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Official Review by Robert Pryce, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Birmingham City Football Club were founded in 1875 as Small Heath Alliance. They became Birmingham 1905 and Birmingham City in 1943. Birmingham play in the Football League Championship and have done so since relegation from the Premier League in 2011. They have been in and out of the top division over the past decade although at the time of writing they are in the relegation places so could drop to League One next season for the first time since 1995.
St Andrews has been home to Birmingham City FC since 1906. The stadium has gone through many renovations, one of these due to the stadium and city being repeatedly bombed by the German air force in World War II. The most recent renovations came in 1993 when the new owners changed it to an all-seater stadium that now holds a capacity of 30,016. The stadium’s four stands are called the Tilton, Railway, Kop, and Main. The Main stand being the oldest and the three other stands being the more modern.
It is a very good stadium and one of the better mid-sized venues in England. It is well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
There are plenty of food trucks outside of the ground with the usual choices of burgers and hot dogs costing £2.50. Chips are available for £2, and assorted soft drinks are £1.50. Once in the ground the options don't change as much, but the price raises a little. Steak burgers and hot dogs cost £3.30. In the Main stand there is the Trevor Francis bar where fans with tickets for this section of the stadium can enjoy a drink before the game. A pint of beer costs a very reasonable £2.50.
The stadium is well designed to keep the sound of the fans in the facility, so a louder and better atmosphere is achieved. The home and away benches are located in front of the Main stand. The scoreboard is located between the Main and Railway stand and is large enough and clear enough to see from anywhere in the stadium.
There isn't a restricted view anywhere in the stadium, but a warning if the weather is due to rain; I would recommend not sitting in the first 20 or so rows in the Main stand or Railway stand as with a slight wind there is no cover and you will get wet.
Seats are spacious enough to not get cramped up and concourses are wide enough for ease of entrance and exit.
The crowd is usually in full voice for a very important game, but like with any football game the atmosphere depends on the situation.
There is very little if anything to do within the immediate vicinity of the stadium, so the best thing to do before the game is stay in Birmingham City Centre. As it is England's second largest city, there is a lot to do once there. For one, the Bullring is one of Europe's largest shopping centres, with a whole host of shops, bars and restaurants. With its striking architecture it is hard to miss once in and around Birmingham.
Another place to spend your pre and post match time is the Canals, about a 10 minute walk from the Bullring, there are plenty of bars and restaurants amongst the many canals. It's a great place to go, especially in better weather. Once in the centre of Birmingham you will be not stuck for options, just leave for the game about 45 minutes before kick off.
The Birmingham fans are having a rough time of late, with awful home form and heading towards relegation you would not blame them for staying away or not being as vocal during games. However, the opposite has happened. The fans have rallied behind the team and have turned up in numbers to support the club they love. Their club anthem is called "Keep right on" and will be heard many times during the game.
The ground is fairly simple to find once in Birmingham, with a number of transport options available.
Trains leave from Moor Street Station which is just behind the Bullring Shopping Centre and only take two minutes to get you to the ground. You want to get off at Bordesley Station and then follow the fans to the stadium which will take you a further five minutes to walk.
There are parking spaces run independently around the ground which cost around £5-£10. The stadium is well signposted and shouldn't be too hard to find. I would recommend parking in the centre and then walking or catching the public transport to the ground.
There are plenty of taxis around New Street Station ready to take you to the game; they cost between £5-£8 for a trip depending on traffic.
If you decide to walk from the city centre, the distance is around a mile and is fairly straightforward when getting to Digbeth, where you follow the main road until the ground is signposted. You are sure to see a few fans walking the same way as well.
Once in the ground, there are plenty of toilets which are some of the cleanest I have seen at any ground I have been too. There is plenty of access for the disabled as well.
An adult ticket costs between £26 and £36 with child tickets around half of that price. This is reasonable for championship football. With the decent atmosphere, and with the stadium being in a major city, it is well worth the price of admission.
As with a lot of these middle-sized football stadiums there is not a lot to do other than go and watch the game. They do have a club superstore located by the main entrance which sells all official merchandise varying from replica kits to DVDs of more famous seasons and matches.
The club also offers stadium tours which cost £12 for adults and £6 for children.
Member Review by Anluanhennigan
St Andrews, home of Premier League club Birmingham City, has had a tumultuous existence. It first became the residence of "The Blues" in the early 20th century when the club, formed by a group of cricketers, outgrew its previous home.
At one time holding up to 75,000 spectators (in the era of terraced seating); it is now one of the more modest top-level grounds. During World War Two, St Andrews suffered a horrific bombardment from German forces, eventually hit on 20 occasions. In many ways, it feels like the place is still recovering.
Prominence and success gave way to malaise and dilapidation. However, the arrival of owners David Gold and David Sullivan coincided with a long-overdue redevelopment of the ground in the nineties. In 1994, £10m was invested on a development of the Kop and Tilton stands, fans taking home debris as souvenirs. The new Railway Stand followed five years later.
In spite of this work, a clamour still exists for further improvement. A brand-new, 55,000 capacity stadium has long been mooted. As of yet, it is far from coming to fruition.
Member Review by sanderkolsloot on Jan 29, 2013
Nice experience, but the crowd is a little dull, neighborhood is ok, food and drinks were mediocre to ok
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