Portman Road – Ipswich Town

30,311 (all seated)
Portman Road, Ipswich, IP1 2DA
01473 400 500
01473 400 040
Ticket Office:
03330 050503
Pitch Size:
112 x 70 yards
Pitch Type:
Club Nickname:
Blues or Tractor Boys
Year Ground Opened:
Undersoil Heating:
Shirt Sponsors:
Magical Vegas
Home Kit:
Blue and White
Away Kit:
Burgundy and Blue

The overall look of the ground has greatly improved, with the re-development of both ends. Both these ends, the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand and the Sir Bobby Robson Stand, are similar in appearance and size and dwarf the smaller older stands, located on each side of the ground. Unusually, both ends have a larger upper tier which overhangs slightly the smaller lower tier. Both have windshields to either side of the upper tier and they are completed, with some spectacular floodlights perched on their roofs. They were both fully opened a year apart in 2001 & 2002.

Both sides are much older stands and now look quite tired in comparison. On one side, the fair sized East of England Co-operative Stand Stand is a three-tiered covered stand, with a row of executive boxes running across its middle. This stand was originally opened in 1957 and was then known as the West Stand. In 1984 an additional tier was added along with a new roof. Opposite is the smaller Cobbold Stand. Again it is two tiered and has a row of executive boxes. However, it is only partly covered, with the small lower tier of seating being open to the elements. This stand which was first opened in 1971 and was originally called the Portman Stand. It was later renamed the Cobbold Stand in respect of the Cobbold family who were former owners of the club and old Suffolk brewers Tolly-Cobbold. Unusually the teams emerge onto the field from one corner of the ground between the Sir Alf Ramsey and East of England Co-op Stands. Outside are two statues of two former Ipswich and England managers. One is of World Cup winner Sir Alf Ramsey and is located on the corner between the Cobbold and Sir Bobby Robson Stand, while Sir Bobby Robson’s statue is placed behind the Cobbold stand in Portman Road.

Ipswich might be under new ownership but there is very little talk about drastic stadium changes. What has been made public knowledge is that the ground will be spruced up a lot. Already the Cobbold Stand has seen artwork added to tell the story of the club history with a nod to legends added on the exterior. A big screen is planned for next summer when the pitch is also being replaced. Safe standing is also under consideration.

Away fans are placed on one side of the upper tier of the Cobbold Stand at one side of the pitch, where up to 1,900 away supporters can be accommodated. Turnstiles open 90 minutes before kick off and fans are searched on entry (please note that bags larger than 40 x 40 x 10cms are not allowed). Generally, the views from the Cobbold Stand are generally fine. However at the very back of the stand, there are some supporting pillars and the roof dips quite sharply restricting your view of the other sides of the stadium, but not the pitch. The leg room is rather cramped and as with the rest of the stand, the facilities are beginning to show their age. On the plus side, away fans can really make some noise from this area, contributing to a good atmosphere. Stewarding was fairly strict, with fans at the front of the upper tier, were being asked to keep seated (whilst those at the back were allowed to stand) and on my last visit a few fans were ejected for smoking (okay they should have known better, but a warning first would have been fairer in my book). The stand also has one of the poshest gents toilets that I have visited at a football ground (this was one of the two toilet blocks on the upper concourse). They wouldn’t have looked out of place at a hotel.

I have always found this to be a friendly place and pleasurable day out, even though I’ve never seen my team win there! I even on one occasion got accosted by some Ipswich fans, whilst coming out of the railway station and ended up accompanying them on a pub crawl before the game. Overall Portman Road is a good day out.

Ipswich started their life out at Broomhill Park but moved into Portman Road in 1884, six years after being formed. Six years after that Ipswich became one of the first sides to use nets in their goals. That was several years before the first stand was erected at Portman Road; that development came in 1906 with the Ipswich Witches – a speedway team – buying the stand some 65 years later. A second ground was built in 1928 with the club still an amateur outfit. Eight years later the club went pro and within 12 months terracing was added behind both goals to give the Ipswich stadium a total of four stands. Revamps took place throughout the fifties and sixties but without being wholesale changes. 1971 saw a big upgrade though; a double storey stand was built taking the ground’s capacity towards the 40,000 mark.

The next few changes were very much ‘tart ups’; executive boxes were added, seats were upgraded and then, after the release of new safety information, the capacity was reduced to around 34k. The changes to regulations cut that to 22k in the early nineties. There have been two further notable redevelopments of Portman Road but both have coincided with a drop off on the pitch. In 1983, a £1.3m deal saw the Pioneer Stand born but it proved so costly that the club had to cash in on assets. Then in the early 2000s the club went big to increase their capacity by 36% by redeveloping both the north and south stands. It cost a whopping £22m and the completion landed as Town crashed out of the Premier League.

The main away supporters pub is the Riverside (Station) Hotel, which as the name suggests, backs onto a river and is located close to the railway station which is only a five minute walk away from Portman Road. Otherwise, the Punch & Judy pub on Cardinal Park, which is close to the ground has also been recommended to me as a pub which is family orientated and where both sets of fans can enjoy a drink.

If you arrive in good time then you can take the walk into the town centre where there are plenty of pubs to be found. Of particular note is the Lord Nelson in Fore Street, which is an interesting pub that sells Adnams beers. Also, there is the Dove Street Inn on St Helens Street which is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide which has up to 20 real ales and ciders on tap.

Liam Burgess adds; ‘The waterfront area has recently been re-developed and has a number of bars and restaurants. This is visible from the train station and is a 10 minute walk from the ground. The Isaac Lord on the quay is a local favourite and serves various real ales. Directions from the railway station: walk straight over the bridge as you come out of the station, turn right at the Royal Mail sorting office and literally walk in a straight line for five minutes or so going past Cardinal Park to reach the Waterfront area.

