Ticket Office enquiries: 03330 05 05 03
Club website: https://www.itfc.co.uk/
Post code for sat-nav: IP1 2DA
Six years after their foundation in 1878, Ipswich Town Football Club upped sticks from Broomhill Park and set up home on the newly acquired Portman Road site. The home of the then-amateur Club was initially shared with East Suffolk Cricket Club in the summer months, while also accommodating dog-racing events, before the Tractor Boys turned professional in 1936 and began work on the stadium where they still reside today. Fast-forward to 2000 and the Club’s promotion to the Premier League; increased income resulted in the redevelopment of Portman Road and two new stands - named after club legends Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson - were built, taking the capacity to 30,311.
The Recent Record
Portman Road has not been a happy hunting ground for Brentford since their first visit in March 1956, not least because it took 60 years to register a win over the Tractor Boys there. That day in April 2016 saw the burden eventually lifted, but accompanying it are painful, sickening memories involving a certain Alan Judge that are no doubt ingrained in every Bees fan’s mind. What does bode well, however, is the fact that the Bees last lost in Suffolk in a 2004 League Cup encounter and you’d have to dive into the archives to find the last league defeat there; a 4-0 Division Three loss in September 1956.
How to get there
Conveniently positioned less than 500m from the stadium, Ipswich Railway Station provides simple mainline access to London. Jump on one of the four hourly trains bound for East Anglia from the bustling Liverpool Street station and journey through the picturesque Suffolk farmland as you reach your destination in little more than an hour. Prices for an off-peak return between the two stations start at £40.80 for adults and £20.40 for children, but book in advance and you should find reasonable offers for a single for each direction of travel.
Alternatively, should you choose to drive to the stadium, Portman Road is a tolerable 96.3 miles away from Griffin Park. Make your way onto the M25 via the North Circular, and leave it again at junction 28 to merge onto the A12, before exiting onto junction for the A14. Take the exit for the A1214, which will take you directly towards the stadium. As with any inner-city based club, street parking is seldom available, though the Club itself makes it clear that there are ‘plenty of pay and display car parks’ within walking distance of Portman Road.
Where to eat/drink
The Club’s official website states that the designated home pubs are the Riverside Hotel and the Punch and Judy. Adjacent to the railway station, the Riverside sits less than half-a-mile from the ground and also provides affordable rooms should you wish to make a trip of it. Meanwhile, head into the town centre if you’ve got time where you’ll find the Lord Nelson in Fore Street and the Dove Street Inn – confusingly situated on St Helens Street – which is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide; the Punch and Judy on Grafton Way is seen as the family-orientated pub, where fans of both clubs drink alongside one-another. A brief internet search finds that places for home fans only are the Curve bar on Princes Street and Degeros on St Nicholas Street.
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