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Brentford Community Stadium
Address: 166 Lionel Road N,
Capacity: 17,250 (All-Seater)
We're in the midst of a new generation of modern football stadiums, and here's one of its shining lights...
Opened in September 2020, it is home to Brentford Football Club, who had been at their historic Griffin Park home since 1904, as well as rugby union club London Irish, who themselves moved here having been based at Reading’s Madejski Stadium since 2000. It is currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Gtech Community Stadium.
The first plans for a new Brentford home were announced in October 2002, when the Bees found a location near Kew Bridge. The initial plan was set to include a proposed monorail, but this was dropped.
The site for the new stadium was eventually secured and bought 10 years later in June 2012, with a 20,000 capacity stadium set to be built there in time for the 2016-17 season, This target completion date ended up having to be delayed by several years as Brentford looked to acquire the remaining land around the site for development of flats.
Work on the new stadium officially began on 24th March 2017 with the stadium officially being declared complete on 30th August 2020.
Brentford played their first game here two days later, a 2-2 draw with Oxford United in a pre-season friendly, and their first competitive match here was on 6th September 2020, a League Cup penalty shootout win over Wycombe Wanderers following a 1-1 draw.
Location and Getting There
The Brentford Community Stadium is located off Lionel Road in the Brentford area, around eight miles west of the Centre of London. Kew Bridge, which crosses over the River Thames, is less than 0.2 miles to the south of the stadium, the Royal Botanic Gardens on the opposite bank are roughly 0.6 miles further south of Kew Bridge, and Brentford’s former home Griffin Park was based 0.6 miles west of the new stadium.
As with all London-based football grounds, I would recommend against coming by car.
The Brentford Community Stadium is very tightly packed into the surrounding area and that massively restricts the number of parking spaces within its immediate vicinity.
Finding free, legal parking within close range stadium is difficult as well.
It's a lot easier to reach the Brentford Community Stadium by public transport.
The nearest railway station is Kew Bridge, served by South Western Railway and based incredibly close to the stadium’s southern side.
The closest Overground station to the Brentford Community Stadium is Gunnersbury, a 15-20 minute walk east of the ground, and the closest underground station is Chiswick Park on the District Line, a 25-30 minute walk east of the ground.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Brentford often issue notices mentioning that in order to avoid overcrowding on the platforms, both Kew Bridge Station and Gunnersbury Station are 'exit only' for an hour following the full-time whistle.
Plenty of bus services have stops near the Brentford Community Stadium as well, including the 110, 237, 267 and N9 which stop next to Kew Bridge Station.
Outside the Stadium
The Brentford Community Stadium and its immediate vicinity is tightly packed into the surrounding area. What this creates is a uniquely-shaped stadium that differs notably from the simple rectangular or bowl-shaped football grounds you can find elsewhere in the country.
It is possible to walk around the whole of the Brentford Community Stadium's immediate vicinity, but segregation methods in place outside the North Stand and East Stand deny you the opportunity to walk continuously around it without hindrance.
Fans approaching the Brentford Community Stadium from Kew Bridge Station will head along Lionel Road South and arrive first at the stadium's South Stand.
The stand has a very modern-looking exterior design, consisting mostly of large glass windows at its base with light grey and dark grey glass panels higher up. Transparent windows are also in place at certain points higher up the exterior, which you can see inside of from a small distance away.
Lionel Road South passes right by the stadium's southwest corner, which houses an opening made from large red panels on one side and glass windows on the other. On the glass window side is Gate A for entrance into the stadium itself. To the right of here along the red panelled side is first the Ticket Collection Point and then the Brentford Box Office. Heading right past the Box Office brings you to Gate B, typically used by Premium Season Ticket Holders and also serving as Access to a Sports Bar Concourse that is known as The Dugout.
As part of the construction of the new stadium and renovation to the surrounding area, Brentford have also advertised a new Public Square outside the stadium’s South Stand which will ‘bring together the apartment buildings with the stadium, creating a more welcoming entrance and improving the experience for all those who will come to live at and enjoy the final result.’
Heading round in a clockwise direction from the stadium's southwest corner brings you further along Lionel Road South and to the West Stand.
