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Official Review by Gary Foxall, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Trent Bridge in Nottingham is the home of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and is one of nine venues in England and Wales used to host Test Match Cricket. For those that don’t know, cricket is a summer sport that is played in less than a dozen countries across the world, but is taken seriously enough in those countries to attract large crowds.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia for example is the tenth biggest stadium in the world and is regularly filled to capacity. Nottingham is unique in that Trent Bridge is one of three sports stadiums within a few hundred yards of each other. The others are Nottingham Forest football club who play at the City Ground and Nott’s County football club who play at Meadow Lane on the other side of the River Trent.
Trent Bridge was opened in 1841 and has undergone major redevelopment since 2007. The stadium’s historic and serene pavilion has retained its features through the redevelopment and the addition of the state of the art Fox Road stand with the stadium’s other new developments have made Trent Bridge one of the world’s iconic test match venues.
The venue now has floodlights to cope with the demand of One Day Internationals and twenty/twenty cricket which are the shortened versions of the game. Twenty/Twenty cricket lasts approximately three hours with a one day game lasting about eight hours. Test matches and County Cricket start at 11am and finish about 6pm. Trent Bridge now has an all seated capacity of just over 17,000. To cope with the traditional British Summers of rain some stands have a covered roof but others are open in the hope that one year we cricket lovers can get a tan.
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Unlike football stadiums, going to a Test Match is a different experience in terms of catering and the food and drink experience will be more akin to that of a baseball game in the States. Trent Bridge certainly does not let you down.
A wide range of different stalls sell burgers, Chinese, Indian, fish & chips and sandwiches. In addition there are ice cream stalls and specialist coffee outlets. For those wishing to participate in an alcoholic beverage there are Wine Bars and areas selling beer and lager. Unlike football stadiums you are allowed to drink alcohol at cricket matches whilst watching play. Be aware though as it can be a long day and many people are often seen to be the worst for wear!
Cricket is unique in that it has different levels of atmosphere. County cricket is poorly supported but the Test Match atmosphere when England plays at Trent Bridge is special. Although there will be occasional singing, Test Match cricket is played in a quiet environment and the crowd generally moves to the bars and toilets during overs which last between five and eight minutes. For Test and County cricket the players wear white and a red ball is used as the game is played in daylight .For limited over cricket players wear coloured clothing and a white ball is used as the games start in daylight but continue into the night under floodlights and this experience is highly recommended.
The City of Nottingham is renowned for its Lace industry and its October Goose Fair, but is most famous for the tales of Robin Hood, a heroic outlaw in English folklore. Nottingham City Centre, which is a mere ten minute bus ride from Trent Bridge, has a wide range of shops including the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre.
Nottingham Castle is also in the near vicinity and the area has plenty of public houses, restaurants and Tea and Coffee shops. The Vat & Fiddle offers a wide range of real ales and Tom Browns Brassiere is also recommended for food.
You can also take a river cruise down the River Trent and Sherwood Forest with its Robin Hood stories is a tourist destination in itself. The world famous Trent Bridge Public House from which the stadium takes its name is adjacent to the ground. In addition to football and cricket the city also has its own Racecourse and an Ice Hockey team in Nottingham Panthers.
Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club has a good fan base and membership, and the locals always come out in force when England plays at Trent Bridge. Nottinghamshire's local rivals are traditionally Derbyshire and Leicestershire. For England there is only one rivalry and that is Australia and every two years the two countries compete for the Ashes over a five Test Match series with each match lasting five days if it goes the full duration. Each match is played at a different venue within the home country.
Trent Bridge is located in the West Bridgford area of the City and can be reached by taking the A453 into the City. Nottingham itself is easily accessible from the M1 Motorway and the Railway Station is centrally located and a twenty minute walk or short bus ride away. Trains go to Nottingham from all parts of Great Britain. The Nottingham East Midlands Airport is located between Derby and Nottingham with a connecting bus service.
If the sun shines a day at a Test Match or a one day game, then it is excellent value for the money, even though tickets for England games are £40 and over. Tickets for Nottinghamshire games are less and prices for Twenty/Twenty games are fantastic value at about £20. Dependent on the duration of a day's play and the number of overs bowled there are refunds and part refund schemes available in the event of bad weather.
There is a Nottinghamshire County Cricket club shop inside Trent Bridge selling a wide range of souvenirs. For England games there will also be additional souvenir stalls and sellers offering transistor radios priced £10 so you can listen to the ball by ball coverage of the days play on National Radio Four's Test Match Special. Listening to this whilst watching play is an experience in itself so if you see loads of supporters with ear phones in you know why! There are also licensed betting shops within the stadium.
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Queen's Bridge Road
Nottingham, England NG2 1NB
0115 985 0611
Nottingham, England NG1 6EL
0115 915 3700
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