30,445 (all seated)
Address: City Ground, Nottingham, NG2 5FJ
Telephone: 0115 982 4444
Fax: 0115 982 4455
Ticket Office: 0115 982 4388
Pitch Size: 115 x 78 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Reds
Year Ground Opened: 1898
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: Football Index
Home Kit: Red and White
Away Kit: Royal & Navy Blue Halves
The ground from a distance looks quite picturesque sitting on the banks of the River Trent. Both ends were re-developed during the 1990’s, much improving the overall appearance. At one end, the Bridgford Stand houses away fans in the lower tier; it is odd because one-third of this stand was built lower than the rest, due to a local Council planning requirement to allow sunlight through to the houses in nearby Colwick Road. Opposite, the Trent End, is the most recent addition to the ground. It is a large two-tiered stand that looks quite smart. One unusual feature of the stand is that running across the middle are a number of rows of seating enclosed within a covered shaded glass area. On one side there is a similarly impressive two-tiered stand, with executive boxes in between, which was built in 1980. Once called the Executive Stand, it was recently renamed the Brian Clough Stand in honour of their greatest manager. Facing this is a smaller and much older Peter Taylor Main Stand (built in the late 1960’s) that now looks quite tired in the company of its shiny new neighbours.
In the City Centre in the old Market Square is a bronze statue of the legendary Brian Clough.
The Club announced in December 2019 that it is seeking planning permission to build a new 10,000 capacity Peter Taylor (Main) Stand, along one side of the ground, replacing the existing stand which dates back to the 1950s. This all seated, three-tiered stand will also have a number of executive boxes and other corporate facilities, plus new changing rooms and press facilities. A nice feature is that the stand will also include a Club Museum as well as a new Club Shop. If planning permission is granted early in the new year, then the club intends to start the demolition of the current stand at the end of this current season. If planning permission is granted in early 2020 then demolition of the existing stand will begin in May 2020, with the stand complete for the start of the 2021/22 season. Once completed the capacity of the City Ground will rise to around 36,000.
The City Ground With New Stand
The artists impression above of how the new stand will look is courtesy of the Nottingham Forest FC website, where more information and a promotional video can be found.
Visiting supporters are housed on one side of the lower tier of the Bridgford Stand (towards the Brian Clough Stand), where around 2,000 fans can be accommodated. The facilities and view of the action in this stand are good. If demand requires it then an additional 1,000 away supporters can be seated in a lower block of the Brian Clough Stand. The view of the game is good from this section and the leg room is ample too. As with most grounds a ‘pat down’ search
Inside the ground, the upper tier of the stand overhangs the lower tier somewhat, again helping to further generate some noise. But saying that the atmosphere at the City Ground can be a bit hit and miss at times, although the close proximity of Forest fans to the away section does lead to a lot of banter. The stewarding was friendly and laid back on my last visit, with the visiting fans standing throughout the game and even with a smoke bomb going off at one point.
The concourse behind the stand is a little tight for space and can get quite crowded. But it does have good acoustics if your fans burst into song prior to the game starting. Food on offer includes; Rollover Hot Dogs (£4), Meat & Potato Pies (£3.30), Chicken Balti Pies (£3.30) Cheese & Onion Pasties and Sausage Rolls (£2.40).
I have always enjoyed my visits to the City Ground and coupled with the number of great pubs located in Nottingham, it is one that fans normally look forward to.
With Nottingham Forest being amongst the oldest clubs in existence it’s perhaps unsurprising that their stadium journey is a rather long one. Their first pitch was based at the Forest Recreation ground. A year at the Castle Ground, which was later used by Notts County followed before Trent Bridge, the cricket stadium, became home for a two year period. Parkside and Gregory Ground were up next before the club moved to the Town Ground.
The stadium, which cost £1,000 to construct was the first stadium to host a game of football that included crossbars and nets. Forest remained there for eight years before moving into their current home, the City Ground. With three of the four sides of the ground wide open to the elements it’s fair to say the Nottingham Forest stadium was far less glamorous than the 30k capacity that sits before us today. It has taken a series of redevelopments to get to its current state; those work didn’t happen very quickly though. Considering the ground opened in 1898, the first major works didn’t come until 1957 with the building of the East Stand.
The best part of a decade later saw the rebuilding of the Main Stand and then in 1980, off the back of Forest’s success in Europe, a new stand – the Executive Stand – was constructed at the cost of £2m. All notable developments since then have been in relation to the findings of the Taylor Report in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster; of course, Nottingham Forest were involved in the game on that tragic day.
