Bradford City

Northern Commercials Stadium

Capacity: 25,136 (all seated)
Address: Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD8 7DY
Telephone: 0871 978 1911
Fax: 01274 773 356
Ticket Office: 0871 978 8000
Pitch Size: 113 x 70 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Bantams
Year Ground Opened: 1903
Undersoil Heating: No
Shirt Sponsors: JCT600
Kit Manufacturer: AVEC
Home Kit: Claret & Amber with Black Trim
Away Kit: Claret & Navy Blue Stripes
Third Kit: Black With Claret & Amber Sash

Main Stand
Main Stand
Main and Kop Stands
Main and Kop Stands
Midland Road and TL Dallas Stands
Midland Road and TL Dallas Stands
Kop Stand
Kop Stand
Midland Road Stand
Midland Road Stand
TL Dallas Stand
TL Dallas Stand
Kop and Midland Road Stands
Kop and Midland Road Stands
Midland Road Stand
Midland Road Stand
Kop Stand
Kop Stand

The term 'a game of two halves' is often applied to a football game; in the case of the Northern Commercials Stadium (but still known to many fans as Valley Parade), a ground of 'two halves' comes to mind. The ground has been now been completely re-built since the mid 80's, but the initial impression is that one side is twice as big as the other. The Kop End, is a relatively new two tiered stand, that is simply huge and looks quite superb. It once towered over the rest of the ground, but the addition of another tier to the Co-Operative Main Stand during 2001 has led to it meeting its once larger neighbour. With the corner between these stands also being filled, one has a truly impressive spectacle.

The rest of the ground now looks somehow rather out of place. The Northern Commercials (Midland Road) Stand is a covered single tiered stand, which has windshields to each side. At some other grounds this would look impressive, as it is of a fair size and is free of supporting pillars. However it almost is lost in the shadow of its larger newer neighbours. At the remaining end is the TL Dallas stand which is an odd looking small 'double decker' type stand. This two tiered covered stand has the upper tier largely overhanging the lower tier, giving this 'double decker' effect. There is also a large electric scoreboard in one corner of the ground, between the Midland Road and TL Dallas Stands. 

In 2016 Valley Parade was renamed the Northern Commercials Stadium, in a three year corporate sponsorship deal.

After an absence of a few seasons, away fans now find themselves back in the TL Dallas Stand at one end of the ground, where 1,840 fans can be accommodated. If possible try to get tickets for the upper tier, as the view of the action is far better. On the downside there are a number of supporting pillars that could impede your view. Roger Mulrooney a visiting Barnsley fan adds; 'On my last visit I found the home crowd friendly and non threatening. The stewards were particularly good natured and helpful. Still a very good away day for a visiting fan'. 

Fred Benson a visiting Scunthorpe United fan informs me; 'On our recent visit, the lower tier of the TL Dallas was closed to away fans, apart from disabled spectators. With the upper tier being sold out other Scunthorpe fans were accommodated in the Midland Road Stand, which seemed strange. Even with the lower tier being closed the refreshment kiosk had run out of hot food by half time and there were big queues for the toilets.'

Having been a student in Bradford and having watched them win the old Third Division, I have a bit of a soft spot for this club. And having been there on the day of that fateful fire in 1985, Valley Parade will always stay deep in my memory. Pleasingly I have found Bradford to have become rather more friendly towards away supporters in recent years. It is quite an enjoyable day out especially if you enjoy what the city has to offer. Make sure that you wrap up well unless the weather forecast is 80 degrees. This is because Bradford is situated at a bottom of a valley, down which a rather cold wind normally prevails.

Chris O'Sullivan a visiting Bury fan recommends the Bradford Arms on Manningham Lane; 'It is only about two minutes from the ground and was welcoming to away fans'. About a ten minute walk away from the stadium along Manningham Road (going away from the City Centre) is the Cartwright Hotel, which has a sizeable bar. Also about a ten minute walk away (this time towards the City Centre) is the 'Corn Dolly' on Bolton Road, which is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, as is the New Beehive on Westgate. The New Beehive is somewhat of a 'step back in time' still having gas lighting.

Near to Bradford Forster Square Station on North Parade is another pub to feature in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, the Sparrow Bier Bar. This bar offers up to four real ales, plus ciders and continental lagers. Neil Le Milliere a visiting Exeter City fan adds; 'The Sparrow was superb. Although on the small side (it is probably only good for 50 or so supporters), it is still an excellent place to visit with a superb choice of ales and special drinks. Plus the pork pies were to die for!' 

Alcohol is not available to away fans in the TL Dallas Stand. If there is a large following and the Club allocate a portion of the Midland Road Stand to visiting supporters, then beer is on sale in that stand.

