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Official Review by Gary Foxall, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
(EDITOR'S NOTE: As of 14 June 2012, the club known as the "Glasgow Rangers FC," due to their bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation, ceased to exist. The assets — including the old team's logos, merchandise, and Ibrox Stadium — were bought with the intention to relaunch the team for the next season (2012/13), albeit with a different name. On 4 July 2012, the Scottish Premier League clubs voted 10-1 (with 1 abstained) to reject the Rangers newco application to transfer the old club's registration for entry to participate in Scotland's top tier of football. On 13 July 2012, Scottish Football League clubs voted 25-5 in favour of allowing Rangers FC to play in the Scottish Third Division, the fourth-tier of Scottish professional football. The information below is of the team and stadium as it was before the liquidation and we will provide further information as it becomes available.)
Ibrox Stadium, situated in the Govan district of Glasgow, is the home of Glasgow Rangers Football Club and boasts an all seated capacity of 51,082. Opened in 1899, the stadium is one of the oldest in Britain but was also one of the first to undergo renovation in the late 70's and early 80's.
The record attendance for the stadium is 118,567 set in 1939 for a game against local rivals Celtic. This remains a record attendance for a football league game held in Britain. The stadium has unfortunately suffered two sporting disasters, the first in 1902 where twenty five supporters lost their lives and the second as recent as 1971 where sixty six people died following a crush on the exit terracing in the final minutes of an Old Firm game. The latter resulted in the start of the stadium redevelopment plan and the club were at the forefront of new stadia design in Britain.
The stadium comprises of four stands all designed on the goal post structure. In redeveloping the complex the club has retained the design features of Archibald Leitch, the Scottish architect responsible for building many stadiums in the early 19th century.
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 many kiosks located within the stadium concourses sell burgers £3.30, Scotch pies £2.00, hot dogs £3.50 and hot and cold drinks priced around the £2.00 mark. Meal deals are also available for £5.00.
Like Celtic Park and Hampden Park, Ibrox is a special place to visit and on most occasions you will experience an electric atmosphere. For games against Celtic and European opposition this can be multiplied ten times over and having visited the stadium on a few occasions it still remains a lifetime ambition to experience the atmosphere of an Old Firm game. Unfortunately tickets for these games are difficult to obtain for the casual supporter.
As with Celtic Park and Hampden Park the stadium is within close proximity of Glasgow's City Centre. The City offers a fine selection of museums, shops, bars, coffee bars and restaurants, and is a ten minute metro ride away from Ibrox. In addition to the City Centre shops the Braehead Shopping Complex can be found in Paisley a ten minute drive away. The city has a wide selection of hotels and two that I recently stayed in, the Alona Hotel in the Strathclyde Country Park and the Gleddock Hotel & Golf Club near Port Glasgow can be recommended. Loch Lomond, situated on the outskirts of Glasgow near Dumbarton, is also an ideal base for a short stay.
Rangers boast an average attendance of 50,000 and although other Scottish towns and cities have their own professional and semi-professional teams, wherever you go in the country, the majority of the soccer public both young and old will be seen in either a Celtic or Rangers replica shirt. There will not be many greater rivalries in the world soccer than that between these two clubs. Derby games are commonly known as "Old Firm" derbies with Celtic's traditional support being Roman Catholic and Rangers' Protestant. Rangers also take large numbers of visiting fans to away games including those abroad.
The stadium is a couple of miles away from Glasgow Central and Queen Street Railway Stations. Adjoining metro line services are available from the City Centre and Ibrox has its own station. Be aware that large queues form after games and a short walk to Cessnock Underground Station on Paisley Road West may be a quicker option if walking is not a problem. Local buses also pass the stadium on a regular basis. If travelling by road then exit the M8 at Junction 23 onto the A8 Paisley Road West and the stadium will appear on your right. Street parking is available but you will need to arrive early.
Admission prices are around £28 with reductions for under 16's and O.A.P's. Tickets for Old Firm games though are slightly more expensive. Scottish football although not possessing the quality of the English Premiership is fast and furious and does represent good value for money.
The club has a large superstore at the stadium and club shops located in various parts of the city. Stadium Tours are available on non-match days priced at £8 with discounts for children and OAP's, these last around ninety minutes. Match day programmes and Fanzines are available at each game and local street stalls can also be found outside the stadium selling a wide range of old Rangers programmes for the avid collector.
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Motherwell, Lanarkshire ML1 3RT
0870 112 388
Old Greenock Rd
Port Glasgow, Scotland PA14 6YE
0845 373 0861