Cardiff City Stadium
33,280 (all seated)
Address: Leckwith Road, Cardiff, CF11 8AZ
Telephone: 033 33 11 1927
Fax: 033 33 11 1928
Ticket Office: 033 33 11 1920
Pitch Size: 110 x 75 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Bluebirds
Year Ground Opened: 2009
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: Visit Malaysia
Home Kit: Blue With White Trim
Away Kit: Orange With Blue Trim
After spending 99 years at their former Ninian Park ground, the Club in 2009, moved only a quarter of a mile away to the new stadium. Although with far superior facilities than Ninian Park, the design of the stadium itself was rather uninspiring (as admittedly most new stadiums built in this country are). However in 2014, the Club after being awarded the hosting of the UEFA Super Cup Final, set upon increasing the capacity by 5,000 seats chiefly by expanding the Ninian Park Stand on one side. This stand was originally single tiered, but has since had a small second tier and then an overhanging third tier added, making it the tallest and largest stand at the stadium. However, it’s most striking feature is its roof, which is simply huge, elevating and extending quite a distance forward to provide cover to those below. A little reminiscent of the East Stand at Elland Road, the Ninian Stand is far more attractive having more of a distinctive look with clear windshields to either side.
Located opposite is the Grandstand. Named after the corresponding stand at the old Ninian Park, this stand is two tiered, with a small second tier of seating that overlaps the back of the lower tier. In this area at the rear of the lower section there is a row of executive boxes. Whilst at the back of the second tier there is visible a glassed frontage to and area used for corporate entertainment. The team dug outs are located at the front of this stand. Both ends are virtually identical, being single tiered, all seater affairs. The roofs above these stands are situated quite high above the seating areas, with a large back wall, part of which contains Perspex panels to provide more light to the playing surface. The stadium is completely enclosed with all four corners having spectator seating. Above each end there is digital video screen. In view of its multi purpose nature the stadium has in each corner a large access tunnel.
Outside the stadium there are the entrance gates that once welcomed visiting players and officials to Ninian Park. Beside the gates is a plaque in remembrance of Scotland and Celtic Manager Jock Stein who passed away at Ninian Park shortly after a Wales v Scotland World Cup Qualifying game in 1985.
For the stadium buffs, then as you come off the A4232 and head towards the stadium then on your left you will pass the new Cardiff International Sports Stadium. This has a capacity of 5,000, with one covered seated stand that holds 2,613 spectators. Although chiefly the home of Welsh Athletics, the stadium is also used for football with Welsh League Two side Cardiff Bay Harlequins playing their home games there.
The stadium has also been built in such a way that it can be easily further expanded, by adding additional blocks of seating to both ends of the stadium, taking the capacity up to around 38,000.
Away fans are located on one side of the Grange Stand and the corner with the Ninian Stand. Up to 1,800 fans can be accommodated in this area. The acoustics are also good, with the stadium having a loud PA system. The concourses are spacious and have televisions to keep you entertained. Generally, the stewarding is fine too.
Domenic Brunetti a visiting Nottingham Forest fan adds; I was impressed tho as the entrance to the away end as you are kept well out of harms way as home supporters are kept well separated. Inside the facilities were really good and clean. The concourse was of a good size and the food and drink kiosks plentiful, with little queuing time. I noticed that all the signs inside were written in both English and Welsh. Our seats in one corner of the stadium gave us great views of the game and the giant big screen behind us meant we could see replays of the goals (although unfortunately, we lost 3-0!).
Within the stadium away fans are kept separate from home fans, by a small area of ‘no mans land’ lined with stewards. This does though allow for plenty of banter between the two sets of supporters. Food on offer inside the ground includes; various Pies; Steak and Ale, Chicken Curry, Veggie (all £3.90), Hot Dogs (£4.30) and Cheeseburgers (£4.50).
Outside there is a fenced-in compound, which is also used to accommodate the away coaches but also keeps fans separated after the game has finished which should avoid most problems.
The Club operates automatic turnstiles, where you have to put your ticket (which has a barcode on it) into a slot reader, which then allows the turnstiles to admit you.
