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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Charlton Guide to QPR!

Charlton Official Site - Date: Sat 22 Nov 2008. Ian Cartwright reports Ian Cartwright's away guide to QPR
- Our second midweek trip across London this season sees us take on Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road on Tuesday (8pm) - in what will be Phil Parkinson's first game in temporary charge of the Addicks.
- Tickets are currently on general sale and we have been allocated 1,500 seats for the clash.
- These are located in the upper tier of the School End at Loftus Road and are priced £30 adults, £20 over 60s and U21s, Rangers magnanimously climbing down from their previous pricing strategy which could have seen us paying £10 more before pressure from the entire nation forced them to change tack.
- Rangers have advised that any supporters purchasing a ticket whom they believe to be aged from 16 to 20 must be able to prove their age at the turnstiles. If proof of age cannot be supplied, and QPR believe the may be aged over 21, fans will be refused admission. Whether Bernie Ecclestone has to prove his age or not is open to question...
- The Addicks have two wheelchair spaces, which are priced £15 (including a free helper). It seems unlikely any more seats (which would have been in the lower tier) will be required by the travelling Valley faithful, but it's still quite fortunate that Rangers opt to allocate the upper tier first, as this does offer the superior view.
- However, the goal at our end and the goal-line are difficult to see fully, if at all, from a number of seats. This is better, though, than having about 50 per cent of the pitch obscured by the goal itself, as is the case in the lower tier.
- Bizarrely, although you are in the upper tier, you still feel quite close to the pitch and the view - apart from the problems mentioned earlier - is not all bad in most places, although the leg-room is a little on the small side.
- Away fans are a bit close to some Rangers fans who give a bit of banter, but this is normally good natured.
- For the upper tier, you enter the ground on the turnstiles on Ellerslie Road (it has been for the last couple of visits, anyway, but has been known to suddenly change).
- The turnstile operators at Loftus Road have always been notoriously slow and a night game will no doubt accentuate this, while there is normally a large police presence. Given it's a night game, and will be dark, be careful where you tread!
- The concourses are nothing special and the toilet queue can get quite long and confused with the queue to the catering outlets.
- Similarly to Watford and Sheffield Wednesday, there are signs advertising well known brands of lager, but you cannot actually buy the stuff. The food is the usual fare, although last season they ran out as the alcohol-deprived Addicks fans decided that they may as well eat as no beer was available.
- Should you fancy a pint, then the Springbok by the ground is now home only, so that's off the list. The best place to therefore head for is probably Shepherds Bush Green, which has a Wetherspoons, Walkabout and a couple of others. Goldhawk Road is also a good bet as that has plenty of places and Guinness connoisseurs will feel particularly at home.
- As with all London games - particularly in the evening - I would strongly recommend public transport, especially given that three tube stations are within walking distance of the ground.
- I won't recommend routes across London by car as no doubt individuals have their own preferences, however in terms of parking there is an industrial estate on Ariel Way opposite BBC Television Centre that does offer a car park facility, but this is quite dear, so street parking around this area may be a better bet. Furthermore, beware an infamous residents' only scheme in the proximity of the stadium. Charlton

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