Hull City - The KC Stadium
They say that time is a great healer, but I still feel the hurt of last season as if it was yesterday. If I'm honest I don't think I'll ever get over it. I realise that I have to accept it but that hasn't helped during the Summer break and so off we start again in the Championship. 4 years ago it was excitement of the unknown, our first time back after almost 30 years, this time the onus is on us. We've lost most of the key players but the expectation is higher. SKY loved us so much last season, goals galore, and as a result we've been chosen to kick off the English season in front of a watching nation. It's a long old slog and as opening games go it couldn't be much tougher. Time for Holloway to wave his tangerine wand, and take us on our annual ride which makes us love the game so much.
Designed by the Miller Partnership, the ground has a capacity of 25,586.
It is designed as a single tier, asymmetrical bowl of approximately 20,000 seats with a second upper tier to the West Stand of over 5,000 seats.
Future expansion of the ground is possible to raise the capacity to 30,000.
Also incorporated in the Stadium complex is a 1,500 seat Sports Arena, two multi-use all weather pitches, and a community learning zone (run by Hull College), complete with classrooms, health & fitness suite, cyber café and library. The Council's Sports Development department is also located at the Stadium.
The total project cost was approximately £44 million.
Construction of the Stadium took 14 months to complete, and was opened on the 18th December 2002 with a friendly v Sunderland.
Approximately 3225 tonnes of steel was used in the construction added to by 6469 cubic metres of concrete.
The grass is 100% natural, comprised of 90% sand and 10% loam. It also has 3% additive of man-made fibre. The fibre is woven into the roots of the grass and goes down 200mm. If threaded together, these fibres would circle the globe!
The pitch has an automatic irrigation system as well as under pitch heating.
When the temperature drops to below 4°c under soil heating provides enough heat to raise the temperature to a minimum of 9°c. On construction, water porosity of the pitch at source was 25-30mm per hour. There are 22 miles of under soil heating pipes.
The Stadium includes 2,000 square feet of conference and exhibition space, which caters for private or corporate functions. This corporate accommodation includes 28 executive boxes, a restaurant overlooking the pitch, 4 banqueting/hospitality suites and a Sports Bar. Over 140 'off field` events are held every month.
The Stadium caters for over 2,000 corporate guests on match days.
Between events, overnight changes need to be made to the Stadium. These include pitch markings, posts and stadium cleaning. The target evacuation time for the entire Stadium at full capacity is 8 minutes. A generator of 600KVA supplies enough power to evacuate the stadium safely if a power cut occurs.
The floodlights at the Stadium are 1200 lux, compared to 274 lux at Hull City's old ground, Boothferry Park, and 250 lux at Hull FC's old ground, the Boulevard.
The Stadium has a total of 57 CCTV cameras. A computerised turnstile monitoring system linked into the control room, keeps check on how many people are entering each stand.
We'll be in the NE corner, room for 4000; expect around the 1000 to make the trip.
They've come a long way since Boothferry had it's gates firmly closed.
How To Get There
M55, M6 South to J30 then join the M61. M60 towards the M62 signposted Bury / Leeds. Stay on the M62 until it becomes the A63. Continue on the A63 under the Humber Bridge. The road continues into the A63 Clive Sullivan Way.
Continue along Clive Sullivan Way. Turn off onto the slip road just before the fly-over, sign posted 'Local Traffic/Infirmary` and for KC Stadium. At the roundabout, take the second exit 'Rawling Way'. At the next main set of traffic lights (and with the Hospital in front of you), take a left turn onto A1105 Anlaby Road. Continue over the fly-over. At the foot of the fly-over, take a left turn into Walliker Street.
Once on Walliker Street, take the next immediate left turn onto Carnegie Street, and then another left turn onto Perry Street. Follow Perry Street around and under the flyover. Once under the flyover, take a right turn and the grounds car parks are located in front of you. Alternatively at the foot of the flyover take a right turn into Walton Street. The Walton Street car park is located just over half way down this street after the ground.
Sat Navvers - HU3 6HU
For The Virgin Lovers Amongst Us - Paragon Station is about a mile away with well sign posted footpaths leading to the ground.
For those flying via Samm Airways - Brough Aerodrome is about 18 miles away.
Where To Drink
The Brickmakers pub virtually opposite the ground car park entrance is now open to away fans. There is the nearby Walton Street Social Club that lets in away supporters, as does the 3 Crowns. For the social club, turn right out of the main car park entrance and it is down the road on the left hand side.
There are a number of other pubs within a few minutes walk of the ground, but these are all designated as being for home supporters only. Most Hull fans still seem to be heading for pubs situated around Boothferry Park. Avoid the Silver Cod pub. A 15 minute walk up Walton Street, is the Avenues pub on Chanterlands Avenue, that welcomes both home and away supporters.
Ale will be on sale within the ground
Plod & Stewards
I'm sure the Humbersidian plod think Blackpool fans personally started the miners strike, there's never a smiling face amongst them. Stewards - you'll do well to find any as bad anywhere else. Prepare to be goaded by the home fans, think about answering back and you'll be out.
Fear Factor Rating - 6. A trip to 'Ull was / can be an eventful one.
Here we go again sang Dolly Parton, but for a change we are not opening up away at Bristol. Hull will be a test, and a sighter early doors for our life without. Players come and go, fans stay around. Not quite the glamour of Wigun away on the opening day last season, but here's hoping come 10pm that a watching nation are listening to the travelling faithful singing out loud - "Hello, Hello, Blackpool are back", hopefully just for the one season.
Onwards + Upwards