Since moving to the new stadium, then a visit to Cardiff is now normally a more enjoyable one that it was at Ninian Park. Even so, I would still advise to be cautious around the stadium and the city centre and to keep colours covered.
Most pubs in close vicinity of the stadium and Ninian Park Halt Station are for home fans only and should be avoided. One exception is the Lansdowne on Lansdowne Road, which normally has a mix of home and away supporters. Another suggestion that I have received is the Gol Centre on Lawrenny Avenue (off Leckwith Road, See Google Map below) which has amongst other facilities a bar. Gwilym Boore informs me; ‘We are a 5-a-side centre located about an eight-minute walk from Cardiff City Stadium. We charge £5 to park at the centre but this is returned to customers in the form of a bar voucher which can be used against purchases of Hot Dogs, alcoholic and soft drinks, tea and coffee and confectionery. We also encourage FREE use of our pitches by visiting children’. Plus further along Lawrenny Avenue is the Canton Rugby Football Club, which has a bar, large screen television showing Sky Sports and also offers free parking.
Otherwise, it is probably best to drink in the city centre and then go on up to the stadium. There are plenty of pubs and bars to be found including the Pontcanna Inn on Cathedral Road, which offers local real ales, craft beers, food and accommodation. You can also watch the early kick off there on television (see advert below). Alcohol is also available inside the ground in the form of Fosters Lager, John Smith’s Bitter and Strongbow Cider (all £4.30 a pint). Wine is available costing £4.30 for a small bottle. The Club also offers Heineken alcohol-free lager at £3 a can. You can also get a ‘Pie and a Pint’ for £7.50 up until kick off. They have a policy of only allowing one person to buy a maximum of four alcoholic drinks at a time. They do though accept card payments.
If arriving early at the game, or are travelling by train at Cardiff Central or are simply staying overnight in Cardiff, then be sure to visit the Pontcanna Inn on Cathedral Road. It serves a good range of real ales and craft beers, offers food and shows televised sports in comfortable surroundings. It welcomes visiting supporters, is family friendly (up to 9pm) and also has accommodation if you need it.
The Pontcanna Inn, formerly The Cayo Arms is situated on Cathedral Road, close by to Sophia Gardens, a short walk to the University, Castle, the SSE SWALEC, and Principality Stadium. It is around 1.3 miles away from the Cardiff City Stadium.
It has ten beautiful en-suite boutique style bedrooms on the upper floors. Downstairs there is a fantastic outside terrace both at the front and the rear of the pub. The inside main bar and dining area serving the best of hearty and healthy food with an eclectic range of cocktails, spirits, wines, beers, real & craft ales. It is also a perfect pub to watch live sports. Open for breakfast, brunch and dinner 7 days a week.
Address: 36 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9LL (Location Map)
Tel: 029 2023 2917
Opening Hours: A friendly welcome is waiting for you at our bar, open Sunday to Wednesday 10am to 11pm , Thursday to Saturday between 10am and midnight. Breakfast is served in the restaurant between 7am-10am Monday to Friday, Saturday 8am-10am and Sunday 8am-11am for residents and non-residents. Lunch service is served Monday to Friday 11am-4pm, Saturday 11am-5pm. Dinner service is served between 5pm-9pm throughout the whole week. Sunday lunch is served 12pm till 4pm.
The Cardiff City Stadium has only been open for little over a decade with the doors first flung open in 2009. Prior to that, home games were played at Sophia Gardens but with the vast majority of their time spent at Ninian Park. They moved in at Ninian Park way back in 1910 after a huge community effort saw the transformation of a rubbish tip on Sloper Road. When that ground opened it did so with one stand but a second, more sizeable stand, that held 18,000 had opened before the thirties arrived.
Fast forward another 20 years or so and the Bluebirds saw their highest ever attendance of near on 58k; from there though, attendances dropped with the whole of football starting to transition towards more seating. When Ninian Park was finally replaced, it’s capacity stood at 22k.
