Liberty Friendlier Than Vetch?
Info for Sunderland fans heading to Swansea. The Liberty Stadium
What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
Away fans are housed in the North Stand at one end of the stadium. Up to 2,000 fans can be accommodated in this area, although this allocation can be reduced to 1,000 for teams with a smaller following. The views of the playing action from this area are excellent as there is a good height between rows and the leg room is probably one of the most generous of any stadium that I have visited. The concourses are spacious, with food and beverage outlets, plus a number of television sets, for pre-match and half time entertainment. As you would expect from a new stadium the facilities are good. Away fans are separated from home fans by two metal barriers, with a line of stewards and Police in-between. Interestingly, the main singing contingent of home fans, have, in the traditions of the Vetch Field, situated themselves along one side of the pitch in the East Stand, rather than at the South end of the stadium.
David McNeil informs me; 'As a West Brom fan on holiday in Swansea, I visited the new stadium for the first League game against Tranmere. The stadium is very impressive and the facilities inside the stadium are excellent. Large concourse and great views from the stands. The atmosphere generated by the Swansea fans was excellent throughout the 90 minutes and it will become an intimidating place just as the Vetch used to be. Pre-match entertainment was enjoyed by my kids especially the antics of Cyril the Swan. Great day out, would love to visit the ground again when West Brom play there'.
Tickets will not be sold to away supporters by Swansea City on the day of the match, so do not travel unless you already have a ticket from your own Club. It is also worth bearing in mind that the Swansea fans are passionate about their club and this can make for an intimidating atmosphere. Exercise caution around the ground.
Steve Griffiths adds; 'On the nearby retail park, there is a KFC & Pizza Hut – within 5 minutes walk. Opposite the stadium is a very nice chippy called ‘Rossi’s’. As well as the usual chips with fish, pies, sausages, etc.. they also do salads and jacket potatos'.
Where To Drink?
Phil Weston a visiting Stoke City fan informs me; 'The Liberty Stadium is a lot more friendly than the old Vetch Field. Stoke fans were drinking in The Harvester and Frankie & Benny's just outside the ground and a couple of the pubs just up from the stadium'.
Otherwise it a choice of a drink on the way to Swansea, go into the city centre or drink inside the stadium. Merv Williams informs me; 'There are a number of pubs on Wind (pronounced as winding a watch) Street in the centre of town, such as Yates, the Bank Statement and the No Sign Bar (the latter being listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Ask for Castle Gardens, and you'll see Wind Street'. Mick Clarkson a visiting Preston North End fan adds; 'After leaving the train station we proceeded up the High Street and went into the Full Moon public house. The locals both young and old were very friendly and we had a good laugh with all in there both before and after the game. Basic pub with pool table and Sky Sports and a Leeds fan for a landlord and excellent cheap beer'.
Alcohol in the form of Carling (£3.20 a pint) and Worthington (£3.20 a pint) are served within the stadium. The Club open the turnstiles 90 minutes before kick off, so that fans have the option to eat & drink within the stadium itself.
How To Get There By Car or Coach & Where To Park
Leave the M4 at Junction 45 and take the A4067 towards the City Centre (sign posted A4067 South). Stay on the A4067 for around two and half miles and you will reach the stadium on your left. Car parking at the stadium is for permit holders only and most of the immediate residential areas around the stadium now have 'residents only' parking schemes in place. However away mini buses and coaches can park behind the North Stand in a fenced compound, at a cost of £20 per coach and £10 per minibus. Don't be tempted to park on the nearby Retail Park as you may well end up with a ticket, or worse still, clamped for your trouble!
Away Fans Park & Ride Facility
Away supporters are being encouraged to use the Park & Ride facility located at the Felindre old steel works site, which is signposted off Junction 46, shortly after leaving the M4. The cost of parking there including transport by bus to and from the stadium is £6 per car. Away supporters have their own separate buses to and from the stadium, with the buses waiting outside the away stand at the end of the game to take supporters back to the car park. Simon Wright a visiting West Bromwich Albion fan adds; 'The park and ride is located in the middle of nowhere, but curiously has a high fence. Apparently the facility is also used as a park and ride for the DVLA so the fencing may be for the benefit of their staff. There are toilets on the site although they do look rather ancient. All the staff were friendly and the buses frequent. After the game has ended, the park and ride buses leave the compound with the away coaches for fairly obvious reasons. In my case, this meant a wait of around 20 minutes'.
There is also some street parking to be had. If coming from the M4, you pass the stadium on your left and continue straight on towards Swansea, then after going under a bridge, then there are a number of roads on the right, where on street parking is available. It is then around a 10-15 minute walk to the stadium. However, please note that after the game has ended the Police close the A4067 road running past the stadium, meaning that you can't go back up to the M4 that way. You need to instead go back up to the stadium and where the road is closed turn right at the roundabout onto the A4217. At the next roundabout turn left continuing away from Swansea City Centre. At the junction with the A48 turn right and this takes you up to Junction 44 of the M4.
Andrew Bartlett a visiting Southampton fan adds; 'I intended to use the park and ride and followed the signs but found the site to be desolate wasteland with flooded potholes, not very inviting at all. Instead I drove on to the stadium and despite the dire warnings found free on street parking only a few minute's walk away and almost traffic free after the match. The level of security and large Police presence was completely unnecessary for such a low key game'.
Post Code for SAT NAV: SA1 2FA
Swansea Railway Station is on the main line route from London Paddington. It is about two miles from the stadium. Regular local bus services (every ten minutes: routes 4, 4a, 120, 122, 125, 132) and taxis (around £6) are available from the train station to the stadium. Otherwise if you have time on your hands and wish to embark on the 25-30 minute walk, then as you come out of the station turn right and go up the High Street. At the traffic lights turn right into Neath Road. Proceed straight along Neath Road and you will eventually reach the stadium on your right. Thanks to Tom Evans for providing the directions.
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