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Leave the M62 at Junction 26 and take the M606 for Bradford. At the end of the motorway, keep to the right hand lane and take the Ring Road East (signposted A6177 City Centre). From this point the stadium is well signposted through the use of a football image. At the next roundabout turn left continuing along the Ring Road East, passing a McDonalds on your left and then an Asda superstore. At the next roundabout turn left onto the A650 (signposted City Centre/Keighley). After crossing a further two roundabouts the road becomes three lanes. Keep in one of the two right hand lanes (signposted Keighley/Skipton). Continue straight along this road towards Skipton and eventually you will be able to see the stadium in front of you, over on the left. At the Kia Car Dealership on your left, turn immediately left into Station Road. At the top of Station Road turn left along Queens Road, then the second left into Midland Road for the away entrance. For the main offices continue along Queens Road and at the traffic lights turn left into Manningham Road. The ground is quarter a mile away on the left. Mostly street parking around the ground. 

Post Code for Sat-Nav: BD8 7DY

If going by train into Bradford Interchange, it is quite a walk to the ground (20 minutes).  Either take a taxi (£6) or alternatively the bus station is located next to the train station (Bus No's 622, 623, 626 or 662). Chris Hawkridge suggests; 'supporters travelling via Leeds should catch the Leeds - Bradford Forster Square service (two trains per hour during the day) rather than those to Bradford Interchange. Forster Square is only 10 minutes walk from the ground'.

Walking directions:

From Bradford Forster Square (Trains from Leeds, Skipton & Ilkley)
Leave the station to the right of the ticket office, either up the six or so flights of stairs or up the long ramp further on. This brings you out on Manor Row, where you should turn right. Keep on this road passed the City Gent pub to a massive crossroads. Here, you can either go straight over and walk all the way down Manningham Lane, passed The Bradford Arms Pub to Valley Parade, just before the Petrol Station. Alternatively, fans in sitting in Dallas or Midland Road Stands (away end) will find it easier to turn right at the main cross roads, then turn left on to Midland Road after 100 yards and follow the road all the way to the turnstiles.  

From Bradford Interchange (Trains from Everywhere else)  
Leave the station walking towards the city centre, with the Queen pub on your left and St. Georges  Hall on the right. Walk down the hill, and take a right just after the Ginger Goose pub, on to Market Street. Follow this road round to the mini round about and go up the hill. You will come on to Manor Row, where Bradford Forster Square Station is…and can follow the instructions above.

Thanks to Chris Eveleigh for providing the walking directions above.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

All areas of the stadium

Adults £20*
OAP's/Students £15
Under 16's £10
Under 11's £5**

* When purchased by 5pm the day before matchday. Adult tickets bought on the day of the game cost £5 more.

** Under 11's can be admitted free, providing that they are accompanied a paying adult. Please also note that children under two years old are not allowed inside the stadium.

Bradford City FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

Official Programme: £3.

City Gent Fanzine: £2. The longest established fanzine still running in England.  

Leeds United and Huddersfield Town.

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field website.

Record Attendance

39,146 v Burnley, FA Cup 4th Round, March 11th, 1911.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

24,321 v Reading FA Cup 6th Round, March 7th, 2015.

Average Attendance

2016-2017: 18,180 (League One)
2015-2016: 18,090 (League One)
2014-2015: 13,353 (League One)

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If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Bradford City v Bristol Rovers
Football League One
Saturday 2nd September 2017, 12.30pm
Yaz Shah (Bristol Rovers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Valley Parade ground?
 
Bradford City play good football and Rovers had picked up our form recently, so hopeful of seeing a good game. I also had never been to Valley Parade Bradford. Sky broadcasting were showing the game on television so it was an early lunchtime kick-off.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
From where I live in London I drove up the M1, M62 West and then the M606 into Bradford. The 200 mile journey, took just over three hours and I parked opposite a Tesco Express just off the main road above the ground. I felt lucky to secure this free parking spot?
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
It was a quick walk to the ground. There were lots of Bradford fans around at 11:00 am. I did not talk to any but had no problems.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Valley Parade?
 
The home stands are impressive, although the JT Dallas away stand was a bit of a dump. One toilet, one food kiosk that had ran out of food at half time, with long queues at both.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
It was a not a good game for us defensively. Our main two centre backs were away on international duty so we were missing them. Bradford City were the better and physically stronger team. They won 3-1 with Wyke scoring a hat-trick. Their first goal seemed offside to me and I appealed but no one else including our players appealed so ... The stewards were okay but perhaps need to smile a bit more?
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Easy although it took some time getting to ring Road for M606.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Nice day, shame we only played in patches. Bradford deserved the win and look a good team as per last season. I had though put on a little bet on the score being 3-1 ..... to both teams, so a little financial reward for me!

Bradford City v Bristol Rovers
Football League One
Saturday 2nd September 2017, 12.30pm
Patrick Legge (Bristol Rovers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Valley Parade ground?
 