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Zeelo is running direct coach services for home fans travelling to Cardiff City Stadium. With the poorly connected public transport and tiring drive, Zeelo offers a hassle free service straight to the stadium. Travel in a comfortable coach, with a guaranteed seat and soak in the atmosphere with other fans. This family-friendly service has special rates for seniors and children with prices starting from as little as £5.50 return.
Check the Zeelo website for more details.
To avoid driving through the centre of Cardiff, leave the M4 at junction 33 and take the A4232 towards Cardiff/Barry. Keep on the A4232 towards Cardiff and then leave the dual carriageway at the B4267 exit. At the end of the slip road, turn left at the roundabout, signposted ‘Cardiff International Athletics Stadium’. The stadium is situated a short distance down this road on the right. Please note that parking in the nearby retail park is limited to 90 minutes as is being enforced. Also be sure also to park your car properly, as I have been informed that traffic wardens are out in force on matchdays.
A visiting Scunthorpe fan adds; ‘If you pass the ground on your right and then turn right at the next lights (about 250m) and proceed up this road for about 300m, you will see HSS Hire (plant hire) on your right. Turn right in front of this and it leads you into a fenced off area adjacent to Turnstile 7 (the away entrance). You can go straight into the ground without leaving this area. It was also well marshalled on our visit. It is not big enough for teams with big support, but I think it would take around 200 cars. The cost is £10 per car.’ Pre-booked coaches get preference for this area, so if your team are bringing a number, then the space for cars may be limited.’
Margaret Nicholls a visiting Norwich City fan informs me; ‘I would recommend the Gol centre near to the ground as a place to park and as a pre-match venue to visit. We arrived early before the children’s football at the centre had finished but parking there wasn’t a problem at all. It was great to find somewhere warm and dry with clean toilets after a long drive. The bar menu isn’t huge (pizza or hot dog) but for lunch it was fine. Very friendly staff and the Cardiff fans using it were okay too. The only downside is that after the game it took a long time to get back onto the main road as the centre is located at the bottom of a cul-de-sac’. Mick Francis adds ‘There is a wholesale market on Bessemer Road, off Sloper Road (CF11 8BA), which offers matchday parking for £5 a car. It is then a five-ten minute walk to the ground’. Whilst Craig Milne a visiting Carlisle United fan tells me; ‘I found unrestricted on-street parking on Hadfield Road (CF11 8AQ), which is around a 15 minute from the stadium’. There is also the option of renting a private driveway near the Cardiff City Stadium via YourParkingSpace.co.uk.
How to get there by coach:
To avoid driving through the centre of Cardiff, leave the M4 at junction 33 and take the A4232 towards Cardiff/Barry/Airport. Keep on the A4232 towards Cardiff and then leave the dual carriageway at the 3rd exit B4267. The 1st exit is the Welsh Museum of Life….2nd exit is Culverhouse Cross. Just before the 3rd turn off you will see the stadium (slightly to your left). Taking the outside lane (of 2) on the slip road, as you approach the lights, you need to be in lane 3 (of 4). You will be bearing round to the right (keeping the pavement on your left) you are taking the 1st turning off this roundabout into Hadfield Road. Travelling approximately 800 meters down Hadfield Road you will then turn left into Bessemer Road. Travelling down Bessemer Road to the traffic lights at its “T” junction with Sloper Rd you turn left. Approximately 400 meters down Sloper road as you pass the bus depot on your right on your left you will see “HSS Plant Hire”. Turn Left Here into the protected compound. Thanks to Malcolm a Cardiff Cabbie for these directions.
The nearest railway station is Ninian Park Halt, which is only a five minute walk from the stadium. This station is on a local line (City Line-direction Radyr) which is served by trains from Cardiff Central, which run every 30 minutes on Saturday afternoons (although occasionally extra services are put on). On leaving Ninian Park Halt Station proceed left along Leckwith Road and you will see the stadium over on your left.
