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(Queens Park Rangers)
Address: South Africa Road,
Capacity: 18,439 (All-Seater)
Best piece of advice I can give for here. Stay clear of the Paddocks if rain's expected.
More commonly known as Loftus Road after the street that runs past its eastern side, the stadium’s naming rights had previously been gifted to The Kiyan Prince Foundation.
The charity was set up to honour Kiyan Prince, a talented former Queens Park Rangers youth team player who was fatally stabbed on 18th May 2006, passing away just hours later at the age of only 15.
The charity was formed by Kiyan Prince’s farther in early 2007, and on 7th June 2019, Loftus Road’s name was changed to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium following a vote by fans.
The ground dates back to 1904, when it was then used by an amateur team called Shepherd’s Bush Football Club until 1915 when the club disbanded. Queens Park Rangers Football Club moved into the ground in 1917 after their former home at Park Royal was commandeered by the army during the First World War.
QPR would remain at Loftus Road until the beginning of the 1931-32 season when they moved to the nearby White City Stadium that had originally been built for the 1908 Summer Olympics. Following a large financial loss however, QPR were back at Loftus Road by the start of the 1933-34 season.
Work continued to be done on the stadium over the following decades, though Queens Park Rangers did once again try the move to White City Stadium in 1962, once again proving unsuccessful. QPR were back at Loftus Road in 1963 and have remained here ever since.
Notable work done to the stadium in the past including the installation of an artificial pitch in 1981, making QPR the first club in British professional football to have such a surface installed. It proved unpopular though, and was removed in 1988 following new legislations. It became an all-seater venue in 1994.
Alongside Queens Park Rangers, the stadium was home to rugby union side Wasps between 1996 and 2002 (who now play at the Coventry Building Society Arena in Coventry). Fulham Football Club paid QPR £1 million as part of a groundshare agreement between 2002 and 2004 whilst Fulham’s home Craven Cottage was being redeveloped, and in 2020 AFC Wimbledon played the first four home games of their 2020-21 season at Loftus Road whilst they waited for their new Plough Lane Stadium to open.
Location and Getting There
Loftus Road is packed tightly into the White City district, around five miles west of the centre of London. Television Centre, which was the headquarters of the BBC between 1960 and 2013, is located less than 0.2 miles east of the stadium, Hammersmith Hospital is little more than 0.5 miles away to the north, and the River Thames at its closest point is 1.3 miles away to the south.
As with all London grounds, I would not recommend coming here by car.
Whilst there are an abundance of residential streets surrounding the stadium, finding free parking here is very difficult, and the paid parking bays can be very expensive for just a few hours of parking. Police additionally close off South Africa Road to the north of the stadium both before kick-off and after full-time, and this could really delay your journey to and from the ground if you are coming by the ground.
Coming to Loftus Road by public transport is much more practical.
The nearest railway station to the ground is Shepherd’s Bush, served by the Overground and Southern Rail and located little more than 20 minutes walk to the southeast.
Underground services can get you even closer to the stadium. White City, served by the Central Line, is less than 10 minutes walk to the east whilst Wood Lane, served by both the Circle Line and Hammersmith and City Line, is a little over 10 minutes walk to the east.
Shepherd’s Bush Station also has an underground stop that is on the same line as White City.
Outside the Stadium
With the ground tightly packed into the surrounding area, it is only possible to walk completely along one side of Loftus Road. That side in question is the stadium’s northern side, known as the South Africa Road Stand after that street that passes alongside it.
The exterior of this stand admittedly looks quite worn, with white concrete towards the centre and blue corrugated iron at either end. The upper parts of this exterior in truth look more like an office building than the outside of a football stadium.
At the bottom of the stand along its base is the entrance to the Main Reception and Club Offices as well as the Box Office. The Queens Park Rangers Superstore and Matchday Ticket Collection Point is further down South Africa Road in the stadium’s northwest corner.
Turnstiles for the South Africa Road Stand itself can be found all the way along the blue base.