Shorter than the adjacent South Stand, the exterior here consists predominantly of large light grey and dark grey panels, with translucent panels in place up towards the top that enable light to access the pitch inside.
You can get closer to the West Stand by heading down an access road from off Lionel Road South, and doing so will eventually bring you to Gate P for access into the stadium. To the left of here is a Matchday Merchandise Hub, known as The Bees Kiosk, which offers Brentford FC merchandise for supporters, particularly replica shirts.
Heading past The Bees Kiosk, there is a small private car park and beyond that a staircase leading up to Lionel Road South which passes by above it.
The northwest corner of the Brentford Community Stadium is past The Bees Kiosk. In place as part of it are Gates N and M for entrance into the stadium. Gate M is right on the northwest corner of the stadium and Gate N is slightly before.
Heading round from the northwest corner brings you in line with the North Stand.
The exterior here makes use of a grey brickwork base, with its upper parts protruding outwards and made from metal panels along the bottom and translucent panels along the sides. You can find Gates L, K and J in place along the start of this North Stand, with Gate L closest to the stadium's northwest corner.
Each of these three gates have brick paths on the ground directly outside of them.
It's beyond Gate J that your access around the Brentford Community Stadium becomes restricted. The away section of the stadium begins here, and to aid segregation of home and away supporters, Brentford often leave a large gate outside of the stadium's North Stand closed. If you wish to get round to the rest of the North Stand's exterior, you will need to make your way around the whole of the Brentford Community Stadium in the opposite direction from where you came.
The other side of the North Stand continues the aforementioned exterior design, but only has one access gate in place along its outer wall, Gate H which is one of the away turnstiles on a matchday.
Heading round from Gate H to the stadium's northeast corner is Gate G, and you can often find a simple Away Ticket Collection Point set up alongside it.
The East Stand of the Brentford Community Stadium shares a near-identical design and shape to the adjacent West Stand.
The exterior here consists predominantly of large light grey and dark grey panels, with translucent panels in place up towards the top that enable light to access the pitch inside.
Gate F can be found close to the stadium's northeast corner, within a second of the exterior that is made from large red panels. Gate E can be found further along the East Stand, around a slight corner and in line with nearby railway tracks.
With Gate F normally for away supporter use and Gate E normally for home supporter use, the space between them is often fenced off to aid segregation of the rival fanbases. To get past these fences, you will need to use the two staircases that are a little away from the stadium itself. One will take you up and the other will take you back down.
Gate E is the final thing of major note along the East Stand's exterior, which partly runs alongside railway tracks and a tall wall. There are other access points along the grey, panelled exterior, but these are for utilities and of no concern to supporters visiting on a matchday.
Heading round the stadium's southeast corner brings you back alongside the South Stand. The Media Entrance is located close to the southeast corner, with Gate D to the left of here and Gate C towards the centre of the stand's exterior. Gate C is surrounded by a protruding red border.
Inside the Stadium
Seats inside the Brentford Community Stadium are a more modern, wider design when compared to the traditional plastic seats that you can find at stadiums elsewhere in the country.
The South Stand is the Main Stand and is divided into three tiers.
The bottom tier is the largest, consisting of several blocks of red, dark green, cream, yellow and deep purple seats arranged in a random order. There are flat platforms up at the back of this tier for disabled supporters to use, and the press area is located at the back of the block which is right of centre. The stadium’s dugouts and tunnel are based down at the front of the bottom tier, with the changing rooms located inside.
The middle tier is for executives. It contains smaller blocks than the bottom tier but they still use the randomly distributed colour scheme as the bottom tier.
The upper tier is also in use for executives and consists of only a few rows of seating with a row of executive boxes at the back. Up above here is a gantry that includes that contains the matchday camera and the stadium control box amongst other facilities. The stand’s roof additionally has a large electronic screen standing on the top of it that can best be seen by those at the opposite end of the stadium.
Your view from anywhere inside the South Stand is perfectly clear, and the unique, diagonal edges of the roof provide protection to all the rows from the sides.
There are a few rows of seating in the stadium’s southwest corner, but the location of the roof here is what helps give the Brentford Community Stadium its unique shape.
The South Stand roof drops down at a steep diagonal angle till it reaches the southwest corner, and then rises upwards at a smoother angle till it is in line with most of the West Stand.
