Portman Road is a football stadium in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, which has been the home ground of Ipswich Town F.C. since 1884. The stadium has also hosted many England youth international matches, and one senior England friendly international match, against Croatia in 2003. It staged several other sporting events, including athletics meetings and international hockey matches, musical concerts and Christian events.
The stadium underwent significant redevelopments in the early 2000s, which increased the capacity from 22,600 to a current figure of 30,311, making it the largest-capacity football ground in East Anglia.
Portman Road has a current capacity of 30,311 after redevelopment in the early 2000's of both North and South stands. In the past ten years, statues of both Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson have been unveiled outside the stadium. The North Stand was renamed in honour of former manager Bobby Robson before a game with Newcastle United in September 2009. There are very few bad seats in the house and there's generally a very good atmosphere.
As is the case with most grounds that were built over a hundred years ago, Portman Road is very much built in the classic ‘English style’ of having four distinct stands on each side of the pitch. Most of the ground is two-tiered with the exception of The East Of England Co-Operative Stand, which has three tiers.
The Sir Bobby Robson Stand - Named after a former club icon and entirely rebuilt in 2001, this stand has two tiers that can house 7500 fans between them.
The Cobbold Stand - Originally called The Portman Stand and running the length of the side of the pitch, this stand houses both home and away supporters across its two tiers.
The Sir Alf Ramsey Stand - Named after another club icon, this two-tiered stand is behind the Southern goal and was named after their former manager in 2012.
The East Of England Co-Operative Stand - The only three-tiered stand in the ground, this one is also the stand that houses the executive boxes, dug-outs and dressing room.
Up to 1,900 visiting supporters can be catered for and are allocated one side of the upper tier of the Cobbold Stand at one side of the pitch. Facilities are very good and the food is what you'd expect to find with the usual burgers, hot dogs, pies and chips at reasonable prices.
For away fans, the choice of drinking establishments is very limited. The station hotel between the train station and the ground is as good a bet as you're likely to find. In the town centre, there are many more to choose from but probably still best to keep club colours hidden until you leave.
In the town centre there's a wide array of fast-food outlets such as McDonalds and Burger King along with a few nice Chinese and Italian restaurants for those wanting something more substantial.
There are three pay and display parks along Portman Road with a total of approximately 800 spaces. However, early arrival is recommended to ensure a space as street parking is very limited in the surrounding areas.
On-street parking near the ground is something of a no-no owing to the parking restrictions in place there. The fact that the ground is really close to the city centre, however, means that there are loads of good pay and display and public parking options around the place.
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