|Birmingham City 1 v 0 Leeds United|
Saturday, 30th December 2017 Kick-off 15:00
Friday, 29th Dec 2017 11:23 by Tim Whelan
This year’s visit to Birmingham City is on Saturday, with a 3pm kick-off. St. Andrews is about 2 miles to the South-East of the city centre, in Small Heath, which isn't exactly the smartest part of the West Midlands.
The best way by car is to leave the M42 at junction 6 and take the A45 into Birmingham. Keep on this road until you reach the 'Bordesley Circus' roundabout and take the A450 exit (follow signs to 'Ring Road North and M6') before taking the first left into Adderley Street.
There is plenty of street parking off the left hand side of the ring road, around either the small park at the third roundabout that you cross (by Big John's) or along the road next to and behind the BP garage before the fourth roundabout, but if you arrive after 1.30pm these areas are likely to be already full. There are also some local schools and firms that offer parking facilities for around £5.
The nearest railway station is Bordesley, which is about a ten-minute walk away from the ground. Although it normally has no service outside the peak hours, some local trains from Moor Street and Snow Hill usually make extra stops on matchdays. But I’ve just looked for train times for this service and nothing has come up, so perhaps they’ve forgotten that the Blues are at home that day.
Another option is to catch a bus from Moor Street station, any of number 17 from stand MD, 58, 59 or 60 from stand ME or 97 or 97a from stand MF. If you've got the energy to walk all the way from New Street (about two miles) you need to head for the new Bull Ring shopping centre and then follow signs to Digbeth Coach station.
Once you've passed the Coach Station on your right, cross over the dual carriageway and continue walking away from the City Centre. You will come to a fork in the road where you want to bear left going underneath a railway bridge. Passing the Clements Arms on your left just continue straight down this road, crossing a large roundabout (with a McDonalds over on one corner). The entrance to the away section is further up the road on your left.
There is the normal array of food on offer inside the ground, such as pies, burgers and rollover hot dogs, plus Balti Pies. Outside the choice is quite limited, but just across the road from the entrance to the away section is a 'Big W' outlet, which inside has a reasonably priced cafe.
Most of the pubs near to the ground are for home fans only and are not recommended, but one place where we usually get a friendly welcome is the ‘Cricketers Arms’. To find it you need to walk away from the ground along the road going towards Morrisons, then through Morrisons car park heading towards the store but join the road next to it, which is called Green Lane. The pub is 30 seconds from there on the left.
Approximately three-quarters of St. Andrews have been rebuilt since the early 90s. One large single tiered stand, incorporating the Tilton Road End & Spion Kop, completely surrounds half the pitch and has replaced a former huge terrace. The other new stand, the Railway End, was opened in February 1999. It is a large two-tiered stand holding 8,000, which pushed the overall capacity up to 30,016. Only one 'old' stand (it was built in the 1960's), the Main Stand, now remains of the former St Andrews.
Our allocation is 2,500, and the prices are £25 for adults, with various categories of concessions at £20, £15, £10 and £15. With a relatively small number of tickets available, the club sold them through the ‘attendance tracker’ loyalty scheme, and they have now completely sold out. The facilities and the view from the away section are pretty good, but one downside is that the police tend to keep us in for quite a while after the game while the home fans disperse.
At one time Birmingham had plans to re-develop the old Main Stand, with a new structure that will connect to the Tilton Road End and increase the overall capacity of St Andrews to around 36,500. But there has been no update on that for some time, so presumably it won’t happen unless they ever get back to the Premier League.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com .
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