Visitors View

May 25, 2016

Bristol Rovers supporters might be interested in reading these seven reviews.

They represent a visiting supporters perspective on Bristol Rovers during the 2015/16 season.

FOOTBALL_GROUND_GUIDE

They are taken from the very useful Football Ground Guide website:- HERE

Two of them are found on the link to the Level Playing Field website:- HERE

The reviews as a whole offer an independent view on the football club and its facilities.

(The reviews are carefully edited. If you wish to read the full versions the link is above.)

There are some suggestions from our visitors on ways in which things can be improved.

REVIEW ONE

Bristol Rovers v Northampton Town Football League Two

Saturday 8th August 2015, 3pm Gary Robinson (Northampton Town fan)

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Arriving at Parkway I left the station and turned right into the village of Stoke Gifford. The Beaufort Arms which is only about a ten minute walk away with outdoor eating and seating fitted the bill. From there it was bus 73 which previous research has shown stopped right next to the Memorial Ground. Catch it back at Parkway station forecourt Day ticket £4 although the wiser ones will just pick up PlusBus with their rail tickets.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?

Having been before I knew that we would be baked on the open terrace at the Memorial ground, on this August day. The ground hadn’t changed from my previous visit over ten years ago. Still had the cricket pavilion like stand opposite and the tented away seats behind the left hand goal.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.

The atmosphere was good Rovers celebrating their return to the Football League and they got behind their team well. I never eat at football grounds so cannot comment on the food and I don’t remember anything about the stewards which point to them doing their job absolutely fine.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It was a brisk five minute walk back through the car park to the bus stop. Hopped on a 73 back to Parkway. It took well over 40 minutes to get back because of matchday traffic.

REVIEW TWO

(From the Level Playing Field website)

Kim Smith

Match: Bristol Rovers vs Newport County

Published: 28/10/2015

Myself, my father (who is disabled in a wheelchair) and my two younger sisters travelled to memorial stadium yesterday, looking forward to a great match. However, we experienced several issues before we got there. One of which being only 2 disabled parking spaces allocated for away fans, considering that this was a derby as such I would’ve expected much more.

After the match I noticed that valuable disabled parking spaces were taken up by portacabins, how is the deemed acceptable? We were assured that there was plenty of parking around the streets, however this didn’t seem the case. On arrival, we were informed that we were to sit in the home end with the home wheelchair users, this was not made aware to us before the game and I was disgusted that we were unable to sit with our family having purchased tickets for the south stand specificly.

Not only did we feel uncomfortable, it was raining and the chairs for carers we wet, and the area was pretty much open to the elements. We had to be let in through gates, and we even had to go through another gate to get to the disabled toilet; such measures were a bit extreme. I suffer with anxiety and actually suffered a panic attack due to the stress of the situation (having been in such an enclosed space, with only room for 4 wheelchairs maximum), I felt like a deer being fed to the lions.

Segregation from our fans, also made our experience not so great. There needs to be drastic changes for Disabled people at this club. I am a member of Newport County AFC Disabled Supporters Association, and I would never wish an experience like that on any of our away fans. From what I saw there is potential for an away disabled space in the south stand with it being level access on the side.

REVIEW THREE

Bristol Rovers v Stevenage Football League Two

Tuesday 24th November 2015, 7.45pm James Walker (Stevenage fan)

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

Our journey was very good and it took us three and a half hours to reach Bristol in the evening (including a 20 min. stop in Reading). We were informed that we could not park in the club car park as all the spaces were booked up, but there was a lot of nearby street parking available.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

We went to a fish and chip shop just a few minutes away from Memorial Stadium for a bite to eat (located right next to a Dominos) and bumped in to several home fans in there who were friendly. We then went to the ground and headed straight to the club shop (a portacabin outside) for programmes, which cost £3 each. We then attempted to go round to the player’s entrance, but were told that it’s blocked off so we couldn’t get round there. To pass some time, we went into the bar and saw several other away fans in there with full colours chatting happily to home fans.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Memorial Stadium?    

The away terrace is of a fair size and open, with toilets and a tea bar right at the top of it, so you can still get your food and enjoy the game at the same time. The rest of the stadium looked mismatched. The stand to our left looked like a temporary stand, whilst the Main Stand opposite us looks like it belongs at Ascot Racecourse. The other half of the stand we were in towered high above us so we couldn’t even see the home fans sitting at the top.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.   

A half time pie was the order, and I was particularly interested in the meal deal. A pie/sausage roll, bag of crisps, chocolate bar and any hot/cold drink for £5.50.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was easy. We walked back to the car and were back on the main road within ten minutes of the final whistle, getting us back home around 1am.

REVIEW FOUR

Sheila Quinn

(From the Level Playing Field website)

Match: Bristol Rovers v York City

Published: 22/12/2015

Prior to match we bought our tickets from York and telephoned Bristol Rovers to book a parking space. We had a pre-match meal at the Merchants Arms, a Hungry Horse pub.  Arriving at the ground we paid £5 car park fee and was shown to a space next to the away turnstiles.