I have been to Bradford City before.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I went on a supporters coach. It was a long journey from Bristol, with an early start for the 12.30pm kick off.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
As we got off the coach we were told by a steward that if we go off and get drunk, that we wouldn't be allowed into the ground. He then proceeded to tell us there was no alcohol on sale inside the ground for away fans. So off we went to the Bradford Arms pub. Here the service was excellent, it was very friendly and we had a laugh with home some fans. Suffice to say, we did get into the ground after a few drinks.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Valley Parade?
 
The away end is dated, the rest of ground looks decent.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Here we go, this is the bad bit. Apart from losing the game 3-1 and no alcohol for away fans, the food kiosk ran out of pies before the half time whistle had even blown. I have never known this to happen at any other ground. Plus there was a strict no smoking policy. Overall it was very poor for away fans.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
We were stuck in traffic jams for nearly an hour afterwards. I would recommend you hang on after the game and let the traffic die down.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
The Bradford Arms was a nice pub. Poor hospitality in away end (no pies, alcohol or smoking area), chirpy home fans walking past away coaches at end quick enough to give it but not take the banter back. Mainly a long day, very long away day, but another ticked off the list. Won't go again unless we met them in the play-offs at the end of the season.

Bradford City v Blackburn Rovers
Football League One
Saturday 19th August 2017, 3pm
Christian Lyth (Blackburn Rovers) 19/8/17

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Valley Parade ground?
 
Having been away on holiday it was my first game of the season. Plus as Blackburn had not started so well so it was a pretty key game for us. Bradford City have an impressive home record going unbeaten for about 18 months and it was my first competitive fixture here having come over for a pre-season game a few years back.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
It was a pretty easy train journey for me of just over an hour including a change at Manchester Victoria into Bradford Interchange. The added bonus of living closer to Manchester means I can avoid some of the numpty element on the Blackburn trains that some of my mates had to put up with. The valley Parade Ground is fairly easy 20-30 minute walk from city centre.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We went to a pub called the City Vaults that we'd visited previously for a pre-season game. It was pretty busy but there was a good mix of home and away fans and no hint of any aggro. The pub at plenty of televisions showing the early game, reasonable food and a good range of ales so I couldn't complain at all.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Valley Parade?
 
As I said I've been once before but was sat in the side then. It was first time behind the goal and I'd agree with some comments that I'm presuming the views in the upper tier are better but as we'd taken the whole end we were stuck with our seats in the lower tier right behind the net and a few rows back. Not ideal for the kids but the ground is impressive for 1 half and then a bit dated but Valley Parade is a good old ground.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game was by no means a classic but we defended a lot better than we'd done recently and nicked a goal at the start of the second half. Charlie Wyke came on after 70 mins and we were a bit worried how we'd cope but all in no major dramas. The atmosphere was good, the ground seems to be a decent size yet keeps the noise in well. Facilities not the best toilets were cramped to say the least, no beer wasn't a massive blow as it meant I could easily get the kids some food at half time but just a small kiosk with limited room.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
As per getting to it's a fairly easy walk back into town, there wasn't any sign if aggro and the fans were friendly. We went in a new complex of bars that had been recommended called Sunbridge Wells and again I would recommend.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Top day out at Valley Parade which is decent ground and hopefully the good result is a sign of things to come us for the rest of the season.

Bradford City v Fleetwood Town
Football League 1 Play-Off 1st leg    
Thursday 4th May 2017, 7:45pm
Christopher (Fleetwood Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Valley Parade Ground?

Valley Parade was a new ground for me and with my early finish from College on Thursdays, I could make the coach departure at 4pm. Plus there was the small matter of it being the first leg of the Play Off semi-finals. It was potentially one of the most important games in our short but sweet history.

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

Our coach set off at 4:10pm and arrived at Valley Parade at about 6:20pm or so. The plan was to go on to the M61 and M62 but we took a wrong turn in Manchester and we headed towards the Trafford Centre instead. As a result, we got caught up in a bit of congestion on the Manchester Ring Road but still made it way before kick off. We had to wait ten minutes before being able to park, due to a heavy Police presence and a closed road.

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

Me and most of the contingency on my coach made for the Bradford Arms pub, about a ten walk minutes from the ground. It's a nice little setup but a bit cramped inside. Supporters from both sides were in the pub, all mingling about in what was a very friendly and high-spirited atmosphere. We even joined in with a rendition of "Leeds are falling apart again". With the importance of the game, the Police presence was understandable but completely unnecessary as it turned out as there were no confrontations between supporters at all. I was able to walk to and from the pub without ever feeling unsafe or at risk.

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

Valley Parade is a very impressive spectacle that dwarfs the houses and buildings around it. This is thanks to the massive Main and Kop Stands. Even the stand we were in wouldn't look out of place in the Premier League. Unusually, we were in the corner of the Midlands side stand rather than the double decker end stand which I was a little disappointed about having never been in one of those before. Nevertheless, the side stand is impressive and you get good views of everything on the pitch. It also allowed for good banter with the Bradford fans in this stand. A few years ago, Fleetwood Town came to this neck of the woods to play Guiseley which (No disrespect to Guiseley) is a far cry from Valley Parade and a measure of how far we've progressed in such a short space of time.

