“ Deepdale, Preston. PR1 6RU. „
So I've decided to review all the Championship grounds from the view point of a visiting fan...apart from The Ricoh, which is my home ground!
Preston v Coventry
Parking - No exclusion zones around the ground meaning we could park literally across the road from the ground. That's the bonus of traditional grounds, most of them have street parking.
Pub Visited - None. They are a bit of a walk away...
As there was no pub we decided to once again visit the National Football Museum. Having already been round it several times we decided to sit in the cafe area and watch the game that was currently showing on Sky Sports. It seems many other fans decided to do this. The museum is well worth a visit. It's the ultimate museum for football fans. Maybe you'll spot some history from your own team? The cafe does a selection of hot food and snacks at very reasonable prices.
Inside the Ground:
Concourse - The refreshment area is clean and spacious enough. We never take many fans there which probably helps but the queue for food and drink seemed to move pretty fast. Alcohol is available inside the stadium. As usual food and drink is pretty pricey compared to the 'outside' world. If I recall correctly there were two food/drink kiosks and two lots of toilets. Ladbrokes is also available. I'd also like to add that inside the concourse, Preston have recycling bins for plastic. These seem to be very rare and whenever I have gone there, fans always seem to use them. Having both alcohol and soft drinks served in plastic, more grounds should do this.
In The Stand - Away fans are housed in half of the Bill Shankly stand behind one of the goals. I have always thought the stand is pretty steep, especially when we 'did the conga' a few seasons ago. So those heading to the back face an uphill task. We were advised that it was unreserved seating by stewards. With it being a steep stand you don't get the problem of having your view blocked by taller people in front of you. The stewards want you to sit down but some do get away with standing at the back. The main stand to the left has finally been developed to match the rest of the ground, even if it isn't quite finished (as of 19th Sep). The atmosphere in side the ground is OK. Not the loudest or the most intimidating you will come across. In the other side of our stand Preston fans are also seated. There are A LOT of mouthy youngsters in there who like to 'give it all that' all game. To be fair to them, out of all the stands, they probably make the most noise. The leg room in the seats was pretty good (I'm 6'1) and the seats are pretty comfortable which is good, because we were rooted to it for most of the game!
Safety - Not once did I feel threatened either inside or outside the stadium. The stewards are OK and several of them also steward at other grounds in the area.
Getting away from the ground - A little bit of traffic on the main road by the ground, not helped by the retail park adding to it. Traffic however does clear well and you won't be stuck for long. Do look out for those aforementioned Preston chavs, who also like to voice their opinion on the way back.
Deepdale is a nice ground, especially now the fourth stand has finally been redeveloped. I do wish that maybe, every now and then, we would win there!
(Score Preston 3 - 2 Coventry)
'Deepdale' is the home ground of Preston and North End Football Club, who currently play their football in the English Championship. Unlike many modern grounds which have been built from scratch, Deepdale has been redeveloped over the years meaning that the club have never had to move away. The ground was fully completed last year when the last of the four matching stands was completed and it looks quite superb. The overall capacity is quite small though at 24,500, but this could probably be increased if the club were to establish themselves as a regular premiership team.
From the outside the ground looks very ugly, the overall colour scheme appears to be grey and it has quite a depressing feel to it. However, when you step inside, it's like you're in a different stadium as it is very light and airy, quite bizarre really. Although it is a four sided stadium, similar to the likes of Wigan, Everton and Portsmouth, the stands are very close together, almost touching and this really boosts the atmosphere on match days. Effort has been put in to preserve the quality of the pitch too, with Perspex sheeting being used in abundance so that sunlight can get to the playing surface.
My only criticism of the ground would be the new stand. It is slightly different in design to the other three and is a lot smaller, which lets the overall look of the stadium down, quite disappointing to be honest because it could have been more imposing. It appears that they have sacrificed rows of seating so that there is more room for executive boxes at the rear of the stand, unfortunately this is becoming more common place in football nowadays, but it means that real supporters can't always get the tickets they so desperately want; the Wembley FA Cup Final is a fine example of this!
Also attached to the stadium is the National Football Museum, however, I have never been to the museum when I have visited the ground so it would be unfair for me to comment on it. It looks quite interesting from the outside though.
Overall, it's a great little stadium fit for the championship, but I'm sure will be increased in capacity in the near future as Preston are definitely going to be playing in the Premiership soon.
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment.
The home of Preston North end, and you could say the home football in the historical sense. The stadium is found in the Deepdale are of Preston, along Tom finney way. Despite not having been to the stadium for a few years (we went a few times when they played West Ham as my mums a west ham fan who can only get to the games oop norf), and so I'm using Wiki to help me as my memory is dire.
The site of the stadium is the OLDEST in the world as PNE are one of the founding members of the Football Association and as many of them have either become defunct, or moved from their spiritual home, this makes Deepdale effectively the home of football. The stadium was first built in 1860 and first used by PNE in January 1878.
Although saying that the stadium has under gone many changes in the last 150 years, and has actually just been under going some.
Terracing was the first thing to be added in around 1890, and a tent was erected for the changing rooms. roofing and actual stands were added in the 1920's, which were sadly burnt down in 1933. 5 Years later the ground reached it's attendance peak of over 42,000 when PNE faced Arsenal, as the stadium was now a two tier ground.
By the 1980's the ground had seats as well as terraces, and the roofing was extended, also in the 1980's was the plastic pitch that was layed in '86 which lasted for 8 years until being ripped up due to unpopularity.
The mid 90's lead to the biggest rennovation in the ground, where almost £4.5 million was spent on the New Tom Finney Stand which houses 8,000 seats, a restaurant and some offices. The Bill shankley Kop followed in 1998 with the national football museum underneath the two stands. Next Came the Alan Kelly stand and the finally the Invinceble's Pavillion which leads the stadium at 23,408 all seater.
The stadium is probably slightly above the average for teams in the same league, but don't go there expecting a theatre of dreams, or a Wembley experience.
Deepdale is the home ground of Preston North End and is to be found on Sir Tom Finney Way, Deepdale, Preston, PR1 6RU. It can be accessed by the number 19 bus from the city centre or about 30 minutes walk from the train station. There is lots of street parking on match days.
The ground has been rebuilt side by side and it has just been finished taking the capacity to about 24,500. The four sides are called The Tom Finney Stand, The Bill Shankly Kop, The Alan Kelly Town End and The Invincibles (Pavillion) Stand. The away fans sit in the Kop.
There is a club shop that is open normal retail hours.
Prices are reasonable for a game (£18- 20) and you can buy tickets on the day.
The ground is also host to the National Football Museum which is free and well worth a visit.
Outside is a statue of Sir Tom Finney, PNE's greatest player.
You can get a drink on match days at The Sumners or on the ground.
Deepdale is a stadium in Preston, England, the home of Preston North End F.C. and England's National Football Museum.