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Nearly all pubs near to the ground are for home fans only. Audrey MacDonald a visiting Hartlepool fan informs me; ‘After trying to no avail to find a pub near to the ground that would allow in away fans, the Police directed us to the ‘Broken Wheelbarrow’ Meadow Club which is the Notts County Supporters Club at the Meadow Lane Ground. The Club was okay but a bit short on bar staff’. Carl Fitzpatrick a visiting Coventry City fan adds; ‘Very near to the ground on the banks of the River Trent, we came across the Nottingham Rowing Club, which displayed a banner outside saying that away fans were welcome. They charged £1 entry and the beer was good and very reasonable, plus the Forest fans that we met inside were chatty and friendly.’
Simon Phillips recommends the Stratford Haven, just down the road from the Larwood & Voce, ‘it has great beer and food, it bustles and is used by both home and away fans’. This pub is located in a largely residential area where there is street parking available, if you arrive early. Tim Cooke a travelling Millwall fan has a different angle (so to speak); ‘definitely one for the lads! Hooters (on the main road A6011, on the outskirts of the city centre, you can’t miss it!) has very nice waitresses wearing just enough to cover things up, serves lovely beer, and great food. Take my advice, make a weekend of it, Nottingham is a top city!’ Otherwise, alcohol is available inside the ground, including; Amstel Lager (£4.50 Pint), John Smith’s Bitter (£4.20 Pint), Strongbow Cider (£4 Pint), Heineken Lager (£4 Bottle 400ml), Bulmers Cider (£4.20 Bottle 330ml).
If you are arriving by train and have a bit of time on your hands, then I would suggest that you check out the ‘Olde Trip To Jerusalem’. This historic pub dates back to the 12th century and some of the rooms are ‘cave like’ having been carved out of the rock that Nottingham Castle is situated upon. Add real ale, food and a small beer garden, then it is certainly worth a visit. It is about a five minute walk away from the train station. As you come out of the station turn right. At the top of the road turn left and then take the second right into Castle Street. Just tucked away on the left is the pub.
There is also the Waterfront complex of bars (including a Wetherspoons outlet) which is a short walk from the train station. As you come out of the station turn right and cross over to the other side of the road (As you cross the bridge going over the canal you can see the complex). At the top of the road turn left and the Waterfront complex is just down on the left, located behind the buildings on the main road. I have received reports of fans getting some hassle in pubs near to the station, so use your discretion and keep colours covered.
Adrian Taylor a visiting Birmingham City fan adds; ‘If travelling by train, then there are numerous pubs with character in and around the city centre including the Olde Trip To Jerusalem, The Castle (in Castle Street), Salutation Inn (on Hounds Gate), and my favourite, The Round House (in Royal Standard Place)’. Another pub worthy of mention is the Canal House; It is housed in a listed building, serving Castle Rock beers and it even has part of canal inlet running through the inside of the pub!
Andy Tomsett a visiting Brighton and Hove Albion fan recommends the Vat and Fiddle which is near to the railway station. ‘The pub is the Castle Rock brewery tap and so has a big range of real beers. It was busy but we got served okay and they offer food too. The pub is on Queensbridge Road. Leave the station by the front exit, turn left a little way and Queensbridge Road is a big thoroughfare on your right (almost opposite the station).’
From The North
Leave the M1 at Junction 26 and take the A610 towards Nottingham and then signs for Melton Mowbray. Cross the River Trent and you will see the ground on your left. Alternatively, as you approach Nottingham on the A610 you will pick up signs for ‘football traffic’. Although following these seems to take you all around the outskirts of Nottingham you do eventually end up at the City Ground, along the A6011.
From The South
Leave the M1 at Junction 24 and take the A453 towards Nottingham. Then take the A52 East towards Grantham and then onto the A6011 into Nottingham. The ground is situated by the A6011.
Rowland Lee informs me; ‘There is an alternative route to the ground from the South; Leave the M1 at Junction 21a (Leicester East) and follow the A46 dual carriageway towards Newark. After around 20 miles take the A606 towards Nottingham. At the first roundabout that is the junction with the A52, take the 4th exit onto the A52, signposted towards Grantham. At the next roundabout turn left onto the A6011 towards Nottingham. The ground is about a mile down this road.
