Wednesday 4 January 2012

Dundee Stars; Scotland

Dundee Stars in February 2011, having been to the two big football grounds in the city the same weekend, so a treble sporting weekend for me!

Dundee Arena, from outside.

As you can see, it was an Elite League fixture.

A commemorative plaque, for the opening.

On entering there is a hockey sports shop on the right.

Once inside the merchandise tables are right in front of you.

Flat standing at this end.

From roughly the same spot we look down the ice.

Goal judge sat behind the net.

Behind us is a cafe area.

Plenty of tables & chairs.

There is a bar area upstairs, above it, where you can watch the game through the glass.

Turning down the side, there is a large bank of seating.

Looking along them.

Some of the crowd sat in them during the game.

The team benches are in front of that side.

Complete with main sponsors sign.

Poor lad...ginger & fat! ;-)

From the back of this side we look at the identical seating opposite, with some more at the far end.

Here we glance back at the unseated bar end.

Honours banners hanging down.

The back row of the benchside seats.

Directly over the centre of the ice.

Moving further along we see over the arena.

There is also seating behind the next goal, some unused & taken over by some sort of stage area.

From up in them we look up the ice.

Similar shot, more in the centre.

Over in the next corner, looking over the seating we've already covered.

Now down this side, for the last stretch of the rink.

On this side there are some of the visiting fans.

At the front are the timekeeping & penalty boxes.

A couple of home fans let me take a snap of their shirts.

As do this nest of Vipers from Newcastle!

Mustn't leave out the mascot...

Here he is, looking a little 'pucked off' on the ice! ;-)

Obligatory Zamboni picture.

That's the venue covered, time to settle down for the match.

Sunday 1 January 2012

Dundee United; Scotland

I had the pleasure of visiting Dundee United last season, on the 13th February, for a Sunday lunchtime Scottish Premier League clash against Celtic I thoroughly enjoyed the match, albeit very one sided, as Celtic dominated throughout. It was strange seeing half of the ground allocated to Celtic fans, this being my first ever Scottish Premier Divison match, & the first time I had ever seen Celtic in a competitive game. I had bought my ticket in advance, & treated myself to a seat in the centre of the home stand, along the side.

From outside the ground you can see the home of Dundee FC, where I saw a match the day before.

Turning round we approach the Jim McLean Fair Play Stand, at Dundee United. They really are only a few hundred yards apart!
Stangely this stand is 'split' into two, with the other end of it being called the Jerry Kerr Stand.

Moving toward the other end of this stand there is an official entrance, with this wall alongside. You can see the Jerry Kerr name near the top.

It has lots of brick sized inscribed plaques on it.

Also these ones in the same area.

Plus paved ones on the floor.

But I am in the stand on the other side of the ground. So it's a walk down the road and around the allotments to get there.

Another angle of the ground beyond them.

This is the George Fox Stand,named after a former chairman, where I shall be sat.

Inside we are in the Donald Hutchison Concourse. I think it is named after a former player of theirs.

The usual refreshment counters are doing business pre-match.

No easy task for the Scots!

There's also a programme shop.

In the ground, it is very overcast, despite the lunchtime kick off. You can see the Dundee FC floodlights in the distance, behind the visitors West Stand.

It has clearly built on top of old terracing, a disused section in the corner.

Here is my view across the pitch. The other side is usually a home area, today is for the visiting Celtic supporters, due to their large travelling numbers.

Zooming in we look at the 'posh' seats in the centre, with the dugouts below.

To the left is the home Eddie Thompson Stand, another former Chairman of the Club.

And the corner section where the home end & the other side 'join', with the big pylon on the roof.

My stand is two tiered, I am in the lower part, turning right, toward the away end.

And left, with the home end in full view.

The majority of snaps today will be iny 'my' stand, the George Fox, as you obviously couldn't walk round the stadium.

From the back of the lower tier.

Further along, toward the away end corner.

And right at the front, over the pitch.

Same spot, more to the right, to catch the whole of the far side.

The away end, with a lack of Scottish flags, for a Scottish Premier League club, unsurprisingly!

Another shot of the same end, minus Irish flag, neighbours floodlight behind.

Turning back toward the home end, post-match, club initials in the seats.

My lower tier, emptying out.

As is the rest of the place, turning the other way.

The away end also has the club initials in the seating.

Still in the lower tier of the George Fox, but near to the home end.

Here we look into the Eddie Thompson Stand, from the side.

Game over, I go outside, and try to gain access into the other side, for a quick snap or two. I can't get through these open turnstiles, as a steward won't let me in.

A few yards along there is a gate still open, so I get this picture, looking over to the George Fox stand, where I saw the match from.

Here is a full on shot of it.

Home end to the right.

Away one to the left.

Along the lower section of the Jerry Kerr Stand.

Now a few pictures of the 'sectarian/political' Celtic support:

A Basque flag at the front.

And a Palestinian one.

Now,erm, back to the football!

Game over, part of the huge convoy of visitors get ready to disperse all over Scotland.

Police making sure all is clear.

Off they go.

No long now, & the police will be off duty!

A wave goodbye, & that signals the end of our visit to Tannadice!