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Official Review by Gary Foxall, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
The Cardiff City Stadium was built in 2009 on the site of what was previously the Leckwith Athletics Stadium. This venue had also hosted UEFA Cup soccer having once been the home of Inter Cardiff. To compensate for the loss of the Leckwith Stadium, a similar venue was built across the road from the new development that in addition to athletics also serves as the home of Cardiff City's Academy team and Welsh Junior side Cardiff Grange Harlequins.
Cardiff City's former stadium, Ninian Park, was adjacent to the new stadium and has now been demolished to make way for new housing development. The stadium is shared with Cardiff's Rugby Union club Cardiff Blues and the city's most famous venue the Millennium Stadium is also within a ten minute walk and reports on this and the Sophia Gardens Cricket Stadium will follow in the future.
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".
Once inside, the stadium is well served with kiosks selling Tea & Coffee from £1.60, Coke £2, Beer £3.50, Pies £3.10 and Hot Dogs £3.30.
In terms of facilities, the new stadium cannot be faulted and when full one would imagine the atmosphere to be intimidating. This particularly would be the case when Cardiff hosts their arch enemies Swansea city. However as with most new British Stadiums the atmosphere never lives up to that of a club's previous home, which is mainly due to the lack of the old fashioned British terraces.
The Capital City of Wales offers everything that a Soccer, Rugby or Cricket supporter could wish for. Excellent sporting facilities, excellent Bars and Restaurants, excellent shopping, River Walks and a Castle are all within twenty minutes walk of each other.
The city also offers plenty of choice of both budget and executive hotels. Outside of the city the valleys and coastline of Wales are well worth exploring, making a sporting visit to the city ideal for combining into a vacation. The neighbourhood surrounding the stadium is a mixture of old and new development with the Retail Park being ideal for whiling away an hour before kick off.
However most visitors tend to head for the City Centre or Cardiff Bay. Cardiff Bay is the regenerated area of the Docks previously named Tiger Bay, the area of Cardiff where a young Shirley Bassey was raised and one which gains a mention in the Ian Dury song "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" This area of the city has museums, small shops and bars and is popular amongst locals and visitors.
The new shopping retail park development next to the stadium offers plenty of variety for food and drink. Greggs Bakery, Subway, McDonalds, KFC and Costa Coffee offer plenty in the fast food range. If you are looking for pub food then the Toby Carvery provides the traditional British Sunday roast for £3.99. Cardiff City Centre a mere fifteen minutes walk away is well populated with Bars and Restaurants offering food to serve all nationalities.
During the 70s and 80s Cardiff City had a reputation for having some of the most notorious hooligans in the British game. Although a small element of this remains, the club has been successful in re-branding their image over the past ten years. A game day now normally goes off trouble free with only the local derby game against Swansea City having the potential for crowd trouble. These fixtures are normally moved to a Sunday Noon kick off with heavy travel restrictions in place.
The stadium is easily reached by car exiting Junction 33 of the M4 motorway which runs between Swansea and London. Take the A4232 towards Cardiff and exit for the B4267 and the stadium is immediately on the right hand side.
Parking is available at the stadium for £5 or in any of the City Centre car parks and nearby side streets. Please be aware that parking on the Retail Park is limited to ninety minutes and heavy clamping fees apply if you exceed this.
Cardiff Central Railway Station is approximately twenty minutes walk although local branch lines from this station will take you to Ninian Park Halt which is a mere five minute walk.
Unless Cardiff are playing Swansea then tickets can be easily purchased over the internet using the club's website or on the day of the game from the stadium ticket office located by the main entrance to the stadium. Tickets will be more difficult to purchase if the club is promoted to the Premier League. Tickets are priced between £18 and £30 and are £2 cheaper if purchased in advance. In today's climate this is good value for your money but again I suspect there would be a big price hike if the club gains promotion.
There is a large superstore situated by the main entrance to the stadium selling a wide range of both Cardiff City and Cardiff Blues souvenirs. As normal with most British Football Clubs a match day programme is available which provides plenty of pre-match reading and is a good value for £3. Cardiff is one of the few Championship and Premier League clubs who let smokers depart the stadium at half time into a controlled area for their fix.
Member Review by deano1927 on May 02, 2011
Hello, i am a season ticket holder for cardiff city FC,
Food and Beverage
the food is good and there is alot of selection like burgers, chips, pies ETC. they are expensive though. there are numerous burger vans around the stadium and restuarants within walking distance. there are a few pubs i the surrounding area like the corp in canton and cornwall in grangetown, you also got canton rugby club and the ninian park pub close to the stadium.
On big games the atmosphere is tense and electric. the ground keeps the noise in due to its bowl constuction and when it is rocking it is better than ninian park. i was a season ticket holder for ninian aswell. the only problem is that if it isnt rocking then it can seem abit dead. but i love it it isnt the stadium that makes the atmosphere it is the fans in it.
the neighborhood is good with a big selection of pubs and food outlets. there is an asda in the retail park the bay is only a train journey away and the city center is only a 15 min walk up through tudor road.
the fans can be fickle but when we are on song we are impressive, we are abit dispersed but they are trying to rectify that for next season. the stadium is only 2 years old so theses things take time to sort themselves out. we ar a friendly bunch untill KO then it changes and we become hostile untill the whistle blows again lol EG when we played arsenal in an fa cup game in ninian aaron ramsey came home to play for arsenel we cheered and sang his name untill KO and then we booed his every touch and shouted abuse at him, when he was subbed we chanted his name a sung "theres only one aaron ramsey" thats football for you
i think the access is very good. get off the M4 at juction 33 down the A4232 and take the leckwith turning and then u cant miss the stadium. the whole road has been relayed and redesigned to hadle the traffic on match days.
thats my review i hope you like it i have never done one before ha ha. hope to see you down there one day
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