Alternatively as Barry Hodges informs me; ‘The next nearest station is Grangetown which is around a 15-20 minute walk away from the New Stadium and is served by trains from Cardiff Central, that continue onto Penarth or Barry Island. On leaving Grangetown station turn left, cross the main road and then turn right into Sloper road’. If you are an away fan then turn left into the protected compound at HSS Plant Hire, which leads to the away turnstiles. If for any other turnstile than gate 7, walk on 50 metres, turning left, into the car park towards gate 6 or around the stadium, to the right for lower gate numbers, ticket office or club shop.
If you a bit more time on your hands, then you can walk to the stadium from Cardiff Central, which takes around 25 minutes. As you come out of the entrance to the station, bear left and at the bottom of the station approach road, turn left. Continue straight on into Ninian Park Road, for around a mile passing the Millennium Stadium on your right. At the end of Ninian Park Road turn left and then left into Leckwith Road. You will then shortly be able to see the stadium over on your left (the away turnstiles are on the left hand side of the stadium, as you view it from here). Alternatively a taxi to the stadium from Cardiff Central costs around £7. Alternatively you can catch bus number 95 (going towards Barry) from the adjacent bus station next to Cardiff Central, up to the stadium. You can view a timetable on the Cardiff Bus website. There is also a Football Shuttle Bus running from Wood Street in the City Centre (Bus Stop JR which is just outside the School of Journalism, Media and Culture, which is near the Vue Cinema and Principality Stadium) to the stadium. The service commences 2 hours before kick off and runs every 15 minutes. There are buses waiting after the game to make the return journey. A day rover ticket on Cardiff Buses normally costs £4, for an adult, but on production of your match ticket, this is reduced to £2.60.
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:
Over 60’s £14
Under 22’s £9
Under 16’s £7
Official Programme £3.
The Thin Blue Line Fanzine: £1.
Ramzine Fanzine: £1.
Cardiff vs Swansea rivalry
There is no denying that the biggest clubs in Wales are Cardiff and Swansea; with that in mind, it is of little surprise that their games can get heated. The two clubs are only separated by about 40 miles of M4 down in South Wales as well, which brings about extra heat with the rivalry seen as one of Britain’s fiercest.
Cardiff vs Bristol City rivalry
As the crow travels, Cardiff and Bristol aren’t all that far apart but the Bluebirds rivalry only exists with the Robins rather than with Rovers as well. Why is that exactly? Well, it all dates back to the days of full blown hooliganism in football. The clubs fans had many violent clashes and many have not been forgotten.
If you require hotel accommodation in Cardiff then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Just input the dates below that you wish to stay and then select from the map the hotel of interest to get more information. The map is centered to the football ground. However, you can drag the map around or click on +/- to reveal more hotels in the City Centre or further afield.
For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the
Level Playing Field website.
A popular destination with visiting supporters prior to the game is a visit to the Millennium Stadium (or Stadiwm y Mileniwm in Welsh). Although no longer hosting the domestic football cup finals, it is still one of the best stadiums in Britain. The stadium offers regular tours on most days throughout the year and is only a couple of minutes walk from Cardiff Central railway station. The tour itself costs:
Concessions (Over 60’s and Students): £8
Children 5-16 years: £7
Children Under 5’s: Free
Family Tickets: 2 Adults + 2 Children: £32
I have been on the tour myself and would definitely recommend it. It lasts around 45 minutes and is one of the better tours that I have been on, full of interesting facts, coupled with a sense of humour. You can book the tours by calling: 02920 822 228 or book online via the Millennium Stadium website.
For the Cardiff City Stadium:
33,280 Wales 1 Belgium 0
Euro 2016 Championship Qualifying Match, 12th June 2015.
For a Cardiff match at the Cardiff City Stadium:
33,028 Cardiff City 1 Manchester United 5
Premier League, 22nd December 2018
For a Cardiff Match at Ninian Park:
60,855 Cardiff City 1 Swansea Town 0
Division Two, 27 August 1949.
2019-2020: 22,822 (Championship League)
2018-2019: 31,408 (Premier League)
2017-2018: 20,164 (Championship League)
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me [email protected] and I’ll update the guide.
Special thanks to Mike Cleave for providing the external photo of the Cardiff City Stadium.