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Address: Blundell Park,
North East Lincolnshire,
Capacity: 9,052 (All-Seater)
Blundell Park admittedly does show its age in some parts, but there is a very nice charm to the place and the passionate Mariners crowd can make a matchday here a very enjoyable experience.
Built in 1899, it has been the home of Grimsby Town Football Club ever since.
The Mariners had previously spent 10 years at Abbey Park, and brought two of the stands over to their new home, playing their first game here against Luton Town on 2nd September 1899. The game finished 3-3 in front of a crowd of 4,000.
Location and Getting There
Despite being the home of Grimsby Town, Blundell Park is actually based in Cleethorpes, around two miles to the east. The Humber Estuary is a short walk north of the ground, and you can get a really good view of it from certain seats. The Grimsby Docks are to the northwest and the centre of Cleethorpes is to the southeast.
Blundell Park is packed into a residential area and you should be able to find parking spaces for free that are within a decent distance.
Heading south towards Old Clee would be my recommendation for finding parking, but there may be spaces on the streets around Grant Thorold Park as well, which is to the southwest of the ground.
There are two train stations which are a relatively similar distance from Blundell Park. These are New Clee and Cleethorpes which are a 15 minute walk northwest and a 20 minute walk southeast respectively.
Both stations are on the same line and you can go with either one, though Cleethorpes tends to be the more popular option as it is the very end of the line.
The stations are served by EMR, Transpennine Express and Northern Rail.
Outside the Stadium
Most fans will approach Blundell Park up either Imperial Avenue or Constitutional Avenue, and that will first bring them to the South Stand, better known as the Young’s Stand for sponsorship reasons.
Its exterior, made up of dark grey brickwork at the base and light grey corrugated iron above, towers over everything else around, and the stand is the clear largest of the four which make up the football ground.
The Main Reception Entrance is towards the centre, with the Main Ticket Office and Club Shop over to the left of here.
Turnstiles for the upper stand seating area are to the right of the Main Reception Entrance.
Blundell Park’s West Stand is better known as the Pontoon.
There is a row of houses very tightly packed to the back of it and so you cannot access the stand from there, or see the exterior either.
The only way into here is through the turnstiles (28-35) which are based down Imperial Avenue in the southwest corner of the ground.
The North Stand is the original Main Stand which dates back to 1901 and is one of the oldest in English Football.
Like the Pontoon it has several houses tightly packed along the back of it, but its exterior can be reached by two side roads along Harrington Street.
Only one of these side roads however, the one closest to the northwest corner, leads up to the Main Stand turnstiles (19-25).
The other side road on Harrington Street leads to some of the turnstiles for the East Stand, better known as the Osmond Stand.
Like the Pontoon opposite, houses are tightly packed against its outer wall and you can only get into it via the turnstiles off Harrington Street (15-28).
Inside the Stadium
The Young’s Stand is divided into two tiers of red seating, with the upper tier much larger than the one underneath. A row of executive boxes separates the two levels from one another. The letters GTFC are spelt out in white across the lower tier blocks, whilst the directors' and executives' seating blocks are in the upper tier.
The view from the lower tier blocks is perfectly clear, but your view from the top tier will be restricted slightly as there are supporting pillars coming down from the roof above. The gantry holding the matchday camera also hangs down from the roof, and this can restrict your view slightly if you are sat at the very back.
Windshields are in place at either end of the Young’s Stand upper tier but only cover half of the seating area. The rest of the stand has no windshields on the sides.
Both the southeast and southwest corners are completely open spaces and used as storage for the club’s equipment.
The Pontoon is made up of a single tier of seating.
The seating area alternates in colour between black and white, and this mirrors the design of Grimsby Town’s Home Shirt.
There are supporting pillars coming down regularly towards the front of the stand and as a result most of the seats in the Pontoon have a restricted view.
A windshield is in place over by the southwest corner, but there isn’t one on the opposite side of the stand.
The Main Stand is made up of a single tier of red seating.
The press box and old director’s box are close to the stand’s centre, and there is an area for disabled supporters near to the northeast corner. The northwest corner is a completely open area but temporary stands have been put here in the past.
Blundell Park’s changing rooms are based inside the stand, and the dugouts are located down the front, with one either side of the stadium’s tunnel.
Supporting pillars run regularly across the front of the stand and so your view will be restricted somewhat. The slanted roof also can get in the way of your view if you are up at the back of the stand.
The northeast corner directly connects the Main Stand to the Osmond Stand but has no blocks of seating inside of it.
The Osmond Stand follows the same design as both the Main Stand and northwest corner, using a single tier of red seating that is separated in the middle by a walkway.
Efforts have been made to remove supporting pillars from most of the stand, but they are still present in the home-only northeast corner which can partly restrict your view. The biggest view restriction will be the stand's roof, which hangs low overhead and could prove a restriction to those based right up at the back.
There used to be an electronic scoreboard positioned above the stand’s roof, but this has since been replaced by a large TV screen in the southeast corner.
There is a small windshield at the open end of the Osmond Stand but this only protects the back row seats.
Away fans are housed behind the goal in the Osmond Stand.
Small crowds are typically kept in the seating blocks more towards the back of the stand, with larger crowds taking up many more seats. Fencing separates this away section from any home supporters who base themselves in the northeast corner between the Main Stand and Osmond Stand.
General views of the pitch are fine, but the low roof can affect views if you are based right at the back.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-The Blundell Park Hotel (140 Grimsby Road, DN35 7DL) (Home Supporters Only) (Located very close to Blundell Park itself)
-The Coach House (Fieldhouse Road, DN36 4UJ) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located in Humberston, a fair distance from Blundell Park itself)
-The Coliseum Picture Theatre (26-28 High street, DN35 8JN) (A JD Wetherspoon, Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located south of Cleethorpes Station)
-The Rutland Arms Old Mill Brewery (26-30 Rutland Street, DN31 3AF) (Typically Home and Away Supporters, can be different during High-Profile Games)
-The Signal Box Inn (Lakeside Station, Kings Road, DN35 0AG) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Known for its incredibly small size)
-Willy's (17 High Cliff Road, DN35 8RQ) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)Located near Cleethorpes Beach)
Blundell Park has been the home of Grimsby Town for a very long time, and its longevity has helped make it a unique football ground.
You can see the age of the stands when you come inside, and it isn’t very easy to get into anyway given how tightly packed into Cleethorpes it is, but that shouldn’t deter you from coming here. Grimsby Town’s most passionate and vocal fans pack the Pontoon every game though and produce a great noise no matter the result.
Grimsby have talked for decades about leaving their historic home and moving to a new location, and with those plans looking more and more likely to happen, it’s worth getting to Blundell Park whilst you still can.
It’ll be a shame to see one of England’s oldest football grounds go.
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