eboracum, and became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, and of the Kingdoms of Northumbria and Jorvik. In the Middle Ages York became a major wool trading centre.
The city has excellent transport links whether it is via road or rail. The A64 links York to both the A1(M) and M1 motorways which are around 10 miles (16 km) away, while it has been a major railway centre since the first line arrived in 1839. The nearest airport, Leeds / Bradford is 31 miles away.
York has plenty of tourist attractions for the visitor and these include the York Minster, the Castle Museum, the City Walls, the Jorvik Viking Centre and the National Railway Museum.
The average attendance for the club at time of writing this season (2012) so far is 4,156, some 1,000 up on the previous season. I was at the game as a neutral but with a friend who supported the visitors that afternoon, Cheltenham Town and we had no problems whatsoever. Then again this has always been the case when I have been at away matches with Cheltenham.
As previously stated York is easy enough to get to, but the ground is sandwiched between houses and residents' parking scheme operates. The best bet, if coming by car is to park in the city centre and walk to the ground with it being only a fifteen to twenty minute walk away. For anyone arriving by train like myself, the ground is a similar distance from the station.
From a personal point of view, sport and football in particular is overpriced in this country, though the prices York charge are about the average. Ticket prices will set you back between £19 and £16 for an adult.
There is a small club shop which sells the usual club merchandise - replica shirts, scarves, hats, etc. Match day programmes cost £3, and pretty good it was too.
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