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

From a Fleetwood perspective, the game was a poor affair (a view shared with many neutrals who watched it on the telly) with us losing 1-0 and not creating much in attack. Unsurprisingly Bradford scored from a set play- a trademark of their team of "Giants". In the end it could and probably should have been two or three for Bradford but at least we were still in the tie at the end. The atmosphere was fantastic throughout with the Bradford fans being the loudest I had ever heard. All three home stands were rocking and the noise was deafening at times.The 559 Fleetwood fans were also in fine voice throughout but were admittedly out sung by the thousands of Bradford fans. The stewards were reserved and didn't get hands on with anybody from what I saw, though I heard that they were a bit heavy handed with a supporter who let off a smoke bomb in the concourse. I didn't try any food at the ground and didn't even see where it was sold.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The away coaches were given a Police escort out of Bradford which meant that we took all of five minutes to leave Bradford and get back on the motorway once we set off, having taken 20 minutes to get to the ground before the match. We must have gone through at least seven red lights and it looked like a military convoy was in town. It took us about an hour and a half to get back to Fleetwood.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a fantastic away day overall it would have been higher up my personal list if we had got a positive result. Had it been a normal league game, I don't think I would have been as disappointed as I was at the end. The ground is spectacular, the home fans were very friendly and the atmosphere throughout the day was brilliant. I would happily go to Valley Parade again when the chance arises. Finally, I'd just like to pay my respects to the 56 supporters who died in the Valley Parade stadium fire, of which the 29th anniversary was 7 days after our play-off leg. It was a sobering thought that 29 years ago, across the pitch from where we were seated, such a tragic event could happen and it's a credit to Bradford that they have come back so strongly from such a devastating event.

Bradford City v AFC Wimbledon
Football League One
Saturday 22nd April 2017, 3pm
Brian May (AFC Wimbledon fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Valley Parade Ground?

It was my first visit to Valley Parade and I had been told that the Bradford City fans create a great atmosphere. With the Dons mathematically safe, I was looking forward to a stress-free game of football.

Main Stand and Kop

Main Stand and Kop

 

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

A Close Up Of The Double Decker Away EndWe travelled by train to Bradford Interchange station and it is a pretty straight walk from there to Valley Parade. It's a fairly flat route, with one slight uphill section but overall pretty easy and took us about 20 minutes.

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

The train times from our home in Scotland meant we arrived in Bradford with not much time to do anything else, so we headed straight to the ground. The home fans were really friendly and we were twice asked if we were alright and knew where we were going. Maybe just because I had kids with me, but I honestly can't remember any other set of supporters looking after visitors like that.

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

You can see the roof scaffold from a long way away and once you get up close you can see that the two new stands are enormous. They tower impressively above the other sides of the ground - a smart single tiered stand and the small two tiered away stand. The away stand appears to be the oldest part of the ground and is very basic with the facilities such as the refreshment kiosk and toilets in brick buildings standing separately from the seating areas.

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

The stewards were polite letting us know that the lower seating deck was closed but we could sit anywhere in the upper deck. Refreshments on offer were Pukka Pies and although decent were a bit on the expensive side. Toilet facilities were very basic - they coped with Wimbledon's small following but I could imagine long queues for any team bringing a large support. This being City's last home game of the regular season, there was a minute silence for the victims of the Bradford fire, impeccably observed by everyone. The game was pretty one sided, to be honest with Bradford going all out to book their place in the play-offs and the Wimbledon team seemingly already thinking about the beach. Whilst some Dons fans were ready to blame the referee for giving Bradford a soft penalty, the 3-0 final scoreline didn't flatter the hosts at all.

Our View From The Away End

View From The Upper Tier Of The Away End

 

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We were going back from Bradford Forster Square station and this was an easy, straight walk mostly downhill. It took us around ten minutes and again we had home supporters offering to give us directions - a very friendly lot those Bradford fans!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A really nice ground with a good atmosphere and a warm welcome. Wimbledon's poor performance didn't dampen the day too much as we had nothing riding on it, and I hope that Bradford do well in the play-offs.

Bradford City v Bolton Wanderers
Football League One
Saturday 18th February 2017, 3pm
Matthew Bowling (Bolton Wanderers fan)

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

I was looking forward to it as the game was a big top of the table clash. Plus it was another Yorkshire v Lancashire encounter so was much anticipated.

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

I got a minibus in and after we got through the traffic of the city centre we eventually found the away car park and got dropped off right outside the ground. I feel there could be better signage for away supporters coaches as it was hard to find.

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

Before the game we went to a pub about five miles south of Bradford in Wyke. It was a decent pub called the Halfway House with good price beers and facilities. Most Bolton fans went in pubs in the city centre and around Valley Parade.

