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Address: Sincil Bank,
Capacity: 10,120 (All-Seater)
If you like football grounds where every stand is a different shape and size, Sincil Bank could be one of your favourites.
Built in 1894 and opened the following year, Lincoln City Football Club have called Sincil Bank their home ever since.
The ground took the name LNER Stadium in December 2019 after confirming a three year partnership agreement with London North Eastern Railway, but the name Sincil Bank will remain better associated with the football ground after the river which runs along its west side. Lincoln fans also refer to it as ‘Sinny Bank’.
The Imps originally played at the nearby John O’Gaunts ground between the club’s founding in 1884 and the move to their current home.
Location and Getting There
Sincil Bank Stadium is located next to Sincil Dike, around one mile south of Lincoln City Centre. The South Commons are due south of the ground and Canwick Hill is to the east.
If you are on Sincil Bank Road on the west side of the ground and look to the north, you can get a fantastic view of Lincoln’s Cathedral in the distance.
Sincil Bank Stadium does have a decent number of car parking around its exterior, but these obviously charge and finding free parking can prove a bit more of a challenge given the number of tight streets nearby. You may find that free parking leaves you a fair distance away from the ground itself. I've personally found luck finding free parking in locations a short while south of Sincil Bank.
Lincoln Station is close to the City Centre and around 15 minutes walk north of the ground, though most of this is along one straight road.
Outside the Ground
If you’re coming from the station, you’ll eventually end up outside the West Stand, known for sponsorship reasons as the GBM Stand.
It is easily the largest of the four and its green cantilever roof dominates the stand’s exterior, coming down the back from the top. The base of the stand is brickwork whilst the upper parts are made of corrugated iron which is light green in colour.
At the more southern end of the GBM Stand is the entrance to the Legends Lounge, whilst further north along the exterior is the entrance to the Red Imps Bar (for Home Supporters only).
Turnstiles for the GBM Stand itself (Gates 14-23) are spread across the base of the stand and either side.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction brings you to the northern side of the ground. It is known as the Stacey West Stand after two lifelong Lincoln City supporters, Bill Stacey and Jim West, who both tragically died in the Bradford City Stadium Fire on the 11th May 1985.
The disaster occurred during a Third Division game between Bradford and Lincoln when the wooden roof of Valley Parade’s Main Stand accidentally caught fire and spread rapidly. 56 people lost their lives in the tragedy and at least 265 were injured. It remains one of the worst disasters in British sporting history and led to rigid new safety standards in stadiums up and down the United Kingdom.
The Stacey West Stand has a similar colour scheme to that of the GBM Stand, but there are no turnstiles along its outer walls. Entrances instead can be found in both the northeast and northwest corners. Gates 11-14 are over at the ground's northwest corner and are for normally for home supporter use*, whilst Gates 4-8 are at the ground's northeast corner and are for away supporter use.
Lincoln have a large car park out beyond the back of the Stacey West Stand and food stalls are often set up along the back wall which fans can use before heading into the stadium itself. What you will often find however is that this area is usually fenced off and only fans who have tickets for the Stacey West Stand are allowed to go into there.
*With the Stacey West Stand being used for away supporters, the amount of the stand allocated to travelling supporters depends on the expected size of the crowd. Lincoln will split the stand between home and away supporters when the stand isn't fully made available for away supporters to use. On occasions like this, Gates 11-14 are for entrance into the home section of the stand and Gates 4-8 are for entrance into the away section of the stand.
Sincil Bank’s eastern side is split into three stands.
The whole side continues the same exterior design as other parts of the football ground though, using brickwork at the base and light green corrugated iron in the upper parts.
The main part of the eastern side is the SRP Stand in the centre. Around a third of the size of the GBM Stand opposite, its exterior houses the Boardroom Entrance, Lincoln City Foundation, Main Ticket Office, Club Shop and the entrance to the SRP 200 Club. The space immediately outside of these entrances is a Drop-Off Zone for vehicles.
North of the SRP Stand is the small North East Stand, and south of the SRP Stand is the Uni of Lincoln Family and Friends Stand. The Player's Entrance and Media Suite can be found along this part of the eastern side's exterior.
Turnstiles for the SRP Stand and North East Stand (Gates 1-3) can be found by the away turnstiles at the northeast corner of the football ground. Turnstiles for the Uni of Lincoln Friends and Family Stand (Gates 24-25) are down at the ground's southeast corner.
A large 3G pitch is in place out beyond the SRP Stand, with the parking spaces immediately in front of this pitch forming the Blue Zone that is for Accessibility Parking. Head down to the southeast corner and you'll find the Red Zone which is parking for players and officials.
The south side of Sincil Bank is known for sponsorship reasons as the Rilmac Stand.
Its exterior is similar to that of the GBM stand but doesn’t have the cantilever roof. Corrugated iron here is mostly grey but there are parts which are light green in colour.
