11,676 (Reduced to 7,850 for football)
Newport, Gwent, NP19 0UU
112 x 72 yards
The Exiles or Ironsides
Amber and Black
The Club moved to Rodney Parade, the home of Newport and Newport Gwent Dragons Rugby Clubs at the beginning of the 2012/13 season after spending eighteen years at Newport Stadium. Situated on the East bank of the River Usk, the stadium has seen some recent investment with the opening of two new stands. On one side is the Bisley Stand that was opened in 2011. This covered all seated stand has a capacity of just over 2,500 seats. It is single tiered and incorporates 13 executive boxes, that run along the back of the stand. The roof is situated quite high up above the spectators area and incorporates a television gantry and pleasingly there are no supporting pillars to obstruct your view of the playing action. One unusual aspect of the stand is that the seats comprise a number of different colours, making for an eye-catching ‘polka dot’ effect. The stand has a row of four floodlight pylons protruding from its roof.
Opposite is the much older but classic looking Hazell Stand. This covered stand has seating to the rear (with windshields to either side) and terracing to the front. There is a row of thin supporting pillars running across the middle of this stand. It does not run the full length of the pitch and has a portion of open terracing on one side towards the North End. The team dugouts are situated at the front of this stand, to one side, near to the open terrace which is unused. It too has a set of four (rather older looking) floodlight pylons protruding from its roof. Beyond the stand, you can clearly see the supporting steelwork of the nearby bridge over the river Usk.
The North or Town End as it is also known was rebuilt in 2010. It is a small open terrace which is quite set-back from the playing area. As it is small and uncovered it allows some good views across the centre of Newport and to the rolling countryside behind. In one corner between the North Terrace and Bisley Stand, there is a separate structure, that incorporates corporate facilities, offices and club shop.
At the South is a small open temporary stand of seating, which is located on one side towards the Bisley Stand. This runs for only half the width of the pitch. Behind this area is a strange looking ‘double-decker’ type structure which I assume is used for corporate hospitality. On the other side in the corner is another strange looking building with a large pyramid shaped roof. This houses the dressing rooms and the teams come onto the pitch from this corner of the ground. There is an electric scoreboard mounted on the front of this building.
As Rodney Parade is first and foremost a rugby ground, then the playing area is very long, meaning that the football pitch area seems to have been dropped into the middle of it. This has resulted in quite large distances between the spectators at each end of the pitch and the goal line.
Away fans are mostly housed on one side of the Bisley Stand, where around 580 fans can be accommodated. This stand is all seated and covered and being a relatively new stand the facilities inside are good. The stand is shared with home supporters who are separated by a portion of green netting, draped over the seats. In addition, a small temporary block of open seating is also made available at the South End. This has a capacity of just over 400. As to be expected the seating in the Bisley Stand gives the better and more comfortable view of the game, but both areas share the same facilities. There is a food outlet just inside the ground by the turnstiles serving amongst other things; Bacon Cheeseburgers (£4.50), 1/4lb Cheeseburger (£4), 1/4 Beefburger, Rollover Hot Dogs (£3.50), Bacon Rolls (£3.50), a selection of Deep Fill Pies (£2.80), ‘Monster’ Pasties (£3.50) and Chips (£2.50).
The entrance Gate 6, to the away supporters section is at the opposite end of the stadium to the home areas and is accessed along Corporation Road (so no need to go through the main stadium entrance). It is poorly signposted and is literally a small pathway situated in-between some residential houses. There are a couple of blue poles that mark the entrance, but that is about it. Outside the turnstiles, there is a small cabin that serves as the away ticket office. I noticed that supporters were being searched on entry. Even though the stand is rather new, the entrance turnstiles looked to be almost museum pieces!
I found the visit to be an enjoyable one, with the stewards certainly taking a relaxed and friendly approach. The atmosphere was good emanating from all sides and I noted a drummer in the Hazell Stand where most of the vociferous Newport fans seemed to congregate. In the undercroft behind the Bisley Stand, there is a flat screen television mounted on a wall showing Sky Sports News.
There is a Clubhouse at the ground (inside the home main entrance) which admits away supporters. Next door to the clubhouse is a hot food area which was doing a steady trade on my visit. There is also a small Fan Zone, but this tends to be more for home supporters. Inside the away section there is also a Fan Zone facility which contains a bar serving draught beers.
Generally, the area around the ground is not particularly great, with the nearest pub, the Victoria Hotel on Corporation Road looking particularly uninviting. A little further along Corporation Road is the Excelsior Club which does allow in away fans, shows televised sports and is family friendly (see below). There is a Wetherspoon pub on Chepstow Road called the Godfrey Morgan. This spacious pub is only a 10 minute walk from the away turnstiles and for some unknown reason on my visit seemed to have few home fans in attendance. The pub has the added benefit that along Chepstow Road there are a number of food outlets including a couple of fish and chip shops and a Greggs Bakery. Otherwise, the city centre is a 10-15 minute walk away where there are plenty of pubs to be found including three more Wetherspoons outlets. Two of these the John Wallace Linton in Cambrian Road and the Queen’s Hotel in Bridge Street are located quite close to the railway station.
Neil Le Milliere recommends; ‘The Tiny Rebel in the High Street. It has an excellent choice of beers from the local brewery, excellent food, lots of room and a great value carry out for the train home! Also further along the High Street is a Sam Smiths pub called the Ye Olde Murenger. It is also worth a visit and has a great collection of football mugs’. Both these pubs are listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Neil also adds; ‘We’ve used the Lamb pub on Bridge Street in the town centre. It is both welcoming and serves great real ale’.
