Away Days - Nottingham Forest

First Impressions -- Around the ground -- Facilities -- The Stand -- Overall -- Pictures

Fixture: Nottingham Forest V Preston North End
Competition: Coca Cola Championship
Ground: City Ground
Date: Tuesday 22nd February 2011
Kick off: 8.00pm (kick off was delayed by 15 mins due to traffic congestion)
Final Result: 2-2 Nicholson, Jones

First Impressions

An ideal time to get this ground ticked off and at £10 a ticket - well who can refuse that?!

I had been wanting to get this ground ticked off for quite some time but a spanner had always been thrown in the works. Luckily that didn't happen this time and I made the journey down to Nottingham with a few hundred Northenders hoping a win would kick start our season.

The journey down seemed ok until we started to make our way into Nottingham - after that it was a complete nightmare as we got stuck in at least three different traffic jams on the way to the ground! As a result the kick off ended up being delayed 15 minutes until 8pm.

To say it was frustrating travelling to the ground is somewhat of an understatement. I could clearly see the glow of the floodlights from a distance, yet we seemed to be crawling there. Because the ground is located in a built up area (this is a good thing!) and the route we took into Nottingham, the first glimpses I got of the ground were when we were passing Trent Bridge (the cricket ground). Even then, the traffic was still crawling as the coach finally made its way into the car/coach park!

Anyway, I didn't have much time to take in my surroundings. From my first thoughts though, it certainly looked a tidy, smart ground and thankfully 'something different', if that makes sense.

Around the ground

Unfortunately, due to the traffic problems I didn't have any time to have a proper walk round the ground. The first port of call, however, was to purchase a matchday programme and then to find the turnstiles, which wasn't a problem at all.

From the outside, the Bridgford Stand looked a smart, modern (if you can still call it that) stand. The way the roof was built was particularly interesting. It only continued at the same height for roughly two thirds of the stand and then it had a sharp 'dip'. I knew this was because Forest couldn't build the second tier there due to sunlight issues for the houses behind. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing though - I thought it 'added' to the ground.

I soon made my way into the ground and found a seat - turned out it was unreserved seating (why couldn't they just put that on the tickets in the first place?!). Although the second tier overhung somewhat, it certainly didn't ruin the view, in fact I thought the view was pretty good.

From my seat I could judge the rest of the ground. The Brian Clough Stand and Trent End were also two-tiered affairs and looked very imposing, whilst the Main Stand added a touch of character to the place. In general, I thought the place looked fantastic and in a way it saddened me that they were contemplating a move to a new stadium i'm assuming these plans fell through after England's failed World Cup bid?).


The toilets seemed of an ok standard but certainly very cramped. Seems when they first built the stand they certainly compromised on space in this area!

I didn't make use of the catering bar due to the late arrival and the fact I didn't want to lose my seat at half time, so can't comment on that. The concourse though seemed ok for our following, but felt it perhaps may be a struggle for teams that sell out the whole tier.

The Stand

Despite some reservations over the space in the toilets, I was rather impressed with the stand. The view was pretty good, it looked smart and as said earlier, seemed to 'add' to the character of the ground due to the roof.

Another negative though was the legroom - it was quite tight but I have experienced much, much worse (Elland Road's South Stand for example). A lot of people were standing up towards the back, or at least trying to as they were being hampered by some 'over-enthusiastic' stewards who seemed to enjoy their power.

Due to the overhang of the upper tier, plenty of noise could be made towards the back of the stand, although whether this could be heard from the rest of the ground, I obviously couldn't comment!


Seeing that last-gasp equalizer after Forest thought they had won it, felt so, so sweet despite our precarious position in the league. It was an amazing experience and one I shall treasure for quite some time.

As for the round though, I thought it was excellent. Despite some negative points, I enjoyed my experience of the ground and felt it is one of the best in the division. Just a shame about the traffic though which spoiled my chance of a walk-around before the game!


Appearance: 9/10
Facilities: 7/10
Enjoyment: 9/10
Fans: 7/10
Away Stand: 8/10

Overall: 8/10


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