“ Bramall Lane, Sheffield S2 4SU „
I've been considering writing about the football grounds I've visited for DooYoo and after doing Grimsby and Liverpool (not often they are in the same sentence) I thought I'd do Sheffield United as its probably the ground I've been to most after those two.
I live in Sheffield and also did my degree here but I'm not from Sheffield so don't have any real affections for either Sheffield sides though I'm a bit more partial to united than Wednesday because their ground is easier to get too.
Bramhall Lane is the home of Sheffield United and has been since the club moved there in 1889 making it one of if not the oldest football stadium in the world. The ground has been the home of the Blades for the last 121 years along the way it used to host county cricket for yorkshire and has played one test match in 1902. It has also held football internationals and therefore shares a record with The Oval as being the only ground which has held both. However, as far as I'm aware the Oval has never held a rugby league match but Bramhall lane has been the host of Sheffield Eagles and from next season will be the clubs permanent home.
So where is it?
Bramhall lane is approximately 15 minutes away from Sheffield station and is the easiest way to get to the ground as parking near the stadium is almost impossible. However, if you need to drive then the easiest way to get there is to drive along the M1 and come off at either junction 32 or 31, then either go down the A61 or A6109 and follow signs for the ground.
Bramhall Lane as I've mentioned is one of the oldest grounds in the world and sometimes feels like it, its a million years from the sanitized football stadium of say Arsenal or Bolton. However, with great age comes a stadium with great atmosphere, its tight to the pitch and has a great sound when the home fans are excited.
The stadium is of course made up of 4 stands, there is the home end called the Kop, it is home to the Bramhall roar which has powered the team. There is the halliwell stand which is for away fans, its not the best as the stand is two teired with the top tear being for home fans. I don't think I need to spell out potential problems there.
Then there is the South Stand which most fans call the Laver stand due to a long standing sponsorship from the 1970's and 80's, then there is the new John Street stand built in the mid nineties. I for one am eternally grateful for the destruction of the old John Street stand as I went to watch Sheffield United beat Chelsea 1-0 a fortnight before Christmas in 1992. It was unbelievably cold and the stand was all standing with the base made of concrete, it was like standing on an ice cube for 2 hours.
Well it is an old ground and well old grounds seem to have food places which sell soup, burgers, and is well unpretentious in its fare. Probably the best place is the burger bar in the main carpark behind the South stand, the double burger is surprisingly good. There are a few pubs around the ground but most fans drink in either the Howard or the Yorkshire Grey which are about 10 mins away from the ground. There are shops along Bramhall lane which are open on match days.
Bramhall lane is an old stadium for a modern team, Sheffield united have had one season in the Premiership in the last 5 years and have been one of the better sides in the Championship without quite returning. The stadium is big enough for a top flight team but does perhaps need a bit of maintanence and updating but I suspect you could have said that 20 years ago and will say it in 20 years time. There are no plans for the club to move so for the forseeable future Bramhall Lane will be the home of the Blades.
The grounds current capacity is just under 33000 and in the 2007-2008 it has the highest average attendence outside the top flight.
Bramall Lane is home of Sheffield United FC, it is an all seater stadium with a capacity of 32,702. I have visited Bramall Lane on several occasions, with the most recently in October 2009. Away fans are housed in the lower tier of the Halliwells Stand and my review focuses on that area of the stadium.
The ground is a couple of mile away from Park Square roundabout in Sheffield, which is accessed from the M1. Being in the centre of Sheffield, it is always quite busy to go to and from, and I would recommend either taking the train, or using the Park and Ride from Meadowhall (where you can take the train or the tram to the centre of Sheffield). From the station the ground is about a 10/15 minute walk.
There isn't much parking around the ground and therefore you would be better off using one of the city centre car parks or finding street parking in the area. In the past we have used the Q carpark at Sheffield train station, the prices are pretty reasonable, especially for evening matches.
Sheffield United have 3 price categories depending on the opposition, the price ranges are as follows:
Adults - £10 to £26
Concessions - £5 to £16
Under 16's - £5 to £8
The Cat A prices (highest ones) are towards the top end of prices for Championship games. As I support Doncaster Rovers and the game against Sheffield United are local derbies, our games have been Cat A games meaning that it is an expensive day out.