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

It looks like the ground is unfinished, with different stands, which I don't like personally. In my opinion all fans should be given the same view of the game. In the away end I've never known being in an upper tier that is so close to the pitch as this one. As rather than being setback the upper tier is directly above the lower.

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

Bolton didn't start well with some defensive howlers giving Bradford City a 2-0 lead inside 15 minutes, luckily we held out until half time and came out in the second half all guns blazing. We deserved to be back in the game and thanks to goals from Wheater and Madine we were level. Late in the game both sides had chances to win with Bradford hitting the post as well. There was a good atmosphere created by both sets of fans, the facilities weren't great very cramped with a large away following. I felt a point was the right result in the end.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We were given a Police escort out of Bradford and back to the M606 motorway which worked well. We had no problems on the journey back either.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Valley Parade was a good away day before, during and after the game. Hope for more comebacks like this. 8/10.

Bradford City v Millwall
Football League One
Saturday 21st January 2017, 3pm
Jack Berry (Millwall fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Valley Parade Ground?

Millwall have had a number of tense matches with Bradford City over the last 18 months or so. I hadn't managed to get up to Valley Parade for the play-offs in May 2016 and so was looking forward to ticking this ground off the list.

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

Living in Southampton, we left at around 7am and comfortably made it to Bradford for mid-day. Not knowing the area, we opted to park in "The Broadway" shopping centre. Really convenient and safe and about a 20 minute walk to the ground.

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

We had time to spare, and knowing that after the match we had to drive to a hotel located outside of Bradford, we skipped the pub on this occasion. We had a look around the local shops and grabbed something to eat before heading over to the ground for about 2pm.

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

The stadium on approach is a real throw-back and had an Elland Road look to it (Forgive me Bradford fans). The home stands are spectacular and although a little outdated, have a real big football ground feel to them. The away end was a little less impressive. A fairly small and unexciting stand that creaked in the northernly wind, but this kind of added to the feeling that you were the "away fans".

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

Bradford created a really fantastic atmosphere. Some cracking songs and banter and although very few Millwall fans travelled, there was plenty of singing and gestures back and forth. You do feel ever so slightly distanced from the home fans which depending on personal preference can change your perception. The game saw Millwall take the lead, with a Bradford leveller ten minutes later. Both goals happening in the second half. Both teams pushed for a win but in the end, a draw seemed a fair result and did little to dent either sides play-off hopes. We didn't sample the drinks or food at the ground, however, no alcohol was sold, not sure if this was because it was Millwall (something I have seen many times before) or whether it is general policy?

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

A quick exit and not held behind for any length of time. There was a heavy Police presence as is common practice with Millwall. We headed back and found ourselves at the car park by about 5.15pm. We then headed off to the "The New Hobbit" Bed and Breakfast and Pub in Sowerby Bridge. A short drive from Bradford and a really warm and welcoming place to stay that I would highly recommend.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall, Valley Parade, as I know it, is an old school and typical large size ground for Yorkshire. Most sides playing around this area have a larger support and the ground seemed almost 80% full which says a lot about the size and direction Bradford City are going. I found the city safe, with a variety of things to do and an organised quick exit to whatever direction you may be going.

Bradford City v Scunthorpe United
Football League One
Monday 26th December 2016, 3pm
Paul Kirton (Scunthorpe United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Valley Parade?

This game was a top of the table clash and a win for Scunthorpe would increase the lead at the top of the table.

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

My son and me travelled on one of the eight supporters club buses,the buses dropped us off straight outside the away end entrance. The journey took about one and a half hours.

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

We jumped off the coach and purchased a programme for £3. We then queued at the turnstile, to be then searched by stewards before entering the ground. They were looking for cans and glass bottles as they are not allowed inside.

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

We had never been to Valley Parade before. First impression was the ground had being redeveloped during there Premiership days. The away end though looks a bit dated compared with the other three sides of the stadium.

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

We queued for around 30 minutes at the only refreshment hut. It was only when we got near the front of the queue that we could read the menu board. However it was brief and it didn't list what type of pies or what hot drinks they had. So when people eventually got to front of queue everyone was asking what pies and drinks they had, slowing the service down.

The game was a tight affair, although it was goalless there was plenty of action and incidents involving some strange refereeing decisions. 0-0 was probably the best result 0-0.There was a great atmosphere generated from the 21,000 crowd. If you go to a game in the winter months wrap up well as wind whistles around the stand.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Straight back onto the coach after game. I thought we would get a Police escort back to the motorway but they didn't bother.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

You can't beat going to a game on Boxing Day. It gets you out of the house and into the fresh air, Valley Parade proved to be a good day out following our team.

Bradford City v Scunthorpe United
Football League One
Monday 26th December 2016, 3pm
Charlie Betts (Scunthorpe United fan) 

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Valley Parade?