Park & Ride
If you would prefer not to drive into Nottingham centre, then there is a ‘Park and Ride’ scheme now in operation. If leaving the M1 at Junction 24 and following the A453 towards Nottingham, then the Clifton South Park & Ride site is clearly signposted. If coming in from the North and leaving the M1 at Junction 25 and following the A52 towards Nottingham, then the Totan Lane Park & Ride signposted off the first roundabout you reach. Parking is free and then you can take a tram to Nottingham Railway Station. If you show your matchday ticket then you can by a tram ticket for £2 return, otherwise it costs £3.50 return for Adults and Children £2. Please note that you need to purchase your ticket before getting on the tram. The journey time into Nottingham is 15 minutes and trams run every 10 minutes (or less) during the day and every 15 minutes in the evenings. The service runs until midnight (except Sundays when it is 11pm).
There is little parking available at the stadium itself for visiting supporters. There is some street parking to be had, especially in the roads near to the Meadow Lane ground across the river. Steve Barratt informs me; ‘regarding the parking at Forest, the council operate a car park on match days on the Victoria Embankment, located near to the cricket ground. They charge £5 but it is only a two minute walk to the stadium’. The council also provide parking at their Eastcroft depot (NG2 3AH) at £4 a car. The depot is a ten minute walk from the City Ground, located just off London Road (A60), opposite Hooters. The entrance is signposted with banners and is manned by security guards throughout the match. Martin Breslin informs me; ‘There is a relatively new, secure multi-storey car park at Nottingham Railway Station which offers match day parking at £5 all day on a Saturday, £3.50 on evenings (after 6pm). You enter the car park via Queens Road’. There is also the option of renting a private driveway near the City Ground via YourParkingSpace.co.uk.
Gerry Toms adds ‘bear in mind that as the one end of the ground backs onto the River Trent, you cannot drive around it, so it is probably best to park at first available opportunity, or you may find yourself crossing the River Trent and having to come back on yourself again’.
Steve Haynes a visiting Aston Villa fan informs me; ‘We parked at the East Midlands Parkway Railway Station (it has a large secure car park) which is just off Junction 24 of the M1. We then caught the train into Nottingham which took 16 minutes. I paid £5.10 for a park and ride ticket which included parking and a return ticket to Nottingham. After the game, a return train was easy to catch and of course the return to the M1 was completely traffic free. I certainly think this is a great option for people travelling up from the South’.
Post Code for SAT NAV: NG2 5FJ
Nottingham Railway Station is located one mile from the City Ground and takes around 20 minutes to walk. As you come out of the main station entrance, turn left and then left again. Follow the road down to the dual carriageway and then turn right. The ground is about 3/4’s of a mile down the dual carriageway on the left, just over Trent Bridge.
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:
Like a number of clubs, Nottingham Forest have a category system (A & B) whereby the more popular league games cost more to watch. Category A prices are shown below with Category B prices in brackets.
All areas of the stadium (except the Family area)*
Adults £26 (B £18)
Over 65’s £18 (B £12)
Under 18’s £14 (B £10)
Under 12’s £7 (B £5)
Adults £21 (B £15)
Over 65’s £16 (B £10)
Under 18’s £12 (B £8)
Under 12’s £6 (B £4)
* These prices are for tickets purchased in advance of matchday. Tickets bought on the day of the game can cost up to £2 more for Adults and Over 65’s.
Official Programme £3.
Blooming Forest Fanzine £1.
LTLF Fanzine £1.
Nottingham Forest vs Notts County rivalry: In the time it takes to boil and egg you can walk from Nottingham Forest’s stadium to the ground of Notts County; the two stadiums are separated by a literal stones throw so it’s surely no shock to anyone that the two don’t really get on. Sure, they haven’t met very often but in addition to being one of the closest local derbies in the English game, it’s also the oldest derby match on record.
Nottingham Forest vs Derby rivalry: The tag the East Midlands derby does not give this match the respect it deserves. It almost suggests the clubs hatred is centred on geography; that’s not the whole story though. Of course, coming from a similar area helps to build a rivalry but the real petrol on the fire was Brian Clough agreeing to manage Nottingham Forest; he’d already been Derby’s gaffer. They were livid. He’s far from the only man who has crossed the divide but none have hurt nearly as much.
Nottingham Forest vs Leicester rivalry: Nottingham Forest vs Leicester isn’t an East Midlands derby with the same level of dislike shown against Derby; they’re not a pretty day on the calendar though. Historically, both fanbases have been reported as kicking off; racism and assaults are just a couple of reasons Police have had to intervene in the fixture. The fact Leicester sit in a much loftier league position right now has lessened the rivalry banter.
49,946 v Manchester United
Division One, 28th October 1967.
Modern All Seated Attendance Record
30,227 v Derby County
Championship League, 14th September 2014
2019-2020: 27,724 (Championship League)
2018-2019: 28,144 (Championship League)
2017-2018: 24,680 (Championship League)
For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.