Derren Watkins a visiting Chelsea fan informs me; ‘I visited a micropub called Cellar Door which is situated close to the station in Clytha Park Road. It specialises in cider and was voted Wales top cider pub by CAMRA. There are also draught ales available and the owners Paul and Karen are very friendly along with their dog Cae. Away supporters are welcome’.
The Excelsior Club
Just a five minute walk away from the away turnstiles, is the Excelsior Club. Located on Corporation Road (with the entrance to the away section behind you, turn right and the Club is down on the left) the Club shows both BT and Sky Sports. It has the normal range of beer, cider and lager on draught at competitive prices, In addition, it has a good range of bottled ales and ciders. The Club is free to enter, is family friendly. It also has a pool table and a skittles alley. Coaches are able to drop off outside the Club entrance. The Club normally opens at 1pm on Saturdays and catering can be provided if pre-booked, 48 hours in advance. To arrange catering or to request that the Club opens on a particular Saturday earlier than 1pm then call Adrian on: 07913 067989, For general enquiries call the Club on 01633 262171.
From the North & East
Leave the M4 at Junction 24 (or from the A449 from Monmouth/Midlands) and take the B4237, signposted Newport (E). After approximately 2.5 five miles turn left at a set of traffic lights, signposted B4237 (there is also the George pub on a right hand corner). Go under a bridge and at the next set of traffic lights turn right into Corporation Road. After passing an ATS garage on your right, you will see the away supporters entrance on your left. For the stadium main entrance take the next left into Grafton Road.
From the West
Leave the M4 at Junction 26 and take the A4051 towards Newport. After going under a flyover (which is the A4042) you will reach a large roundabout where you take the 2nd exit keeping in the filter lane towards the City Centre/Railway Station (do not go up the adjoining slip road onto the A4042). At the next roundabout take the 1st exit going across the river onto the B4591 towards Maindee. At the traffic lights bear right onto Chepstow Road and then take the first right into Corporation Road. Take the next right into Grafton Road and the entrance is down on the left.
There is no parking available at the ground for supporters and there is a ‘residents only’ parking scheme in operation in the street around the stadium. However it is a bit of an odd scheme as far as I could see, as most nearby roads seemed to have parking restrictions on one side of the road only. In fact arriving two hours before kick off I was able to park across the road from the away entrance. So street parking is possible but please pay attention to any parking restriction signs. Alternatively you can use one of the city centre car parks which are around a 15 minute walk away.
Post Code for SAT NAV: NP19 0UU
Newport Railway Station is situated around a quarter of a mile away from the stadium and is a relatively short walk. The station is served by trains from London Paddington, Bristol Temple Meads & Birmingham New Street. As you come out of the main station entrance turn left along the main (Queensway) road. Follow this road until you reach a large roundabout. Take the pedestrian underpass down underneath the roundabout and at the centre turn left towards Clarence Place/River Usk. After you have come back up to street level you should see a bridge in front of you going across the river. Cross the bridge and then take the first right hand turn into Rodney Parade and the stadium is down this road on the left.
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:
With Newport County’s ground only being built in the nineties there are obvious questions that spring to mind about where the club were beforehand. On formation in 1912, they had their eyes on a stadium – Somerton Park – but issues prevented them playing their games there for some time hence their nickname of the Exiles. Eventually they moved in though and remained their until their move to Rodney Parade.
Bisley Stand: Adults £21, Over 60’s £17 Under 22’s £15, Under 16’s £9, Under 12’s £7, Under 6’s Free*
Hazell Stand (Terrace): Adults £19, Over 60’s £17 Under 22’s £13, Under 16’s £9, Under 12’s £7, Under 6’s Free*
North Terrace: Adults £17, Over 60’s/Under 22’s £13, Under 16’s £6, Under 6’s Free*
Bisley Stand: Adults £21, Over 60’s £17 Under 22’s £15, Under 16’s £9, Under 12’s £7, Under 6’s Free*
South Stand: Adults £17, Over 60’s/Under 22’s £13, Under 16’s £6, Under 6’s Free*
Home supporters are also able to purchase tickets online.
* Under 6’s are admitted free as long as they are accompanied by a full paying adult. Maximum two under six year olds per adult.
Official Programme: £3
Newport vs Cardiff Rivalry
Newport and Cardiff are two welsh cities separated by just a 20 minute drive; it’s hardly a surprise they’ve had some fiery meetings over the years. The two still clash – as evidenced in early 2022 as their fans met at a train station and fought – but Newport are a minnow compared to Cardiff so the fixtures are less frequent and, ultimately, don’t attract the same fanfare.
Newport vs Merthyr Tydfil rivalry
Newport and Merthyr Tydfil might be in different footballing places right now but with just 40 minutes between them in Wales, their games can still get pretty heated. If the two were on a more level playing field, it would really spike up.
9,836* v Tottenham Hotspur
FA Cup 4th Round, 27th January 2018
2019-2020: 3,867 (League Two)
2018-2019: 3,409 (League Two)
2017-2018: 3,489 (League Two)
* Additional temporary seating was erected at Rodney Parade for this match.
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: [email protected] and I’ll update the guide.
Thanks to Owen Pavey for providing the Rodney Parade stadium layout diagram
Thanks to Haydn Gleed for providing the YouTube video of Newport County AFC.