To get round from the northern side to the eastern side of Loftus Road, you can walk along a footpath next to the stadiums’ northeast corner that takes you between two blocks of flats and onto a road known as Batman Close. From there, you turn right and onto the street called Loftus Road. Behind the row of houses on your right side is the stadium’s East Stand, which Is better known as the Loftus Road Stand.
Because of the row of houses directly in front of it, you are only able to see part of the stand’s blue corrugated iron exterior, and that is through the opening between the houses which leads to the turnstiles directly inside.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This entrance off Loftus Road is only for the lower tier of the Loftus Road Stand. The entrance to the upper tier of the Loftus Road Stand can be found in the stadium’s northeast corner and can only be accessed off South Africa Road on the northern side of the ground. Be sure to check your matchday ticket so that you know for sure whether you are in the upper tier of the Loftus Road Stand or the lower tier.
The South Stand of Loftus Road is known as the Ellerslie Road Stand after the street that passes by outside it.
Much like the adjacent Loftus Road Stand, you can only see part of its blue corrugated iron exterior as there are a row of houses in the way.
The entrance into the stand can be found through an opening between the houses along Ellerslie Road, and every person with a ticket for this stand will need to go here in order to enter.
The West Stand of Loftus Road is known as the School End because of it having a school directly outside of it.
The vast majority of the stand’s blue corrugated iron exterior cannot be reached as a result, and the entrances into the stand can be found in both the stadium’s southwest and northwest corners off Ellerslie Road and South Africa Road respectively.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The School End is two-tiered and there is a separate entrance for each tier. Those with seats in the lower tier use the turnstiles off South Africa Road at the northern end of the ground, whilst those in the upper tier use the turnstiles off Ellerslie Road at the southern end of the ground. To get from one road to another requires you to walk all the way around the school and the nearby houses, which can prove time consuming. Be sure to check your matchday ticket so that you know for sure whether you are in the upper tier of the School End of the lower tier.
Imre Close off Ellerslie Road is a cul-de-sac and has nothing to do with the stadium’s access so should be ignored.
Inside the Stadium
The South Africa Road Stand is split into two tiers. The upper tier is much larger than the lower tier and there is a row of executive boxes separating them.
The lower tier, known as the Paddocks, contains exclusively blue seating and features the stadium’s dugouts and tunnel in the very middle, with the changing rooms located inside.
The upper tier’s seating blocks form blue and white horizontal stripes, much like you would see on Queens Park Rangers’ home kit. The middle blocks of this upper tier however are coloured in a darker shade of blue and are for executives.
Your view from anywhere inside the Paddocks is perfectly clear, but there are supporting pillars coming down at the front of the upper tier. These pillars are well spread out though and are only likely to restrict your view slightly if you are sat up here. They should not be a problem at all if you are sat right at the front of the upper tier.
The stadium’s enclosed shape mans that both tiers of the South Africa Road Stand are well protected from the sides. It is important to note however that there is little to no overhead protection for those sat down by the pitch in the Paddocks. Rain will get to you here, and only those sat right at the back of this tier will be able to get some protection from overhead. This is not the place to be when its cold and raining.
The Loftus Road Stand is divided into two tiers of relatively similar height, with the front of the upper tier hanging over part of the lower tier beneath.
All of the seats inside this stand are coloured blue, and the upper tier swings round to include seating blocks in both the stadium’s northeast and southeast corners as well. The stadium’s Police Observation Box can also be found in this stand. There is additionally an electronic scoreboard down at the very front of the upper tier.
Your view from almost all of the Loftus Road Stand is perfectly clear. The restrictions come with the seating blocks up in both the northeast and southeast corners where a supporting pillar can get in the way. If you are sat along the very front row of the upper tier, your view of the nearest goal, goal line and corner flags can also be partly blocked from view depending on how centrally you are sat.
Both tiers of the Loftus Road Stand are fully protected from the sides with the stadium’s enclosed shape. It is worth noting though that you may not find yourself that well protected from rain if you are sat right down on the front rows of either tier.
