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  • Robert Pryce

The Hawthorns – West Bromwich Albion

Photos by Google

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.00

The Hawthorns Birmingham Rd West Bromwich, West Midlands B71 4LF United Kingdom

Year Opened: 1900 Capacity: 26,586


The Hawthorns

The Hawthorns has been the home of West Bromwich Albion football club since 1900. It has a capacity of 27,000. It is the sixth ground used by the club.

In 1949 the ground installed the first-ever electronic turnstile aggregator, to automatically calculate attendance. Following the Taylor Report, the ground became all-seated with first the Smethwick End and then the Birmingham Road End terraces being demolished and replaced by all-seater stands, giving it a capacity of more than 25,000.

In 2001 the Rainbow Stand was replaced by the new larger East Stand. In 2002 the club was the first to install big screens in the widescreen format. Later that year they hosted the first-ever Premier League match at the stadium, a 1-3 defeat to Leeds United. The stadium is located in West Bromwich, Sandwell, just outside the major city of Birmingham.

Food & Beverage 3

The Hawthorns has one of the better selections I have come across at football grounds in England. Burgers and hot dogs cost £3.30, pizza and pies cost £3.00, chips cost £2.50 and assorted snacks cost £1.20. Hot and soft drinks come for £2.00, and water is £1.80. Lager and different ciders cost £3.60, a spirit with mixer costs £4.00 and wine costs £3.30.

The Balti Pie (curried chicken) is recommended and meal deals are available too. Be prepared to queue though as lines can get very long, either leave a few minutes before the end of the half or go at a different time. Food and soft drinks can be taken back into the ground but alcoholic drinks must be consumed in the concourse.

Atmosphere 3

In the stadium, there is plenty of noise from the home and away ends. Two big screens show replays as well. Leg space is slightly cramped especially if you are tall. Concourses are narrow so can be quite cramped at halftime or pregame. Views of the game are great from any seat and you are never far away from the action. There are electronic ticket scanners at the turnstiles when entering the ground resulting in quick queue times.

Neighborhood 2

Near the ground, there is very little on offer. A Mcdonald's is across the road from the ground but apart from that, you are a bit stuck if you want pre-match food or drinks. However, with Birmingham so close, it’s recommended to go into the city before or after a game and visit its many pubs, restaurants, and shops.

Fans 3

The West Brom fans usually fill the stadium and are close to selling out each game. They also make plenty of noise. The acoustics in the stadium helps this and with a good away following at a game the atmosphere can be electric. The fans from the Black Country can be very friendly as well, joking about poor results, and are willing to help a fellow fan with any information that is needed.

Access 4

As the Hawthorns is located just outside of Birmingham there are plenty of transport links to the ground. A train station, ‘Hawthorns,’ is just a five-minute walk away from the ground and can be reached from Moor Street or Snow Hill stations which are in the middle of Birmingham and easy to get to. Trains take less than 10 minutes.

The stadium is situated just off the motorway, leave the M5 at junction 1 and take the sign for the A41 East. You should end up at the stadium.

There is plenty of parking around the ground and costs around £5. I would advise getting there early though to avoid missing out on a space. Toilets are clean and there is also plenty of help and access for disabled people as well. One warning though, the return train can be hard to catch and waiting times are very long as the station is small. Check timetables on the National Rail website.

Return on Investment 3

There are two categories for ticket prices. Games against smaller opposition cost £25 which is very reasonable for a Premier League game. Ticket prices for category ‘A’ games though which are against the likes of Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Liverpool cost a high £40.

Concession tickets for children, seniors, and students bring these prices down. All info on when tickets go on sale to the general public and further prices can be found on the club website.

Extras 3

There is a fan shop that sells all the normal merchandise one would find in a club shop. There are also plenty of VIP boxes if you want a higher level of experience. You can also buy a program from inside or outside the ground and these cost £3.

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