Bloomfield Road

Ground No. 149
Visited - Tuesday 12th February 2008
Result - Blackpool 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Competition - Coca-Cola Championship
Attendance - 9413

When Blackpool were promoted in the play-offs at Wembley against Yeovil most fans seemed to circle it as a game to go to, hoping for the match to be arranged for a nice Saturday weekend in August/May so they could enjoy an extended break in the sun, but sods law was in effect and somewhat predictably we were drawn away to them on a Tuesday night in February! 

Despite this, I was still looking forward to the trip, which with no trains back meant I’d need to stay over, so with a day booked off work, I left home early on the Tuesday in a good mood, making my way northwards to the Lancashire coast.

Despite what people presumed, the weather was actually as good as any day of the year so far, with temperatures in the mid-twenties and the sun shining, so after a day spent by the sea, taking time to visit the ground in the mid-afternoon to take pictures, after checking in to the hotel and going for a few drinks in a pub near the seafront, the night eventually drew in and it was time to get off to the ground.

From both in and outside, the ground is a stadium of two halves, with the North and West stands both being impressive, modern structures, whilst the South end is a building site and the East side of the ground hidden from outside by a row of terraces with only an alleyway running down the back separating the stand from neighbouring gardens. Near to the club shop and ticket office there is a statue of Stan Mortensen.

After going in, then you can feel this ‘ground of two halves’ effect even more. The North and West stands are single-tiered cantilever structures connected by the North-West corner, and look fairly good, if a little bit similar to Plymouth/Doncaster, bar the seat colours, however it is a big contrast on the other two sides. The original plan was to carry on the North and West stands to create a bowl effect, but cash ran out and away fans are housed in a shallow temporary stand with no roof and extremely limited facilities, whilst as mentioned, there is nothing at the South end, with what is a building site by day, turned into a car park at night.

We’d sold out our 1700 allocation, and it seemed like quite a few people had made the trip without tickets, with plenty of people outside by the turnstiles looking for spares. Once inside, with unreserved seating it soon became a bit of a logistical nightmare and the entire game, fans were standing with people also forced to stand in the aisles due to overcrowding, but the stewards, running around looking anxious to begin with eventually solved it by just pushing everyone in the aisles further into the seated blocks to stand more bunched up!

When the game got underway, it started out badly and never really picked up. The first half was played out without a single shot on target from either side, and the second half was much the same. The only two chances of notes came within minutes of each other, when firstly the home side hit the bar after Gary Taylor-Fletchers effort was saved by Wayne Hennessey, before Sylvan Ebanks-Blake went on a breakaway run for ourselves, only to find his effort hit the post. That was it really, and the referee eventually blew his whistle signalling that, mercifully, we were able to go home at last!

Throughout the game, the home fans to our right had created a great atmosphere, helped by a drummer hidden from view, but despite efforts in the away section, with no roof it was difficult to make any noise and get a response going.

Having left the ground, I made the way back to my hotel for the night before going home the next day.

Overall, whilst the game was awful to watch, it was an interesting ground to visit. It felt very much like a temporary situation for the ground, and reminded me somewhat of when I first started watching Wolves, when Molineux was open only on two sides, with the John Ireland Stand stuck out far away from the rest of the stadium. It’s not a great place to go really, and it must be as depressing for Blackpool fans as it was for us in the late 80s/early 90s, but if they stay up, then there are rumours that they will complete the South Stand next season. If they only put a temporary stand up at the far end it would be a help, and with the crowd being a 9400 sell out for our trip, then it suggests the potential is there for a further increase in a capacity, whether permanent or otherwise.


Welcome to Blackpool!

Rear of the West Stand

Rear of the North Stand

The Club Shop and Ticket Office

The Stan Mortensen Statue

Away Turnstiles

The unused South End

The North Stand

The West Stand

The East Stand

The West Stand

The North Stand

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside...

Bloomfield Road Panoramic 1

Bloomfield Road Panoramic 2


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