Opponents: Stoke City
Date: Wednesday 27 October
Post code for sat-nav: ST4 4EG
Perched on top of a hill on the site of the former Hem Heath Colliery, the bet365 Stadium is no longer a relative newcomer to the stadia history books, having been opened 24 years ago.
Costing just shy of £15 million to construct and part-financed by a £3 million grant from the Football Trust, the stadium was the product of a move that saw the Potters leave their Victoria Ground home of 119 years which, at the time of its demolition, was the oldest operational stadium in the Football League. Initially named ‘The Britannia Stadium’ after the building society that helped plans become reality, the ground was renamed in 2016 after a six-year sponsorship deal with bet365 was agreed.
The inaugural season at their new base met with disaster after the Potters were relegated from Division One following Chris Kamara's, and later Alan Durban’s, failure to turn the club’s fortunes around in their shorts stints at the helm. The appearance of the two-decade-old structure is impressive and is designed in a such a way so as not to develop into a soulless bowl.
This will be the seventh occasion on which the Bees have visited the bet365 Stadium, with a solitary 1-1 draw back in August 2018 all we have to show for our previous trips.
Did you know?
Stoke legend Sir Stanley Matthews’ ashes are buried deep beneath the centre circle at the bet365 Stadium. The former outside right – who prolonged his playing career until he was 50 – had officially opened the stadium in 1997, three years prior to his death, aged 85.
How to get there
Leave the M6 at Junction 15 and take the second exit (straight on) at the first roundabout onto the A500. Exit the A500 at the second slip road and then keep to the right for the A50. At the roundabout take the second exit (right) to join the A50 (stadium is signposted and visible on the sky-line to the right).
Once on the A50 take the first exit and head up the bank towards the traffic lights. Turn right at the traffic lights and head over the fly-over. Take the third exit (right) at the first roundabout, the first exit (left) at the second roundabout (the stadium is visible ahead) and the third exit (right) at the third roundabout to reach the main entrance to the stadium.
Away fans are advised to follow signs for away parking to locate car parks selling match by match spaces. This will typically be via the StairBox and SCI Labware car parks.
Blue badge disabled parking for away supporters is available on the day for £10. Please note that there are only 10 spaces available in the Away Coach Park directly opposite the away stand and these are on a first come, first served basis.
The Hollywood Buses will depart from Ealing Road, Brentford TW8 0LN (near the Novotel Brentford), at 1.30pm. There will be no waiting for late arrivals and no alcohol will be permitted on the coaches.
While not a requirement, Stoke strongly advise supporters to wear a face covering whilst on the stadium footprint queuing, on concourses and in the Club Store and to only remove a face covering whilst eating, drinking or sat in your seat.
The Bet365 is a cashless Stadium – contactless and/or chip and pin payments are required in all areas.
Bags are not permitted in the Stadium and there are no bag storage facilities available.
Stoke City Covid Guidelines
Where to eat/drink
Built adjacent to the A50, there is a Harvester just metres away from Stoke’s home which allows away fans, while the Power League is another option. Local police often direct fans from the train station to the Venue Bar and the Terrace Bar on Leek Road. A shuttle bus to the stadium stops outside the latter, leaving for the match around an hour prior to kick-off and returning after the full-time whistle. A pre-match novelty worth checking out is the pair of canal boats moored on the canal behind the main stand; one sells local oatcake, while the other stocks cheap alcohol as well as tea, coffee and more. The latter is aptly named ‘Barge-Inn Booze’ and, with a five-star average review on Trip Advisor, you can’t go wrong!
Alcohol also available in the away end with turnstiles opening at 6.15pm.
Tickets for tomorrow's game are now off sale. Brentford fans that cannot attend can listen live on BeesPlayer