The ground itself
Bramall Lane has character, it is a tradional football ground, but has also seen a lot of development over the past few years meaning that it is quite modern. Entry to the ground is via electronic turnstyles which are manned by stewards checking that people are using the right category of ticket (i.e. stopping adults sneaking in using a childs ticket!). Once inside the ground the concourses are not very wide and can get a bit cramped if there is a large away following.
The away end is quite shallow, the first time I visited, I was sat towards the back in the centre of the stand and struggled to see over the persons infront of me, especially when people stood up, which will be a problem for most people who aren't reasonably tall. The second time I moved away to the side and got a much better view.
Sheffield United fans sit on the tier above the away fans, and in seasons gone by have been known to throw all kind of missiles (including bottles of urine - lovely!) down onto the away fans. This season, they have put netting up, which doesn't impair anyones view in the lower tier, but stops the away fans getting pelted with all sorts of unpleasant objects.
The other 3 stands are all single tier stands, the most popular being the Hallam FM Kop where the more vocal fans congregate. This stand is opposit the away end and is a large stand, which is accessed by quite a lot of steps from the outside of the ground. The stand has a few supporting pillars which can impede your view.
To the left of the away end is the Visit Malta stand which houses the corporate boxes. To the right of the away end is the Global Windows (South) Stand which houses the dressing rooms and the dug outs. As you can see, all of the stands, and some of the corners are sponsored - a move away from tradition, but one which Sheffield United will get paid handsomely for.
The snack bars offered the normal array of food and drink, pies, pasties, burgers etc, and they sold alcohol before the game and during half time. The prices were pretty standard by football stadium standards. They did a fantastic Chicken Curry pie, which was unlike the normal Chicken Balti pies you get at football grounds - it was a deep fill (Pukka esq) pie and I would recommend to all!
The women's toilets were adequate, they had toilet roll and hot water, facilities to dry your hands and even a mirror!
Getting away from the ground
I wouldn't advise parking near the ground if you want a quick getaway, as traffic very quickly comes to a standstill. It took us over an hour to get away from the station car park last season. This season we parked at the opposit side of the city centre, and whilst it was a couple of miles to walk, once we got back to the car we got away straight away.
Bramall Lane is a proper traditional football ground, which in my opinion, is quite underrated, especially since they have developed the ground and filled in the corners. The traffic links are not great, nor is its location, but I definatly think it is the better of the two Sheffield Stadiums and it is a shame that it has lost out as being a potential 2018 World Cup venue
Being a Doncaster Rovers fan all my life, until last night I could not have wrote this review as Rovers and Sheffield United have never been in the same division in my life time. However, this year is different and last night I finally got the chance to make the 45 minute trip from my house to Bramall Lane for the Championship encounter between the two teams.
First off all, I say 45 minutes but it was actually more like 90 minutes as the infrastructure around the ground is not great and driving through Sheffield is never either at the best of times, let alone on the evening of a big derby match.
The stadium from the outside is very impressive with excellent stewards guiding you exactly where you want to be without even being asked to. In my experience, this is rarely the case at other grounds. The turnstiles are electrical devices that read the barcode on your ticket, which again I found impressive.
The next are to try was the toilets (it was a much longer journey than expected). These were clean and well kept, no problems here. The queue for the burger bar was horrendous though and I find out exactly why when I got to the front. The staff, although working in pairs, didn't seem to go at anything above snail's pace. That was disappointing.
Into the match area we go and wow, what an impressive sight. The away end, where I was sat, is quite narrow and the leg room is not what it should be, but that kind of adds to the atmosphere in a funny sort of way. The tannoy is amongst the poorest I have heard though and the pre-match and half time entertainment is not the best, but overall, the Bramall Lane experience is pretty good.
Oh and we won 1-0 so that obviously helped.