I've always fancied going to Valley Parade ever since being a kid. Also, it was a top of the table clash on Boxing Day, so very exciting.

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

Just a quick one and a half hour drive along the M180, M18 and M62 with not too much traffic. Parked near the Crown Court and walked a cold 20 minutes to the ground which I don't see as being too long. A lot of roads were closed off around Valley Parade itself. The stadium is just off a main road so isn't hard to find.

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

We arrived quite late due to bad timing on our part so walked straight through the city centre (which appeared to have some nice bars) and onto the ground.

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

I was very impressed when I first saw Valley Parade. The half of the ground that is built up is incredibly impressive and the away crowd get the best view of it. For this game the visiting supporters were housed across two stands, I was in the Midland Road Stand at one side of the ground which is a one large tiered stand. But most of away supporters were in the TL Dallas Stand at one end which is a double stack type of stand.

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

Many said the TL Dallas end was scruffy and lacked enough food and had obstructed views . Sitting in the Midland Road End though was rather pleasant with great birdseye viewing and spacious seating, though we were stood throughout. The queues for food were horrendous and stock ran out fast which was the worst thing for me about Valley Parade. As for the game, the atmosphere was fantastic all around the ground at the start of the game but fizzled out as the game dragged along at 0-0 which was the final score. With an attendance of 21,000 it definitely didn't feel like a League One mid-season game. The home fans and stewards were perfectly nice and even though we were almost in arms reach of them there was no trouble, not even an insult or two.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away on foot it was very busy attesting to the 21,000 attendance but by the time we got to the city centre car park where we were parked people and car traffic was at a minimum and we got home just as easy as we got there.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A Boxing Day game is always a blast and this was no exception, good crowds, great ground, disappointing food but all in all, Valley Parade was a good awayday.

Bradford City v Reading
FA Cup 6th Round
Saturday 7th March 2015, 12.45pm
Adam Dymock (Neutral fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to the Valley Parade Football Ground? 

It seemed an interesting cup contest. Plus I 'inherited' my son's match ticket, as although he is a season ticket holder at Reading, he was unable to attend!

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

We traveled up from london by car, which was pretty straight forward. Valley Parade is quite well sign posted going into Bradford and the ground itself can be seen from quite a distance away! There was loads of free parking very close to the ground too.

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

Before the game I went for a lovely breakfast, at a cafe on Manningham Lane. It was very good food, very cheap and everyone we saw were very friendly and pleasant!

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

I had seen Valley Parade on television and on this website, before we departed, so I knew what to expect. The away stand is very dated inside, but clean and tidy and all the staff on the concoursehad a smile!

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

The game was awful, a dull 0-0 draw. I think that this was partly due to the condition of the pitch. Hats off to the home fans though, they sing their hearts out for the full 90 minutes and make a fantastic atmosphere!!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We left about one minute before the end and sprinted to the car. Within 15 minutes we were back on the motorway!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Although it was a dull game it was still a brilliant day out. I know its a long trek but would highly recommend any fan to follow their team to Valley Parade, you won't be disappointed! Well done Bradford! Top day out. Thanks!!

Bradford City v Sheffield United
League One
Saturday, October 18th 2014, 5.15pm
Matty Desforges (Sheffield United fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

It was my first away day of the season and I have never visited Valley Parade before, however I had heard it is a big stadium and a good place to go to from fellow fans.

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

We took the train from Sheffield Station to Bradford Forster Square (changing at Leeds) and got there with about half an hour to spare, the ground is a ten minute walk from the station and is within site as soon as you step off the train so not hard to find, just follow the supporters!

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We wandered straight to the away end and into the ground to take up our seats, as we did not have much time before the beginning of the game.

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

The away supporters were allocated the smallest Stand in the stadium (a small two tiered stand behind the goal, called the TL Dallas Stand) and two blocks on the stand to the right of it. The TL Dallas Stand itself was very run down and we got seats on the top row of the bottom tier. This had a bit of a restricted view to the right hand corner flag and the roof above almost came down in the line of sight to the crossbar of the goal, which caused us a bit of bobbing up and down during the match to get a better view.

To the left and directly in front of us were two massive two tiered stands, which extended around one corner, where most of the home fans were situated.  The more hardcore Bradford supporters were located at the top of the 'Kop' Stand, opposite to us.

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

Unfortunately there wasn't much of a concourse for the stand, and the food stall wasn't much better than a few mums selling cake at a Sunday league match. By the time we entered the ground they had run out of pies which we were annoyed by, so we did not buy anything.

All in all the game was fantastic from the view of a United fan, Bradford had a player sent off within a minute of the second half and United grabbed two fantastic goals later in the half, finishing in a 2-0 victory.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The movement of the away fans was slow until we were out of the stand, then it was fine. However after a certain time trains stop running from Bradford Forster Square station, so we had to treck across the city centre to Bradford Interchange (about 10 minutes further but easy to find if one of you has an GPS on their phones). Got home for 10:30pm which was fine, considering the game didn't finish until 7pm.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Fantastic day out with a fantastic result for United, would definitely revisit Valley Parade on further opportunity. 

