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Official Review by Matthew Nepgen, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, South Africa is known as one of the most picturesque fields in the world. It plays host to South African domestic franchise the Cape Cobras, and is also given the New Year’s test match each year, along with at least one limited overs cricket match a year. The stadium has a capacity of 25,000 with many areas of the ground being left open to keep the mountain backdrop in full view. It hosted its first test match in 1889 when South Africa took on England.
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From Indian to seafood, Chinese to footlongs, Newlands Cricket Ground offers something for every palette. They have candy stores for the kids, as well as coffee along with baked goods like cupcakes and croissants to get the day started. There are burgers, hot dogs, footlongs, curries, Asian, Indian, seafood, just about anything your heart desires to keep you going strong in the afternoon, as well as biltong (dried cured meat) and other local favorites to see you through the evening. They also have workers continuously walking around the aisle selling hot chocolate, donuts, ice cream, popcorn, and soft drinks.
One thing every South African will tell you, is that you won't find a better vibe in South Africa than at Newlands. It is without a doubt the most knowledgeable crowd in South Africa, applauding when a good shot is made or a good delivery bowled. You know straight away that you've got a crowd that is here to see some good cricket.
Once the sun starts to set, and the beers have been consumed, you can be certain of a good time at Newlands, as the 'jolly' crowd will be doing something entertaining, whether it be starting a Mexican wave, or trying to build the world's largest beer snake a good time is guaranteed!
Newlands Cricket Ground is within walking distance of Cavendish Square, a shopping center (or upmarket mall), but other than that it is simply surrounded by local school fields that are used for parking.
Newlands Cricket Ground has the best attendance numbers in the country, no history of fighting in or around the ground, and people always seem to be having a good time. What's not to love really? Fans are knowledgeable and help make a match at Newlands Cricket Ground a great experience.
Newlands has a superb parking situation with it being next to many school fields that provide endless parking for the spectators. There is even enough space that you will often see people before or after the game having a braai (barbecue) and a picnic next to their vehicles. Getting out isn't quite so enjoyable as traffic often gets congested with all vehicles from each field trying to get on the same road, as it is the only road to exit from.
You are not going to get a better sporting experience in the country than at Newlands Cricket Ground, and in spite of the superior services, prices remain about the same as anywhere else in South Africa.
Unfortunately with Newlands leaving so much space open to retain the beautiful mountain backdrop, a lot of blocks have a few too many seats that are all a bit too bunched together.
With the stadium not being renovated, it is still built with an old design and therefore the view from many seats will be blocked by an object of some sort or another. However, this is a small price to pay for the atmosphere the ground provides.
Whenever I visit Newlands I find I am always leaving with a smile on my face having enjoyed every moment of it. It is a pleasure to get there, even more of a pleasure to be in the stadium, and the wonderful scenery doesn't hurt either.
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