Opponents: Cardiff City
Date: Saturday 18 November
Postcode for sat-nav: CF11 8AZ
Opened in the summer of 2009, the Cardiff City Stadium takes its name from the club who calls it home and is the modern replacement for the much-loved Ninian Park.
Built as part of a retail development around a quarter of a mile from their now-demolished 99-year-old home, building began in 2007 and the second-largest stadium in Wales was opened in July 2009; the date etched in history after a friendly against Scottish giants Celtic. Relatively generic in its initial appearance, the stadium’s capacity was expanded by 5,000 after it was awarded the 2014 UEFA Super Cup Final between Real Madrid and Sevilla. The expansion entailed providing the Ninian Park Stand with a third tier and the creation of an extensive, overhanging roof. With the backing of owner Vincent Tan, the stadium has the possibility of being extended to 60,000 in future, but only if the Bluebirds establish themselves amongst the European elite.
Shared with the Cardiff Blues rugby union side until 2012, the stadium is no stranger to high-profile events, hosting Stereophonics, Bon Jovi and Rod Stewart concerts, as well as last season’s women’s Champions League final. The Bees have little history at the stadium, though. In three attempts, the 3-2 win in December 2014 is their sole triumph. Brentford fans have been allocated a total of 1,035 tickets in the away corner of the stadium – sandwiched between the Ninian and Grange stands – including 131 tickets in the family area. Tickets are priced at £22 for adults (£15 in the family stand), £10 for U16s (£5), £18 for seniors (£12) and £13 for young persons (£10).
Did you know?
Since their debut at the stadium in November 2009 – a 3-0 win over Scotland – the Welsh national team have, despite pressure, favoured the Cardiff City Stadium over the Millennium Stadium, with boss Chris Coleman saying he’d rather his players be “where there’s 30,000 screaming Taffs breathing down the opposition’s neck”.
How to get there:
For supporters opting to travel west by car, there are two main routes – including one suggested by the club itself. Drivers can leave the M4 at junction 29 and then take the A48 most of the way to the stadium. The B4267 then leads to the ground. Meanwhile, Cardiff advise travelling fans to leave at junction 33, take the A4232 and then the B4267 to the stadium.
Drivers will be greeted with limited parking options in the areas surrounding the Cardiff City Stadium and the general consensus is that the city centre is a sensible option. That said, Gol Centres – a 15-minute walk away – provides parking for away supporters. But, should you prefer to travel with like-minded Brentford fans, there’s always the Club’s coach travel option – it’s £22 for travel club members, £24 for season ticket holders/club members and £27 for all others.
Those travelling by rail should leave from either Paddington or Reading, change at Cardiff Central, then take the four-minute Arriva Trains Wales service to Grangetown Station, which is around a one-mile walk from the stadium.
Where to eat/drink:
As with many modern developments, the stadium sits within a retail park, though as it is just a quarter of a mile from the old Ninian Park site many matchday routines have not been altered. Many of those pubs are known to give a hostile welcome to away fans, so are best avoided; the aforementioned Gol Centre serves food, drinks and alcohol and if fans have paid the £5 parking fee, this is returned to them in the form of a redeemable bar voucher. Given the short journey time from Cardiff Central to Grangetown, it may be in the interest of travelling fans to venture into the city centre prior to kick-off, depending on arrival time of course.