The Ellerslie Road Stand is the only one of the four that is single tiered.
The seats in here are coloured blue with the letters QPR spelt out in white across the central blocks, and down at the front next to the stadium’s southwest corner is a flat platform for disabled supporters to use.
Your view from most of the Ellerslie Road Stand is clear, but there are four supporting pillars that come down towards the front. These are well spaced out though and may only slightly restrict your view if you are sat towards the back. They will not get in your way at all if you are sat down at the front of the stand.
Your view if at the very back of the Ellerslie Road Stand may also be slightly restricted by the gantry hanging overhead which holds the matchday camera.
Both ends of the stand however are very well protected because of the stadium’s enclosed shape.
The School End consists of two tiers of relatively similar size, with the front of the upper tier hanging over part of the lower tier beneath.
The upper tier seating blocks also include the stadium’s southwest corner, though a TV studio has been known to be erected up here in the past. There are no seats present in the northwest corner so as to aid segregation, with a large fence put between here and the start of the South Africa Road Stand.
The seats within the top tier of the School End are coloured blue. The seats within the bottom tier are mostly coloured white however, though the front few rows of this tier contain blue seating instead. The stand additionally has a large television screen in place atop its roof, as well as an electronic scoreboard down at the very front of the upper tier. These can best be seen by those at the opposite end of the stadium.
Your view from anywhere inside the lower tier of the School End is clear, but there are some potential restrictions in the upper tier. A supporting pillar can get in your way if you are sat in the blocks that make up the stadium’s southwest corner. Additionally, the two floodlight poles on this side of the ground came down from the roof and into the upper tier. They may restrict your view slightly if you are sat behind them or around them. If you are sat along the very front row of the upper tier, your view of the nearest goal, goal line and corner flags can also be partly blocked from view depending on how centrally you are sat.
Both ends of the School End however are well protected from the elements because of the stadium’s enclosed shape. It is worth noting though that you may not find yourself that well protected from rain if you are sat right down on the front rows of either tier.
Away fans are housed behind the goal in the School End.
Smaller away crowds are given exclusively the seating blocks in the stand’s upper tier, with the lower tier seats being allocated to home supporters if necessary. Larger expected away crowds will be given the lower tier of the School End as well as the upper tier.
The view from anywhere inside the lower tier is clear, but there is a chance that your view in the upper tier may be restricted slightly by a supporting pillar from the adjacent Ellerslie Road Stand or by one of the two floodlight poles which come down from the roof. These restrictions won’t be a problem though if you are based in the stand’s central blocks.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The School End has a separate entrance for each of its two tiers. The turnstiles for the lower tier are based off South Africa Road on the northern side of the ground, whilst the turnstiles for the upper tier are based off Ellerslie Road on the southern side of the ground. Be sure to check your matchday ticket so that you know which tier you are in as it can be time consuming walk to get from one side of Loftus Road to the other.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include*:
-Belushi's (13-15 Shepherd's Bush Green, W12 8PH) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-BrewDog Shepherd's Bush (15 Goldhawk Road, W12 8QQ) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-The Crown and Sceptre (34 Holland Road, W14 8BA) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (A fair distance from Loftus Road)
*You will not find any pubs for away supporters immediately around Loftus Road. It is possible for away supporters to find a drink however in nearby Shepherd's Bush.
Loftus Road is very different to other London-based football grounds.
Being tightly packed into its surroundings means that it is only possible to walk fully along one side of the ground, with access to the other three sides limited to small openings and sets of turnstiles.
It may not be that simple to navigate around, but great public transport links makes this stadium very accessible for those coming by rail.
Views in parts of its interior can be restricted, but only to a minor level, and the stadium’s enclosed shape means that those inside are well protected from any wind or rain on a matchday. It can be a different story right on the front rows or in the Paddocks down by the pitch, however.
It doesn’t have the modern-looking design and features of other stadiums in the capital, but that’s what helps to make this place unique.
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