Man City – Monday 15th August 2011 20:00
Address: City Of Manchester Stadium, Sportcity, Rowsley Street, Manchester M11 3FF
Telephone: 0870 062 1894
What’s It Like
Up to 3,000 away fans are in one side of the South Stand behind the goal, in both upper and lower tiers. The view of the action is impressive although the leg room is tight. The facilities are good with spacious concourses, large TV screens showing the game and a good selection of food, including jumbo hot dogs, burgers, chicken burger, a range of pies and chips. Lager, bitter and cider are also available. Entrance to the stadium is by placing your ticket into an electronic reader and searches by stewards likely. Atmosphere in the stadium is generally good, with only a few seats and a row of stewards between home and away fans. After the game fans are kept apart outside by a large fence, it may be best to keep colours covered on making your way back to your transport.
Manchester is one of the best places in the country for a weekend away. Printworks and Deansgate are great places to eat and drink, and whether gay or straight you’ll have an enjoyable time on Canal Street. Pubs, clubs and restaurants are plentiful in these areas, and with Manchester being a major city there are loads of hotels to go around.
On the weekend of our trip there’s ‘Fame – The Musical’ at the Manchester Palace Theatre and nightly stand-up comedians at The Comedy Store. A one mile reverse running event is on at Heaton Park on the Sunday. The park itself is huge with rowing boats, a children’s play area and an 18th century mansion and farm. With plenty of museums, art galleries and exhibitions, Manchester has plenty to offer anyone. You can find a lot more information at www.visitmanchester.com/
Pubs and Grub
There aren’t many pubs around the stadium, and the few are for home fans. Away fans should avoid the Queen Victoria pub and Mary D’s as well as pubs on Ashton New Road, behind the away end. ‘The Stanley Sports Bar’ (M11 3QW) does let in away fans in small numbers, it’s a 10 minute walk to the stadium, set back from the A6010 (Pottery Lane), going to Ashburys train station. Look at the large Asda (with a cafe) behind one side of the stadium with a McDonalds next door. Turn right, go down the main road, and you’ll see the pub on the left. It costs £1 entry for adults, kids enter for free. It has a large screen with Sky Sports, quick service and a good mix of home and away fans.
The Townley (M11 3QW) is a 5 minute walk to the stadium. The pub has a good atmosphere and as long as away fans arrive early without showing colours then it should be fine. The Manchester City Supporters Club have their own social bar opposite the North Stand that sometimes allow away fans in.
Drinking in the city centre is recommended. You can head to the Printworks, near Victoria station, there’s a connecting tram service from Piccadilly. There are loads of pubs at the Printworks, with plenty of choice of food. The pubs around Piccadilly itself are not brill. Deansgate or around the Town Hall, are good parts of the city centre to aim for. It’s a 30 minute walk or £7 taxi to the stadium.
Parking and Trains
There’s some parking at the stadium (£10 per car). The East car park is best for away fans, but getting away after the game is a nightmare and can take an hour to get out. Streets around the ground are residents only for about a mile. Some other car parks charge around £5 per car, and getting out of them is much easier than the stadium car park.
By Train: The closest station is Ashburys, a 5 minute train from Piccadilly station, with the stadium a 15 minute walk. As you come out of the station turn left and after a while, you’ll come to the stadium on the left. It’s a 25 minute walk from Piccadilly station to the stadium or a £5 taxi ride. Use the exit to Fairfield Street (the taxi rank). At the street exit head toward the railway over bridge, under that, then left again under the railway (Travis Street into Adair Street), left at the end and right into Pollard Street (then as above).
Buses from Piccadilly Gardens to the stadium are £1 each way. Go down the main approach from the station, then along London Road to Piccadilly Gardens; buses leave from the right hand side of the square. 216 and 217, 185, 186, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, X36 and X37 go from the city centre to the stadium. On the return, the buses leave from Ashton New Road across from the away end.