Bradford City v  Crewe Alexandra
League One
Saturday, October 4th 2014, 3pm
Sam Page (Crewe Alexandra fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Bradford was a new ground for me, so I was looking forward to it.

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

Me and a mate of mine took a train from Crewe and arrived at Bradford interchange station around 1.25pm. We decided to walk to the ground from there. It was a good 20-30min walk and when we got a little lost the Bradford fans were nice enough to point us in the right direction.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We walked through the city centre, and took a detour to an arcade where I took part in a football slots game in which I won a whistle! Good times. That only took a couple of minutes and before long we were back on our way. 

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

First impressions of the ground were good, the two main stands towers over the ground and is very impressive. The rest of the ground is pretty average but still on the larger side, you can defiantly tell it once hosted Premier League football. The annoying thing about this stadium is that it is set into the side of a hill, resulting in some tiring walking up it.

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

Me and my mate enjoyed the Bradford fans singing their version of “take me home” before the game. Was decent, the Bradford fans were loud. First half Bradford dominated the game and was really a case of Crewe hanging in there. They must have had 8-10 chances and just as many corners and probably should have scored a couple in the first 20 minutes alone. Crewe had a couple of counter attacks which got the 162 Crewe fans on their feet briefly. Because of this the Bradford supporters were good, singing most the time, mainly from the Kop Stand behind the goal and occasionally all three sides got going which was very loud at times.

I didn’t get anything to eat a half time so cannot comment. However my mate commented that the food kiosk is hidden round a corner towards the right hand side of the stand, took him a little while to find it.

Second half, Crewe had a little more of the possession and tried to attack, but again Bradford were comfortable in all honesty. Two goals in as many minutes killed the game and Bradford eased to probably their most comfortable win for a long time. No wonder we were bottom of the league by a long way we were dreadful.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

No issues on leaving the ground and walking back to the railway station.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great stadium, one of the best I’ve been too, very noisy home fans as well which is good to see (hear) and very friendly. I personally enjoyed my experience at the Coral Windows Stadium despite the result and will consider it on my next away tour if we don’t get relegated. Good luck to Bradford,  a club like this deserves to be playing at a higher level.

Bradford City v Gillingham
League Two
Saturday, September 18th 2010, 3pm
James Grimshaw (Gillingham fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I have been to this ground a few times now in recent years and once again I am never failed to be impressed by the size of the two large stands there. It is well worth the 200 mile 4 hour trip up and is one of my favourite away days. I was particularly looking forward to today's visit after hearing we would now be housed in the East Stand rather than the small "Dallas" stand that was the away end on my last visits. I must say the east stand answers all the problems with the "Dallas" stand e.g leg room, facilities.

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

As ever I was on the supporters coach which handily pulled up outside the away turnstiles so there was no problems. You can spot the ground from a mile off due to the two large stands and the floodlights.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We arrived in plenty of time and I chose to eat in the ground but on previous occasions I have been to a pub called The Bradford Arms which is always very friendly with no problems from home fans. There are a selection of fast food places within a few minutes of the ground and a McDonalds in a retail park next to Bradford Forster Square railway station which is only about a ten minute walk from the ground, however I doubt there will be many Gills fans travelling there on the train!

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

The ground is fantastic and obviously towers over many grounds in this league however the facilities in the small Dallas Stand are very poor compared to the rest of the ground. It looks out of place however it now houses the more vocal of their supporters. The bottom tier was not open which leads to a packed top tier. The two large stands are a lot bigger than the rest of the ground and the view from our end was mixed as you could see one goal mouth very clear but the other was quite far away. We were sharing the stand with their fans with little but a line of stewards separating us but there was little to worry about as the fans in the stand were more bothered about the football.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

Unfortunately we experienced one of the worst things in football: conceding in the last minute. The stewards were friendly and were never really called upon as both sets of fans behaved perfectly. They were very vocal but you expect that with an attendance of over 10,000 compared to our 4,000 at home but as ever we did our bit to try and make ourselves heard. I bought a burger which fortunately lived up to its high price tag! There was plenty on offer with friendly kiosk staff. The game wasn't the best and obviously the goal in the last minute stung after we had battled to what had seemed to be a deserved point. The game was perhaps marred by a few decisions by the officials against both teams and a few harsh challenges.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We got away fine after the game and waited about 5 minutes for the crowds to clear off the road. They gave us no trouble and were obviously relieved to get the win. The journey back was surprisingly quick and the defeat didn't spoil our mood as we were still optimistic for the season looking to bounce back.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

All in all a great day out I recommend all fans pick this as one of their away days a fantastic stadium with a great support they are ex premier league and some smaller teams may not have had many opportunities to go to stadiums as large as this so they should take the chance. (as a Gills fan I am used to bad away results take last season for example no wins away so I try to stay optimistic about every away trip!).

