Fratton Park has an all seated capacity of just over 20,000 and have been Portsmouth's home since 1899. The more vociferous fans tend to be found in the Fratton End, behind one of the goals. This stand is the only one of the 4 that offers unobstructed views throughout. Both the North and South Stands are very old and tired looking two tiered affairs with a number of pillars across the middle of both stands. There are two supporting pillars in the Milton End but both toward the centre of the stand so views are generally ok from here.
Visiting supporters are situated on the north stand side of the Milton end behind one of the goals where approximately 2,100 fans can be accommodated. The new roof over the stand means that travelling fans are able to make a lot more noise than they used to. The views are generally very good although there are supporting pillars that may impede your view of the action slightly. Facilities are generally very good and not over priced whilst leg room is rather tight.
Fratton Park seating plan:
Away fans are given a warm welcome in the Connaught Arms. This pub is located on the intersection with Penhale Road and Guildford Road about a ten minute walk from Fratton Station. Take the exit from Platform 1 at Fratton Station. Take a left turn facing North. Take the first right then first right again into Walmer Road. Take the second left down Walmer Road after about 200m, into Guildford Road. The Connaught is on the right after another 200m or so opposite a newsagent. The beer is excellent and the pasties are definitely worth a try.
There's a McDonalds and a KFC behind the Fratton End, between the ground and B&Q. If you fancy a curry, head for the Albert Rd area of Southsea, near the Kings Theatre, an old 'Matcham' theatre, currently being renovated. There are many pubs and curry houses to choose from in the area.
Parking is available along nearby roads with the best bet being the A2030. If you arrive early enough you'll get a space near to the ground and an easy get away for afterwards. Even if you're only getting to the area about half an hour before kick off you'll still have time to find a space and make the walk into the stadium.
Also along the A2030 you'll find a couple of secure private car parks charging approximately £5 per car. There are a few of these in the local area that charge varying rates so if that's your port of call, cherry pick the safest looking and best priced.
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The nearest / closest train station to Portsmouth's Fratton Park Stadium is Fratton. Come up off the platform onto the footbridge and turn left, you will see Fratton Park to your left behind B&Q.
Turn left off the footbridge along Goldsmith Avenue, with the railway on your left. After a few minutes walk you will see the ground. The away end, the Milton End, is the far end of the ground.
Rivals - Southampton
Travel: We left Kent at about 10.30am and made the journey via the M25 and A3 to Portsmouth, taking around two hours. We parked on a side road near the ground and found plenty of possible roads to park in, though we did arrive two and a half hours before kick off.
Refreshments: On our drive in we passed the Good Companion pub, where our friends had erected a large Gillingham flag so we went in there for a pint. Because of this there were only a handful of home fans present. There was a good atmosphere but I was disappointed that there were no local ales to sample, something I like to do at away grounds. We left at around 2pm for the ground and the walk was quick (ten minutes) to Fratton Park.
Impressions: Fratton Park oozes character and has an old fashioned charm. Rather like our own ground, it is situated in a residential area and we were greeted to a brass band as we approached the away end! One thing that Pompey must be complemented was their organisation. On passing the band there were clear signs to the turnstiles, we could buy the excellent match day programme from a seller while in the queue and then as soon as you are in you have toilets there. Rather unusually, there are two, one above the other, as you walk up the stairs to the stand. The Away End (Milton End) generates a great atmosphere although there are two supporting pillars obscure the view slightly. However, each stand is different and has its own individual character with the Fratton End opposite particularly impressive.
Atmosphere: It was memorable for Gillingham, as we left 3-1 winners. However being 1-0 down at half time was not good and neither was our performance. But Steve Lovell’s side have an enormous heart and were brilliant in the second half, scoring three excellent goals to win. The stewarding was relaxed though there was a large presence for the 1,500 Gills fans, but no trouble ever ensued. But one of the drawbacks of the old stadium was the long queue for the toilets at half time, with stewards not redirecting fans to the ‘bottom’ toilet we passed on our way in. Finally, the Steak and Ale pie deserves an honourable mention. Though a little pricey at £3.50 it had flavour and the pastry was particularly nice. My friend had the Chicken Balti and had similar observations.
Exit: Easy. A quick walk through residential streets back to the car, and then onto the main roads to the M27. Though the one-sided scoreline did prompt a considerable exodus of home fans before the final whistle which may have eased traffic by the time we left.
Enjoy: Fantastic. One of my favourite away days in a long time. Notwithstanding the three points, we returned to Kent with, I’d recommend Fratton Park to all away fans. The stadium has atmosphere and character, it is easily accessible by car or train with good pubs nearby and good food inside the ground. With attendances pushing 20,000 it is certainly a big game at League One and worth a visit.
Ground Name: Fratton Park
Capacity: 20,288 (all seated)
Address: Frogmore Road, Portsmouth, PO4 8RA
Main Tel No.: 02392 731204
Team Nickname: Pompey
Year Ground Opened: 1898