How To Get There By Car & Where To Park
Leave the M6 at Junction 32. Follow the M55 into the outskirts of Blackpool and continue straight along this road until you see the ground on your right. The ground is roughly located about half way between the Pleasure Beach and the Tower and is about a 1/4 of a mile inland from the south shore. A huge pay and display car park is located just across the road from the ground, which stretches all the way from near the Blackpool South station. It costs £3.50 for three hours and £7.50 for up to 12 hours (some of the pay machines also accept credit/debit cards). The car park nearest to the South Station is more expensive to park in (£5 for three hours), but it easier to get out of and back on the road towards the M55 after the game. Matthew Stimpson informs me; 'Please note that unlike most towns and cities in England the pay and display car parks near to the ground still charge after 6pm. Some visiting fans on my visit assumed that they would be free after 6pm and ended up with a parking ticket'. Otherwise street parking (although there are restrictions in the immediate vicinity around the ground).
The closest railway station to the ground is Blackpool South and is around a ten minute walk away. However fewer trains stop at this station with most calling at Blackpool North. Blackpool North station is around two miles away and therefore you may wish to jump in a cab to the ground.
Mark Gillatt adds; 'For anyone arriving by train at Blackpool North a cheaper alternative than a taxi may be the number 11 bus from the bus station across the road. Buses to Lytham St Annes pass the end of Bloomfield Road and run every eight minutes. Fans should alight at the Bridge House pub (okay for a pint) and walk down Lonsdale Road to the ground'. What's Bloomfield Road Like?
The ground has been almost completely re-developed over the last decade, with three permanent stands being built, along with a temporary stand on the East side. The three permanent sides are of similar design, being single tiered, of the same height, all seated and covered. The Stanley Matthews (West) Stand on one side of the stadium and the Mortensen Kop (North Stand) at one end, were both opened in February 2002. The North West corner between these stands has also been filled with seating, enclosing this area of the ground. Behind the main seating in the West Stand and the North West corner, is a hospitality balcony with executive boxes at the rear from the south end to the Directors' Box at the halfway line, from which point to the North West corner is the Sir Stanley Matthews Hospitality Suite.
In March 2010 the long awaited South Stand was finally opened, being a mirror image of the North Stand, and extending around and meeting the Stanley Matthews Stand, enclosing the South West corner of the stadium. During the 2011/12 season the South East corner between the South Stand and the temporary East Stand was also filled with an additional 500 seats. The South Stand has been named the Armfield Stand in tribute to the Blackpool legend, Jimmy Armfield and has a capacity of 3,600 seats. On the East side of the ground the Club have erected a new covered temporary stand. Although temporary it is of a good size housing some 5,000 fans in a single tier of seating. It is also covered, which is a big improvement over the previous smaller structure that was previously in place on this side. The only main drawback is that it has a number of supporting pillars running across the front of it. Situated in one corner of the ground between the East & South stands is a large video screen.
Outside the stadium, behind the North Stand is a statue of the former Blackpool legend Stan Mortensen, whilst outside the main entrance is a statue of Jimmy Armfield.
What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
Away fans are housed on one side of the temporary East Stand, at one side of the pitch, where up to 2,500 supporters can be accommodated. This stand is shared with home fans, with away fans being housed on the northern side. Although the stand is covered, there are a number of supporting pillars running along the front of the stand that may hinder your view. If you find that you are sat towards the middle of the stand, then you will have the 'added comfort' of padded seats. However the facilities are not that great with portakabin toilets etc..
Neil McEachnie a visiting Blackburn Rovers fan adds; 'Even at 6'6" tall, I found that there was plenty of leg room within the stand. The pillars though are annoying, they restrict your view wherever you sit. The toilets are all portakabins, so be prepared to queue. You can tell the stand is temporary as when the singing gets going you can feel the floor below you move!' I would also suggest that if that there is a sizeable away support that you arrive at the turnstiles in good time. I arrived 10 minutes before kick off to find the queue stretching back from the away entrance and around the corner along the road behind the stand. It meant that I didn’t get to my seat until at least 10 minutes after the game had started. I did find it amusing though to see notices taped up by the away turnstiles which said; ‘Please refrain from bouncing on the floor of this stand.’ It didn’t exactly give me confidence in its structural integrity! Plus always remember to wrap up well in winter, as the wind that comes off the Irish Sea can go right through you!
Where To Drink?
Popular with away fans is the Old Bridge House pub on Lytham Road. It is only short walk away (walk down Bloomfield Road towards the sea front and then turn right into Lytham Road and the pub is down on the right) and has screens showing Sky Sports.
Nigel Richardson a visiting Hull City fan recommends the 'No 1 Bar, which is a Working Mens Club, that is adjacent to the away supporters entrance to the ground on Bloomfield Road. It was very welcoming and admits away fans for a small fee'. Steve Gardner a visiting Gillingham fan informs me; 'A good family pub close to the ground is the Waterloo in Waterloo Road - genuinely family friendly except in the games area. Clean, comfortable and friendly; Sky TV on large screens and reasonable, inexpensive food'.
Steve Lumb adds; 'Another good pub is the Wetherspoons pub called the Auctioneer on Lytham Road, near Blackpool South Station. It's about 10 minutes walk to the ground and serves cheap beer and brilliant grub.' Otherwise there are plenty of pubs in Blackpool town centre to choose from. Alcohol is not available to away supporters inside the stadium.
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Blackpool (A) July 29St Mirren (A) July 31Rangers (A) August 6Braga (H) August 10
PACOS DE FERREIRA 1 NEWCASTLE 1 (Shola Ameobi)
Elliot; Debuchy (Dummett, 84), S Taylor (Williamson, 79), Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa; Cabaye (Gutierrez, 46), Tiote; Sissoko (Vuckic, 79), Ben Arfa (Gouffran, 46, Campbell, 87), Sammy Ameobi (Santon, 46); Shola Ameobi (Marveaux, 73). Subs not used: Alnwick.
RIO AVE 3 NEWCASTLE 1 (Shola Ameobi)
Alnwick (Elliot, 46); Santon (Williamson, 70), S Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett; Cabaye (Tiote, 46), Anita (Campbell, 76); Marveaux (Obertan, 46), Vuckic (Sissoko, 46), Gutierrez (Sammy Ameobi, 46); Gouffran (Shola Ameobi, 62).
MOTHERWELL 2 NEWCASTLE 4 (Vuckic, Gouffran, Sissoko, Marveaux)
Elliot; Tavernier, Williamson (S Taylor, 46), Yanga-Mbiwa (Streete, 82), Dummett; Sissoko (Abeid, 68), Anita (Amalfitano, 82); Obertan (Ferguson, 74), Vuckic (Marveaux, 46), Sammy Ameobi (Richardson, 82), Gouffran (Campbell, 58). Sub not used: Alnwick.
Source: Newcastle United Mad