On Saturday 31 st March Pompey supporters will be travelling to Walsall FC’s Banks’s Stadium, Bescot Crescent, Walsall, WS1 4SA.
The Saddlers moved to the Banks’s Stadium [originally known as the Bescot] in August 1990 from their original home of Fellows Park. The stadium has a capacity of 11,300 all seated and Blues fans will be in the University of Wolverhampton Stand behind one goal.
The Club shop is located in the HomeServe Stand.
Anyone wanting to take a flag or banner into the ground is asked to email [email protected] for prior consent.
According to the Walsall FC website, only food or drink purchased from the Banks’s Stadium may be consumed in the ground. Walsall FC’s ground regulations state they do not allow supporters to take their own food or drink into the ground and any food being taken in is likely to be confiscated by stewards. I have clarified this with the Walsall safety officer and he confirmed that a small pack of sandwiches will be accepted but not something like a McDonalds or fish and chips.
Getting to Banks’s Stadium
The Banks’s Stadium is located right next to the M6 motorway, in fact you can see it from the motorway just north of the RAC Control Centre. Unfortunately this stretch of the motorway usually has a large traffic jam on a Saturday lunchtime, so allow plenty of time.
Leave the M6 at Junction 7 and take the A34 towards Walsall [beware of the speed cameras on this stretch of the dual carriageway]. At the end of the dual carriageway turn left at the Bell Inn pub into Walstead Road, signposted Bescot Stadium, Bescot Station Park & Ride. Continue straight on this road for two miles, passing another pub called the Tiger on your left. You will come to the Bescot Stadium and the entrance to the away end on your right.
Parking for visiting supporters is available at the ground, behind the away stand at a cost of £4. The entrance to this car park is off Bescot Crescent next to the Park Inn Hotel and is signposted Blue Zone. There is also parking at the nearby Bescot Stadium Station at a cost of £2. Please note that the Green Zone parking will be locked two hours after the final whistle and any cars left in the car park will be locked in. Alternately there is some street parking to be found off Wallowes Lane.
The Banks’s Stadium has its own railway station, called Bescot Stadium, which is situated behind the away end, a few minutes walk from the ground. Trains run there regularly from Birmingham New Street and the journey time from Birmingham is usually around twenty minutes. Unfortunately on Saturday 31st part of the journey, from Tame Bridge Parkway to Bescot Stadium, will be by replacement bus, so allow extra time.
Trains run regularly to Birmingham New Street from London Euston and the journey will take about ninety minutes. Alternately it is worth checking trains from London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street, as this is often a cheaper option. The journey will take just under two hours and it is a short walk, which will be signposted, to Birmingham New Street station for onward travel to Bescot Stadium Station.
NB: South Western Railway has scheduled industrial action from Friday 30th March to Monday 2nd April which may affect the Portsmouth to London Waterloo trains. You can check any disruption on http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk.
Where to eat and drink
Subject to space, Pompey supporters will be welcome in the Saddlers Club just outside the stadium, there is an entry charge of £2. The club opens at 13.30. There is a screen showing Sky Sports News and food such as pies and burgers on sale.
The nearby King George V pub, Wallows Lane, Walsall, WS2 9BZ, about fifteen minutes walk from the ground opposite the Morrisons Supermarket, will also welcome Pompey supporters and serves food. From the ground, walk out of the official car parks and down towards McDonalds. Pass McDonalds on
your right and take a left turn into Wallowes Lane. At the end of the lane, turn left on to the main road and the pub is setback on the left.
The Park Inn Hotel, Bescot Crescent, Walsall, WS1 4SE has a bar that admits football supporters and shows Sky Sports.
In the concourse at the ground there are screens showing live football and alcohol will be on sale as well as the usual choice of pies and pasties.