Bloomfield Road has undergone a total redevelopment over the last 10 years. The South stand was finally completed in March 2010 and with the completion of the temporary East stand in time for the start of the 2010/11 season, capacity has risen by as much as 40 percent since last season with a sell out now a modest 16,000. For a Premier League side, it still seems low but they're making positive moves in the right direction. North, West and South stands are connected and look very modern. Atmosphere shouldn't be hard to come by and acoustics within the stadium are excellent. Once the stadium is complete it'll be a tidy little place to visit. There is a new supporters bar under the Jimmy Armfield South Stand that's also worth a look.
Visiting supporters are situated in the Stan Mortenson North Stand behind one of the goals where 2,500 away fans can be accommodated. The stand has some decent facilities with good toilets and catering outlets. The leg room is ample as you would expect from a reasonably new build.
Bloomfield Road seating plan:
There are a number of pubs within 10 minutes walking distance of the ground. The Old Bridge Inn on Lytham Rd, the Swift Hound on the Odeon Cinema Complex or The Waterloo which is south of the ground are all very hospitable pubs. A short walk down Bloomfield Road, away from the seafront, will bring you to The Bloomfield, at the junction with Ansdell Road. Just along Bloomfield Road in the direction of the Promenade is The Old Bridge. A lively pub that allows away supporters in. Turn left at The Old Bridge and there is a Wetherspoons pub called The Auctioneer, near Blackpool South Station, with cheap beer and decent food. Joice's Plaice Fish and Chips (near Waterloo pub) has also been recommended.
There are three large car parks surrounding the stadium with the biggest of which believed to have been the largest football car park in Europe at one time, which should make parking very easy. It is however quite expensive to park in any of these and if you're trying to save the pennies then there is street parking, but you'll need to be prepared to walk 10 or so minutes in to the stadium unless you arrive early and find one of the few available in closer proximity. The town has fantastic rail and bus links with the main station for coaches next to the stadium making access to and from the ground very easy if you choose not to travel by car, or even if you choose to park further away.
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The nearest / closest train station to Blackpool's Bloomfield Road is Blackpool South, served by hourly trains between Colne and Preston, and is around ten minutes walk away from the ground. However, this is not a main line station and fewer trains stop here.
The main station in the town (and likely to be the one you arrive at) is Blackpool North. This is around two miles away and is about 20 minutes walk, which on a pleasant summers day is a lovely choice. Alternatively, buses run the route to the ground or it's only a short cab ride that should cost around about £4.50.
Rivals - Burnley, Preston
Travel: It was a straightforward journey on mostly motorway. The satnav picked up on an accident on the M6 so took a diversion so we were not delayed, I always check just park for away games to see if there was anything nearby, we parked on a drive less then 10 minutes away straightforward walk as we just followed the floodlights we could see.
Refreshments: The Blackpool Air Show was also on this weekend so we arrived early and walked to the seafront as the ground is very close. We ate in a beach side cafe and had the standard sausage and chips. The weather was sunny and the airshow kept us entertained.
Impressions: Three sides of the ground have no obstacles blocking the view. The remaining side has pillars at the front on nearly every block. As Blackpool are not well supported in the ground at the moment due to many of their fans not liking their owner, this was not a problem as this side was closed. The away end is the typical big open stand plenty of legroom and looks clean.
Atmosphere: Pompey came away with the away win, winning 2-1, all goals were in the second half. The first half was a scrappy affair but we started to dominate in the second period, making it 2-1 around the 80th minute, which made for a tense and nervous last 10 minutes. Blackpool had more fans outside the ground protesting so not much of an atmosphere from their fans, they did enjoy it when the Pompey fans started singing about their owners. The stewards were laid back and friendly. The away stand was unreserved seating which I never understand as your asking for trouble when the groups of fans turn up at 2.55 and can't find groups of seats together. Portsmouth took over 1600 fans so this caused some issues come kickoff. You never got this when the tickets have seat numbers in them so what are you gaining by making it unreserved?
Exit: A quick walk back to the car which then meant we could avoid the traffic around the ground, within 10 minutes of leaving back on the M55 and home in Portsmouth roughly four and a half hours later.
Enjoy: A great start to the away days season. Starting with one of the nicer grounds and got the result we wanted. All in all a hassle-free day.
Ground Name: Bloomfield Road
Capacity: 16,000 (all seated)
Address: Seasiders Way, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 6JJ
Main Tel No.: 0870 443 1953
Team Nickname: The Seasiders or The Tangerines
Year Ground Opened: 1899