Programme sellers were outside the turnstiles and the social club was wheelchair accessible.

Entering the ground we were shown to the away disabled area, A raised platform with the home supporters and there were other home supporters sitting with us. Although no-one could walk in front of us the railings were eyelevel which restricted viewing and a few Bristol lads climbed into the disabled area.

The disabled toilets were only yards from the wheelchair area and after the match a steward offered to help me manoeuvre the wheelchair down a step, but then another steward decided to open a big gate & let us through. A good day and the Bristol fans were all friendly.

REVIEW FIVE

Bristol Rovers v Leyton Orient Football League Two

Monday 28th December 2015, 3pm Mark Schleich (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Memorial Stadium?    

I was down in Bristol spending Christmas with my in-laws and fancied seeing a live game. I booked the tickets for me and the three lads online which was easy.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

Had a couple of pints in the Queen Vic on Gloucester Road. Got a few stares on entering from the locals as I was obviously a ‘new face’ and had my son and two of his cousins with me. That said I had no issues and felt comfortable in there.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Memorial Stadium?    

A basic but nice little stadium. Any ground with a decent sized covered terraced end hits the spot for me. I also loved the quirky looking Main Stand that would be equally at home at Lords or the Oval.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.    

We stood in the home end behind the north goal and the atmosphere was really good. The fans at the Memorial Stand certainly get behind their team.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

All of us thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The atmosphere inside the ground was really good. Next time I’m down if the Gas are at home we will definitely be there.

REVIEW SIX

Bristol Rovers v Leyton Orient Football League Two

Monday 28th December 2015, 3pm Tim Williams (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Memorial Stadium?    

The Memorial Stadium is a mixture of odd stands. I’d seen the ground on the TV and was intrigued to see what it looked like in real life.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

The journey was straightforward down the M4 from London. It was a bank holiday so there was lots of traffic but it all kept moving. The motorway exit for the ground is the same as for a superstore so that was a bit busy but I soon passed the desperate shoppers and easily found a parking place in the side roads near the ground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

I first went straight to the ground to collect my ticket. I was hoping for a pasty but the queues were long and with kick off approaching, I sacrificed this for a place on the terrace behind the home goal. As this was a bank holiday game the home fans were very boisterous. In the past I’ve never found Bristol supporters particularly friendly but as an out of towner in the home end I felt fine.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Memorial Stadium?    

The Memorial Stadium is an odd looking ground. Behind the home goal it’s a traditional covered terrace end. To the side is a very tall but short stand that straddles the half way line. Opposite is a pavilion type stand that looks more like something you’d find at a cricket or rugby ground. Behind the other goal there is some temporary seating covered by what looks like a tent.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.  

It was a good game between two decent teams. There was a near 10,000 crowd and the atmosphere was impressive. The celebrations behind the goal were lively to say the least – staying upright was a challenge. But it was all good fun and reminded me of my youth standing on the Trent End at the City Ground. There were lots of choruses of ‘Goodnight Irene’ as the home side hung on for a win.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Despite the big crowd it was easy to get away. I was soon on the motorway and back in London at a reasonable time

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great day out. Bristol Rovers have passionate fans -and lots of them – and really should be in a much higher league. Their ground might need some sorting out though; I think there are plans to move but it would be good if they took the vibrant atmosphere with them.

REVIEW SEVEN

Bristol Rovers v Plymouth Argyle Football League Two

Saturday 23rd January 2016, 3pm Luis Hart (Plymouth Argyle fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Memorial Stadium?    

It is one of the closer away days and some class this as a bit of a derby so I knew it would be a good game- especially with both teams high up in the league.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

I got the train to Bristol Temple Meads and then onto another train to Filton Abbey Wood. The journey took less than ten minutes and we ended up not paying as there was no conductor on board nor tickets barriers at Filton Abbey Wood.  When we got there as we came out of the station we cut through a walkway onto Nutfield Grove and then left onto Filton Avenue. From there it’s a 20 minute walk and fairly easy to find if you just stay on the same road, there is a few shops on the way but not many places to get a fast food meal.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

We didn’t really meet any of the home fans as it was me and a few mates and we just wanted to get there, so we didn’t do too much before the game, but I believe the pub most of the away fans went to was ‘The Wellington’. Most the home fans we saw gave us some smug looks but then again Rovers and Argyle aren’t the best of friends.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Memorial Stadium?    

The Memorial Stadium had a bit of character to it which I like, all parts of the stadium were very different, the away end included a small amount of sheltered seats and an uncovered standing area to the right of it where I was. It is one of the nicer stands and the view was better than I expected. If you went to get food or drink you didn’t miss any of the action as it was just at the top of the stand.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.    

I didn’t have anything to eat at the game but there was plenty on offer and the prices weren’t too bad. There was a load of police and stewards and they slow to react to the smoke bomb, but otherwise no problems.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting out of the ground walking wasn’t too bad as both sets of fans came out together, there was a few Rovers fans trying to wind people up but we had no problem.

 

Based on these reviews what are the specific areas that you consider BRFC could improve upon?

 

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