Walsall v Portsmouth: what travelling Blues fans need to know for trip to Banks’s Stadium
On Tuesday night Pompey fans will accompany their team to Walsall for their latest match in League One.
The Saddlers moved to the Banks’s Stadium (Bescot Crescent, Walsall, WS1 4SA) from their original home of Fellows Park in August 1990.
The stadium has a capacity of 11,300 (all seated) and Blues fans will be in the University of Wolverhampton Stand behind one goal.
The club shop is located in the HomeServe Stand.
Anyone wanting to take a flag or banner into the ground is asked to email [email protected] for prior consent.
According to the Walsall FC website, only food or drink purchased from the Banks’s Stadium may be consumed in the ground.
Walsall’s ground regulations state they do not allow supporters to take their own food or drink into the ground and any food being taken in is likely to be confiscated by stewards.
This has been clarified with the Walsall safety officer and he confirmed that a small pack of sandwiches will be accepted but not something like a McDonalds or fish and chips.
Getting to The Banks’s Stadium
The Banks’s Stadium is located near the M6 motorway.
Unfortunately, this stretch of the motorway can get very busy, so allow plenty of time.
Leave the M6 at Junction 7 and take the A34 towards Walsall (beware of the speed cameras on this stretch of the dual carriageway).
At the end of the dual carriageway turn left at the Bell Inn pub into Walstead Road, signposted Bescot Stadium, Bescot Station Park & Ride.
Continue straight on this road for two miles, passing another pub called the Tiger on your left.
You will then arrive at the Banks’s Stadium, where the entrance to the away end is on your right.
Parking for visiting supporters is available at the ground, behind the away stand at a cost of £4 per car, £6 per mini bus and £12 per coach.
This includes parking for disabled supporters.
The entrance to the car park is off Bescot Crescent, next to the Park Inn Hotel, and is signposted Blue Zone.
There is also parking at the nearby Bescot Stadium Station at a cost of £2.
Please note that the Green Zone parking will be locked two hours after the final whistle and any cars left in the car park will be locked in.
Alternately, there is some street parking to be found off Wallowes Lane.
The Banks’s Stadium has its own railway station, called Bescot Stadium, which is situated behind the away end – a few minutes walk from the ground.
Trains run there half-hourly from Birmingham New Street and the journey time from Birmingham is usually around 20 minutes.
Trains run regularly to Birmingham New Street from London Euston and the journey will take about 90 minutes.
Alternately, it is worth checking trains from London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street, as this is often a cheaper option.
The journey will take just under two hours and it is a short walk, which will be signposted, to Birmingham New Street station for onward travel to Bescot Stadium Station.
Please note that it will not be possible to get back to Portsmouth by train after the match.
Train details can be checked at nationalrail.co.uk.
For up-to-date travel information link to @PompeyfcCop on Twitter.
Where to eat and drink
Near the ground, just a short walk along Bescot Crescent from the away end, is the Park Inn Hotel (WS1 4SE), which has a bar and shows Sky Sports.
The nearby King George V pub (Wallows Lane, WS2 9BZ) – about a 15 minute walk from the ground, opposite the Morrisons Supermarket – will also welcome Pompey supporters and serves snacks.
From the ground, walk out of the official car parks and down towards McDonalds.
Pass McDonalds on your right and take a left turn into Wallowes Lane.
At the end of the lane, turn left on to the main road and the pub is set back on the left.
There is a McDonalds in the nearby Bescot Retail Park and a variety of places to eat in the Saddlers Shopping Centre (Park Street, WS2 9NW).
There is a licensed bar area in the away stand, with hot and cold snacks and drinks and live football shown on TV.
In the concourse at the ground the usual choice of pies and pasties will be on sale.
- PAM WILKINS