Originally opened in 1910, Ninian Park had a mixture of seating and terracing, with a capacity in the region of 20,000. It was the home ground of Cardiff City Football club until 2009, when they moved to the Cardiff City stadium.
The West Grandstand was a two-tier, all-seater stand. This stand housed the players’ dressing rooms, tunnel and dugouts. The Family Stand was a fully covered, all-seated stand, on the East side of the ground. The Popular Bank, on the Northside, had a mixture of covered seating to the rear of the stand and uncovered terracing to the front.
The Grange End, which housed away fans, was a fully covered terrace, having been renovated in 2001. The away section had terracing at the back and seating at the front. Ninian Park hosted its last competitive match at the end of April 2009.
A new 30,000 capacity stadium was built opposite the ground, with a build cost of £38 million, offering the potential for expansion to a capacity of 60,000. Cardiff took up residence for the opening of the 2009-10 season.
How to get to Ninian Park
The Ninian Park stadium is sited in Sloper Road, Cardiff CF11 8SX.
Away fans driving from the North are advised to take the M6/M5 route, exiting the M5 at junction 15 onto the M4, towards the M48. Several guides suggest leaving the M4 at junction 29, but this involves driving through the centre of Cardiff. A better suggestion is to follow the M4 as far as junction 33, exiting onto the A4232 towards Cardiff / Barry. Follow the dual carriageway as far as the B4267 exit, following signs for Ninian Park, which is on the right after about ½ mile.
From the South, (e.g. Southampton) drivers are advised to access the M4 via the M3 and A34. Directions to the ground are then as above.
The nearest train station is Ninian Park, which is within 400 yards of the ground. The station is served by trains from Cardiff Central. Alternatively, trains from Cardiff Central to Penarth or Barry stop at Grangetown station, which is a 15-minute walk from Ninian Park. On exiting the station, turn left, cross the main road and turn right into Sloper Road. Click here to check the current train timetables
Cardiff International airport is about 9 miles from the ground. Hourly rail and bus links are available to Cardiff Central station, with a journey time of about 35 minutes. Click here to check the current flight times
Where to Park?
Parking near the stadium is limited, as the large car park opposite the ground is no longer available. Perhaps the best option is to park in Cardiff City centre and catch a train to Ninian Park or Grangetown (see “By Rail,” above).
Away Friendly Pubs near Ninian Park
Visiting fans have found pubs near the ground very intimidating and most advise a pre-match drink in the city centre. The exception is the Lansdowne Hotel, on Beda Road, in the Canton area of Cardiff. This is the “traditional” pub for away fans and is only a 10-minute walk from the ground. It offers a friendly welcome, a wide selection of draught ales and large-screen Sky TV, but does get very busy on match days. Several fans have also reported the barmaids as particularly attractive!
Hotels near Ninian Park
The 3-star Holiday Inn City Centre, Castle Street, Cardiff CF1 2XD is centrally located, close to the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Castle. All rooms are air-conditioned, with satellite TV, direct-dial ‘phone and minibar. On-site parking is available. Guest reviews have been excellent.
Some of the better hotels are located some distance from Ninian Park and it may be necessary to catch a rail or bus link to the stadium. Such hotels include the 2-star Days Inn Cardiff Airport, Port Road, Barry CF62 3BT, some 8 miles from Cardiff city centre. However, this budget-priced hotel offers excellent modern facilities and public transport links are available from the nearby airport.
What have other Away Fans said about their trip to Ninian Park?
Many visiting fans have remarked that Ninian Park had great character, despite lacking the facilities of some modern stadia. The home fans are extremely vocal and while this may suit some, several away supporters have found the atmosphere intimidating.
Some visitors have complained at the lack of elevation in the away section, along with a mesh fence separating the rival supporters, neither of which aid the view of the play. Catering appears to be something of a problem, as there is a large bar, but only one food outlet, leading to lengthy queues.