|Luton Town 1 v 2 Leeds United|
Saturday, 23rd November 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Thursday, 21st Nov 2019 22:57 by Tim Whelan
League action resumes with a visit to Luton Town on Saturday, with a 3pm kick-off, and a select few of us have been lucky enough to get tickets.
Kenilworth Road is about half a mile west of the town centre, in the middle of a large residential area, so the ground can be difficult to find. On match days police close the surrounding roads and there is a residents only parking scheme, which will mean you have to park quite a way from the ground.
If you're driving down from Leeds you need to leave the M1 at junction 11, and turn left at the roundabout into Dunstable Road (A505). After 0.6 miles the road divides. Bear right, remaining on the A505 Dunstable Road, which leads to the ground. At the Birchlink Gyratory after 1.7 miles, follow 'Town Centre A505' signs round a small one-way system and the ground is down the streets on the left hand side.
Car crime has been quite a problem in the streets of west Luton, so the police advise you to park in the town centre, where the car parks are covered by CCTV. You can also park at Beech Hill Conservative Club on Leagrave Road (LU4 8HZ) at a cost of £5, or in the large multi-storey car park at Luton Railway Station which costs £2.80 for the day on Saturdays.
The railway station is on the Midland main line from St. Pancras, and it's a good 15 minutes walk away from the ground. From the station, turn left along the railway bridge, down the steps, and turn right along Bute Street, which runs through the Arndale Shopping Centre. At the top of the centre, bear right along Dunstable Road. Kenilworth Road and the ground is on the left.
If you can't be bothered to walk all the way, keep an eye out for bus routes A, B, C and F70, all of which run from the railway station to the Clifton Road stop by the ground. These routes all use the guided busway on the route of the former railway line from Luton to Dunstable, which runs right past one corner of the ground.
There are a couple of good pubs near the railway station, in the shape of the CMARA listed ‘English Rose’ and the ‘Bricklayers Arms’, though the latter is sometimes home fans only for ‘high profile’ games. There is also a Wetherspoons called the ‘White House’ in Bridge Street.
And another option nearer the ground is the Beech Hill Conservative Club, (see above) and if you haven’t parked there you will find it behind the small arcade of shops opposite the bottom of Oak Road (going towards the town centre from the away turnstiles).
There are plenty of takeaways on Dunstable Road, and last time I was in Luton I saw a West Indian stall in the town centre selling goat curry. With the Asian part of town being close to the ground you won’t be short of opportunities to try some other exotic dishes.
It has to be said that Kenilworth Road is rather basic by modern standards, compared to all the new and re-developed grounds elsewhere in the country. It once held a crowd of 30,069, but in the mid-eighties the club reduced the capacity by installing extra seating and converting a whole side of the ground into a row of executive chalets. At least they intended to keep the Kenilworth stand as terracing, but then came the Taylor report and a further reduction in capacity to the current 10,226 as the ground had to go all-seater.
Our allocation is a mere 1,000 seats in the Oak Road stand, which we now have to share with Luton fans. The bigger clubs used to get the whole end to themselves, but now we get an even more inadequate number of tickets. So we’re not far off being back to the bad old days of the late 80s/early 90s when the late unlamented David Evans banned away fans altogether.
This stand was originally wooden terracing, but concrete steps were built in 1938 as well as a roof. The steps and roof were extended back in the summer of 1956 and the stand has remained unchanged since, apart from the addition of seats in 1986. The entrance to this stand must be one of the most unusual in the country. After going down a rather small alleyway, the impression is of queuing to go into someone's house!
There are a number of supporting pillars in this stand, which may block your view, plus the leg room is tight, which is bad news for anyone over 6 feet tall. But the refreshments aren't bad by football ground standards, with a good selection of pies and burgers available, and they have even been known to serve alcohol.
To enjoy these excellent facilites, we have had to pay £30 for adults, with various concessions at £23, £20, £12 and £9. Leeds sold the away tickets through the ‘Away Attendance Tracker’ scheme, and our allocation has now sold out. Tickets for the home stands are only available to those with a ‘purchasing history’ on Luton Town’s database from before September this year.
But if you didn't manage to get a ticket to be there in person, there is a beamback at Elland Road, but such is the interest in our great club at the moment, even that is close to selling out. And you can console yourself with the thought that you'll be putting money into Leeds United rather than Luton.
With the ground being hemmed in by houses and the busway/former railway line, there is no chance of expanding Kenilworth Road to increase the current limited capacity, as the council will not let the club build the stands any higher than the surrounding houses. So for some time Luton have been looking at the possibility of moving to a new stadium elsewhere.
The Club have recently announced that they are to seek planning permission to build a new 17,500 capacity stadium, at a site known as Power Court near to Luton Railway Station. This is good news for those who like to use public transport and go to traditional pubs, as previous proposals involved an out of town location near Junction 10 of the M1.
The club still have a lot of hurdles to overcome, as they need a development to take place on the greenfield site to be able to fund it, and that has attracted opposition. But it might happen one day, so there's just the outside chance we might just get a decent ticket allocation the next time we have to come to Luton.
Some of this stuff came from www.footballgroundguide.com .
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