Otherwise alcohol is on sale inside the ground. Please note though that alcohol is not available to away fans at half time.

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Follow the A14 around Ipswich from which the ground is well signposted. The official route takes you from the A14 onto the A1214 into Ipswich. I though prefer to leave at the next junction and take the A137. Stay straight on this road straight into Ipswich and as you cross the bridge over the river, stay in the left-hand lane (marked town centre). Once over the river turn left at the roundabout (signposted Colchester/Bury St Edmunds) passing the Punch & Judy pub on your right.  Continue along this road as it bends to the left into Commercial Road, you should be able to see the Portman Road floodlights over to your right. Move into the right-hand filter lane (marked town centre) and continue to follow the road around to the right. As you reach Fitness First/Staples move over to the left-hand lane and at the traffic lights turn left into Princes Road. Take the next left into Portman Road itself for the ground.

As the Portman Road ground is located near to the town centre there is very little free street parking. Along Portman Road, there are three Pay & Display car parks which cost £4 for four hours on Saturdays. For evening games it is less as these car parks cost only £1 after 3 pm. On my last visit, I parked in one of these car parks and was pleasantly surprised at the end of the game that it didn’t take too long to getaway. There are a number of other car parks located in the town centre which are signposted, plus there is an NCP multi-storey car park located right next to Ipswich Railway Station, which costs £2.70 on both Saturday afternoons and weekday evenings. Also nearby on West End Road is a large open ‘pay and display’ car park which costs £4 for four hours or again just £1 on weekday evenings. David Johnson adds; ‘A reasonable alternative to parking in the centre of town and avoiding a slow exit, is to use one of the Park and Rides, in our case the London Road Park & Ride (just off the A14/A12 junction).  The cost on a Saturday was only £2.50 and the bus drops you off a five-minute walk from the ground.  Some Ipswich fans also use this method so it is easy to know when to get off’. There is also the option of renting a private driveway near Portman Road via YourParkingSpace.co.uk.

Post Code for SAT NAV: IP1 2DA

Portman Road is only a quarter of a mile away from Ipswich Railway Station and is only a five minute walk away. You will see the Portman Road floodlights in the distance as your train comes into the station. Ipswich is served by trains from London Liverpool Street and Peterborough.

Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:

Home Fans

Cobbold Stand
Upper Premium Seats: Adults £52 Over 65’s £46, Under 23’s £45, Under 19’s £38
Upper Centre: Adults £35 Over 65’s £24, Under 23’s £15, Under 19’s £8
Upper Wings:
Adults £30 Over 65’s £22, Under 23’s £15, Under 19’s £8, Under 12’s £3 (in Family Area)
Lower Tier:
Adults £25 Over 65’s £18, Under 23’s £15, Under 19’s £8, Under 12’s £3 (in Family Area)

East of England Co-operative Stand 
Upper Premium Seats: Adults £40 Over 65’s £25, Under 19’s £24, Under 19’s £20
Upper Centre: Adults £35 Over 65’s £24, Under 23’s £15, Under 19’s £8
Upper Wings:
Adults £30 Over 65’s £22, Under 23’s £15, Under 19’s £8, Under 12’s £3 (in Family Area)
Lower Tier:
Adults £25 Over 65’s £18, Under 23’s £15, Under 19’s £8, Under 12’s £3 (in Family Area)

Sir Alf Ramsey Stand 
Premium Seats: Adults £43 Over 65’s £32, Under 23’s £31, Under 19’s £20
Upper Tier:
Adults £30 Over 65’s £22, Under 23’s £15, Under 19’s £8, Under 12’s £3 (in Family Area)
Lower Tier:
Adults £25 Over 65’s £18, Under 23’s £15, Under 19’s £8, Under 12’s £3 (in Family Area)

Sir Bobby Robson Stand
Upper Tier:
Adults £30 Over 65’s £22, Under 23’s £15, Under 19’s £8, Under 12’s £3 (in Family Area)
Lower Tier:
Adults £25 Over 65’s £18, Under 23’s £15, Under 19’s £8, Under 12’s £3 (in Family Area)

Away Fans
Cobbold Stand (Upper Wings): Adults £30 Over 65’s £22, Under 23’s £15, Under 19’s £8
Cobbold Stand (Lower Tier): Adults £25 Over 65’s £18, Under 23’s £15, Under 19’s £8

Please note that Under 5’s are not allowed in the stadium lower tiers.

Official Programme: £3.50

Ipswich vs Norwich rivalry: Ipswich are the only football team of note in Suffolk but do hold a strong rivalry with their Norfolk neighbours, Norwich. Although the Blues are the much more decorated of the two clubs, they have spent a lot of time in the same divisions over the years hence the dislike.

Ipswich vs Colchester: The Ipswich stadium, Portman Road, is only 20 minutes away from Colchester United’s ground with the journey a brief slip up the A12. The Essex club have almost been a feeder for Ipswich at time with Ipswich taking their top talents and best managers over the years. As such, it is perhaps little surprise that Colchester hate Ipswich much more than Ipswich care about their fortunes.

Ipswich Town fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the
Level Playing Field website.

Record Attendance

38,010 v Leeds United
FA Cup 6th Round, 8th March 1975.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record:
30,152 v Norwich City
Division One, 21st December 2003.

Average Attendance
2019-2020: 19,549 (League One)
2018-2019: 17,765 (Championship League)
2017-2018: 16,272 (Championship League)

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: [email protected] and I’ll update the guide.