The West Stand is divided into two tiers that you can freely get between.
Because of the angle of the roof on this side of the stadium, the upper tier rows become bigger in number the further you go away from the southwest corner. At its maximum height, the upper tier of the West Stand is larger than the lower tier, with both tiers using the randomly distributed design of red, dark green, cream, yellow and deep purple seating. There are multiple flat platforms in this stand for disabled supporters to use. The one nearest to the southwest corner is down at the front by the pitch and the others are situated between the upper and lower tiers.
Your view of the pitch from anywhere inside the West Stand is clear, and the stadium’s enclosed design means that every row is well protected from the sides. The design of the stand however restricts your view of the stadium's two large screens if you are sat up towards the back. To get around this, there is a row of television screens suspended down from the West Stand ceiling which broadcast the exact same footage.
The North Stand is singled tiered and slightly lower down than the adjacent West Stand. You can visibly see the back row and stadium’s roof drop down slightly around the northwest corner in order to allow this to happen.
The North Stand blocks continue the randomly distributed design of red, dark green, cream, yellow and deep purple seating, and the stand also has a flat platform for disabled supporters down at the front of either end. Block N127, the westernmost block in the North Stand, is the stadium’s designated Family Area.
There is a large electronic screen attached to the stand’s roof that can best be seen by those at the opposite end of the stadium.
Your view from anywhere inside the North Stand is perfectly clear, and the stadium’s enclosed design means that every row is well protected from the sides.
The East Stand mirrors the interior design of the West Stand opposite.
Slightly taller than the adjacent North Stand, you can visibly see the back row and stadium’s roof rise up around the northeast corner. At the opposite end of the stand, the stadium’s roof drops down at a smooth angle till it reaches the southeast corner, and then steeply rises up to reach the top of the South Stand.
The East Stand itself is divided into two tiers which you can freely get between.
Because of the angle of the roof on the southeast side of the stadium, the upper tier rows become bigger in number the further you go away from the southeast corner. At its maximum height, the upper tier of the East Stand is larger than the lower tier, with both tiers using the randomly distributed design of red, dark green, cream, yellow and deep purple seating. There are multiple flat platforms in this stand for disabled supporters to use. The one nearest to the southeast corner is down at the front by the pitch and the others are situated between the upper and lower tiers.
Your view from anywhere inside the East Stand is perfectly clear, and the stadium’s enclosed design means that every row is well protected from the sides. The design of the stand however restricts your view of the stadium's two large screens if you are sat up towards the back. To get around this, there is a row of television screens suspended down from the East Stand ceiling which broadcast the exact same footage.
Away fans are housed in the northeast corner between the North Stand and the East Stand.
Larger away followings will in turn take up the nearby blocks in the North and East Stands, with rows of stewards and large sheets used to segregate this area from any home supporters sat close by. When the whole of the northeast corner isn't in use, only the top tier is normally opened to supporters and the tier below is left closed.
You are given a perfectly clear view of the pitch from this side of the stadium, which additionally has flat platforms between its two tiers that disabled supporters can use and still feel fully involved with the away crowd around them.
Access into the away section of the Brentford Community Stadium comes via Gates F, G and H. Gates and fences are normally in use to segregate this away section from home entrances nearby, and so the recommendation is to approach the Brentford Community Stadium from the east if possible.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-Express Tavern (56 Kew Bridge, TW8 0EW) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-The Griffin (Brook Road, TW8 0NP) (One of the four pubs based around Brentford's previous home, Griffin Park)
-One Over The Ait (8 Kew Bridge, TW8 0FJ) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
The Brentford Community Stadium has been in the works for a long time, and the final result is an impressive, very uniquely shaped venue.
Tightly packed into the surrounding area, it limits the accessibility of its exterior, but with a train station located very close to its South Stand, the stadium can be very easily reached by public transport.
Eyebrows will of course be raised at the multi-coloured interior design, which gives no real indication that this stadium is home to Brentford Football Club. That in some ways though is the point.
This is a community stadium, one that doesn’t aim to just represent the football club but the entire community that surrounds it. For a long time now, the Brentford area has wanted a modern-looking, practical stadium for sports and events that would form part of a local regeneration project. That stadium is finally here.
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