Bradford City v  Nottingham Forest
Carling Cup Round 1
Tuesday, August 10th 2010, 7.45pm
Martyn Greenwood (Nottingham Forest fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I'd never been to Valley Parade and heard it was a decent sized stadium and seeing as tickets were priced at £10 with it being a first round cup game, so I thought I would go.

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

I went on the coach so the journey wasn't anything to worry about, as we got nearer to the ground we could see it on the hill to the left, we arrived 2 hours prior to kick off and parked down the road to the left of the Midland Road Stand.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Many of the other Forest fans headed for the Bradford arms pub but we decided to pop into the city centre for a bite to eat, passing a few Bradford fans who were no trouble at all, after that we made the short walk back to the Bradford Arms pub an hour or so before kick off, the pub consisted of both sets of supporters and found myself talking to a Bradford fan who seemed friendly enough.

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

As I came into the ground the first thing that caught my eye were the two massive stands straight across and to the right which were joint in the corner, our stand wasn't too bad although the stand to the left appeared to be an odd looking two tiered stand called the TL Dallas stand, you could tell the ground was used to higher league football.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

The home fans were only allocated a lower tier straight ahead and the upper tier to the right of us in the big stands, but they managed to fill them and made a fair bit of noise, around 600 of our fans made the journey and were mostly in full voice. The game itself won't be remembered fondly for our fans as we were beaten 2-1 in extra time having earlier been a goal up, apart from that the facilities were fine and the ground staff were always on hand.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

No problems getting away from the ground, as we came out the back onto midland road, the coach was waiting across the road for us, Bradford fans passed us clearly happy about the result and letting us know it.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I enjoyed the trip up to Bradford, there were a lot of places to eat and drink within close proximity of the ground, and the stadium itself was fantastic. Shame about the result but would really like to visit Bradford in a league fixture and hopefully taking more supporters up there.

Bradford City v Cheltenham Town
League Two
Saturday, January 2nd 2010, 3pm
Tony Rastelli (Cheltenham Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I was looking forward to going to Bradford because I've never been to their ground before and I usually now don't have the time to follow my team away from home anymore, so this was a chance to go.

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

My journey was easy, I went on the supporters travel coach from Cheltenham to the game.  The ground is pretty easy to find as their floodlights stand out from far away and is also well signposted, our coach pulled up right outside our section of the stadium so there was no trouble there.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

I went straight into the ground, brought a programme and watched our players warm up, didn't really come into contact with many home fans as when we got there it was more or less empty!

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

Arriving at the ground, then there were two very large stands opposite. Our section and the stand we were in, was similar to the In2print stand at Cheltenham. The "Dallas" stand which was to our left looked very poor I think if you were to sit in the lower tier you would struggle to see the game, The Upper tier didn't look much better.  The only thing that bugged me about the away section was you had to climb up 3 set of stairs to get to pitch level and then if you wanted to go to the top you had to climb another long set of stairs to get there, if your terribly unfit you may struggle for breath afterwards!

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

I enjoyed the game overall and would come to Bradford again.  We drew 1-1 with them taking the lead 10 minutes before HT after we failed to clear our lines from a free kick.  Had a Hotdog as a half time snack which cost £3, I don't usually buy food at grounds so I thought that was expensive.  I didn't need to go to the toilet at all so on with the second half.. we came out with a bit more desire and got ourselves level when our striker was pulled down by their right back (which I thought was outside the box) But the referee deemed the infringement happened in the penalty area, their player who had been cautioned before picked up his second yellow and got sent off, so we got a penalty and thankfully scored!

It was soft, but It was a foul though so we'll take that and get on with the rest of the game.. apart from a half chance later on with our other striker heading wide whilst facing back to goal we didn't really threaten their goalkeeper at all.  They had 2 or 3 good chances in the second half, and on another day they would have gone in but fortunately they didn't and we came away with a well deserved point, we didn't threat much but the effort was put in and at the end of the day that's all you can ask for.
 
The atmosphere I thought was quite flat, their fans didn't sing much, and when they did you couldn't really hear what they were saying!  Our fans made an effort to sing and got through a couple of songs but apart from that there was nothing much.
 
Stewards seemed quite relaxed with us all the way through the game before and after.  The only thing I would pick them up on was that if you plan to take a drum inside their ground they would make you sign some sort of contract paper! before you can take it in, which I thought was bizarre to be honest, but oh well these things happen.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

There was a small delay getting away from the ground as they get big attendances for a League 2 club but after that we hit the main roads and got home fairly easily.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall I enjoyed my visit to Valley Parade and would come again, taking a point I thought was a very good result for us as Bradford is a hard place to come and play football so well done Robins!

Why not write your own review of the Northern Commercials Stadium Bradford City and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 6th December 2017

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