Was reading the review about the wooden seats and that must have been wrote some time ago so i thought i would update this review with the modern look on the ground.
i must say the ground itself is now pretty impressive. The only part that lets things down is the home end behind the goal. The whole of the stuff like buger stands and toilets are all outdoors and very old fasioned but im under the impression that is going to be sorted soon.
All the corners are now filled in and the club now own a big hotel outside the ground. I cant say how many it holds but i no its now built.
The wooden seats that have been spoken about have been changed with plastic seats that are more well commonly expected.
The seats arnt realy tight together either which ive had a problem with at some grounds. Suppose its cause most the home fans arnt knwon for been the slimmest lol.
The club has a nice area that takes care of the disasabled and has a great range of function areas for special times such as birthdays.
Boxs and a big lounge area to enjoy a pre match meal in with top staff and great veiws are avilable at bramall lane.
The ground is easy to get to and has plenty or parking around the area. The fans are welcoming and for any away fan i wouldnt put them off going as this has to be one of the better grounds to go to out of the championship
I've been following the Blades for some years now, (see other op), and in that time Bramall Lane has seen some changes. The ground itself is a mostly modern affair, holding just over 30,000 all-seated. It is fairly unique in that the ground's name referrs to the away end, and also the oldest and least impressive part of the ground. The Bramall lane stand is a 60's concrete affair, which from the outside looks almost derilict. However, it was refitted on the inside in the late 90's and the upper tier is one of the best views in the ground. This stand is also a little odd looking on the TV, as it is offset to the pitch. This is beacause up until the early 70's, Brammal lane was a football-cum-Cricket pitch, and where the south stand now stands, used to be the off-side boundary! The South Stand itself is a very imposing stand. It is a cantilever affair, and has been all-seater for all of it's life. From the outside it is a very impressive construction, from the inside, the wooden seating lets it down a little, but it still offers great views of the pitch. The Spion Kop is where most of the home fans prefer to sit. It is one of the largest end-stands in the country, and was constructed during the early 90's. The metal construction of this stand makes the atmosphere very good, and when the team is playing well, and the Kop is singing, it is a great place to be! The newest part of the ground is the John Street Stand. It was built in the late-90's, after the original stand had been demolished, and the ground had been 3 sided for a couple of seasons. The new stand is a gorgeous construction, with executive boxes. Recently the corner between the John Street and Kop stands has been filled in with extra seating, and there is also a business centre which fills in the other corner of John Street, and the ground now has a much more "enclosed" feel about it. The catering at the ground has tradit
ionally not been the best. The pies have often been of poor quality, and sometimes cold in the middle! Having said that, things have definately improved in that respect in recent times. The toilet facilities around the ground are not too bad, except for the Kop supporters, who have to make do with some very old wooden-shed affairs! Getting to the ground is fairly simple. It is very close to the city centre, and is set back from the ring road, from which it is signposted. There is an ammount of on-street parking around the gournd, and if this is all full, then the city centre car parks are a 5-10 minute walk away. Many of the locals use the bus services, as in Sheffield these tend to be fairly reliable, frequent and reasonably priced. If you're a visiting fan thinking of following your team on an away day to Bramall lane, then I'd heartily recomend you come. Be careful which pubs you drink in before the game, some have signs up saying "no away supporters" (mainly in and around London Road) and I'd respect that for obvious reasons, but most are friendly, especially the one's around Ecclesal Road (near Safeway). Most fans are greeted kindly by the united folk - the obvious excpetions are the likes of Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday. The security within the ground is excellent. Sheffield United have one of the most advanced cctv systems in any UK football ground, and on the rare occasions that trouble flares, it is dealt with very swiftly and effectively. Other than that, you will enjoy a good atmosphere, plenty of banter with the home fans, and a good view of the game, with little problem getting to/from the ground. Whether you will see a good game is another matter entirely! This season (at point of writing) you'll probably be in for a cracker, as the blades are flying high, and playing attractive stuff. Other seasons, it could be a dour game, with long balls, and tackles in place of passing foo
Bramall Lane Stadium is the home of Sheffield United Football Club in Sheffield, England and is the oldest major stadium in the world still to be hosting professional football matches.