The exterior houses entrances for the Executive Lounge and Fan Lounge, the latter welcoming both home and away fans on a matchday. Turnstiles for the Rilmac Stand can be found in either corner. Gates 24-25 are over at the ground's southeast corner, and Gates 21-23 are at the ground's southwest corner.
The space outside the Rilmac Stand houses the University of Lincoln Fan Village. Visitors are encouraged to make use of the food and entertainment facilities here both before and after the match, with Lincoln City making continuous strides to improve the matchday experience for those attending.
Inside the Ground
The GBM Stand towers over the rest of the football ground.
It is divided into two equally sized tiers which are made up mostly of red seats. The letters LINCOLN are spelt out in white across the upper tier blocks and the letters CITY are spelt out along the lower tier, with a thick black line on either side of these four letters. It’s also worth noting that some of the red seats in this stand are more worn and lighter in colour than others.
The cantilever roof above means that there are no supporting pillars coming down and as a result your view of the pitch is perfectly clear from any seat.
There are large transparent windshields which cover all the seats in the upper tier, but the lower tier seats have just a wall at either end to keep the elements out.
Both the northwest and southwest corners at either end of the GBM Stand are completely uncovered and don't house any seating.
The Stacey West Stand is made up of a single tier of white seating, though there are red seats which are randomly dispersed across the stand's blocks.
Large windshields cover the seating area at either end but there are three pillars which come down from the roof. Sit in a seat at either end of the stand however and these pillars shouldn’t get in your way.
The northeast corner next to the Stacey West Stand is completely uncovered and acts as the concourse area for the stand, serving food and drink for fans with the toilet block and portaloos also close by.
The North East Stand is the smallest stand at Sincil Bank.
It consists of 7 rows of black seating that has a soft roof overhead, open sides and supporting pillars down the front which can restrict your view. It is normally left empty when very high crowds aren't expected at Sincil Bank.
The SRP Stand is single-tiered and a similar height to the GBM Stand opposite. The left-hand-side of this stand is made up of red seating, the right-hand-side is made up of black seating, and the central blocks are made up of white seating, with the letters IMPS spelt out in yellow at the back of both the red and black areas. Sincil Bank's press area is up at the back of this stand as well.
Two large pillars come down from the roof above and will restrict the view of anyone sat behind them, whilst the windshields on either side only cover the rows towards the back, leaving the front row seats more exposed. The gantry holding the matchday camera hangs down at the front of the stand's roof.
The Uni of Lincoln Family and Friends Stand is single-tiered and made up of three blocks of red seating.
There are no windshields at either end and two pillars come down over on one side, which will restrict the view for those sat behind them. A Police Control Box is in place right on top of the stand.
Sincil Bank's changing rooms are based behind the Uni of Lincoln Family and Friends Stand, with the tunnel housed right next to the SRP Stand. The dugouts are housed out in front of the SRP Stand.
The Rilmac Stand is made up of a single tier of seating with the Executive Lounge and Fan Lounge up behind it.
Seats in this stand are mostly dark green in colour but the front row of every block is blue. The seating block closest to the southwest corner is entirely blue except for its back row which is coloured green, and the letters LCFC are spelt out in white along the green blocks. The interior colour scheme here is very unusual and feels rather out of place in comparison to the rest of Sincil Bank.
The Rilmac Stand has no windshields at either end and there are pillars coming down from the roof above, though they are fairly well spread out and you may be able to get a perfectly clear view of the pitch if you are sat in certain back row seats.
Away fans are housed behind the goal in the Stacey West Stand.
This is a single tier of mostly white seating which does have supporting pillars spread across the front but does house windshields to provide protection at either end.
Depending on the size of the allocation, Lincoln City often split this stand between home and away supporters, with home fans based over towards the northwest corner of the football ground and away fans based over towards the northeast corner.
Turnstiles for away fans can therefore be found through Gates 4-8. The outside concourse behind them houses catering and toilet facilities, including portaloos.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-The University of Lincoln Fan Village outside the KryptoKloud End and food outlets present around Sincil Bank's exterior.
-The Golden Eagle (21 High Street, LN5 8BD) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-The Hop and Barley (417 High Street, LN5 8HX) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-The Ivy Tavern (51 Newport, LN1 3DN) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located a fair distance from Sincil Bank itself)
-The Ritz (143-147 High Street, LN5 7PJ) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-The Square Sail (Brayford Wharf North, LN1 1YW) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in the Marina area northwest of Lincoln Station)
-Walkabout (233-237 High Street, LN2 1AT) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (A Sports Bar located north of City Square)
Sincil Bank is a real mixture of different sized stands. The West Stand is very good whilst the East Stand opposite has one of the most unique shapes and designs you will find anywhere in the country.
It's worth knowing a bit about the aesthetics of this football ground before buying a ticket here as your view and experience will vary greatly depending on where you sit.
Sincil Bank nevertheless is a place worth coming to for that backdrop of Lincoln Cathedral alone.
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