Alas Belle Vue is no more, we’ve gone and got one of those shiny new bowls like all the big teams; Derby, er, Southampton… Darlington. The Keepmoat Stadium hosted its first Rovers match on New Years Day 2007, christened with a rare Mark McCammon volley in a 3-0 win over Huddersfield. Contrary to lazy press reports the new stadium was not paid for by John Ryan, but is a community stadium built by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council. The 15,000 venue is also the home of the Doncaster Rovers Belles and Doncaster Rugby League with the adjacent athletics stadium home of the Doncaster Mustangs (American Football of all things) and Doncaster Athletics Club. The whole complex, which also features additional football pitches in the Lakeside Soccer Centre, cost less than Didier Drogba… and to think Peter Kenyon is regarded as a decent business man.
Visiting fans to the Keepmoat Stadium are housed in the North Stand. The maximum capacity of the away section is approximately 3,200 although some teams may be given smaller allocations than this dependent on projected sales and safety requirements. At the start of the 2009/10 season Rovers (or the Stadium Management Committee) upgraded all seats behind the goals at the Keepmoat Stadium to Category A prices. Disappointingly it seems this has been done simply to allow the club to generate more revenue from travelling fans in particular, although if its any consolation they have done this at both ends and so away fans will pay the same prices as the home fans opposite them. However, please note that paying with cash on the turnstiles is not possible, the Keepmoat has a fancy ticket machine and will use it at all costs, so make sure you have a ticket before you get here. Away fans collecting tickets on the day can do so via the ‘Community Changing Rooms’ at the North End of the ground.
The ticket prices for the 2011/2012 season have been decategorised and uncommunicated, but we believe that for away fans prices are as follows;
Concessions; Senior (60+), Student (with valid NUS) and Disabled: £20.00
Juniors (12-16yrs): £15.00
Under 11s: £10.00
With just 1,000 spaces at £5 per car parking at the stadium is limited and unnecessarily expensive. Many of the industrial units on the road to the stadium offer parking at the slightly cheaper price of £4. One alternative is to park for free at Rovers’ old Belle Vue ground and make the ten/fifteen minute walk to the new stadium. Directions for both are offered below.
By Car (to stadium parking)
The Stadium is most easily accessed from all directions via the M18 from which it is signposted. Leave the motorway at junction 3 and take the A6182 exit (signposted Doncaster). At the first roundabout continue straight ahead. At the second roundabout take the first exit (left) onto White Rose Way. At the next roundabout turn right, signposted stadium. Follow this road (Middle Bank) and the stadium will come into view on your left, with official car parks on this side, and less-offical parking on your right.
By Car (to Park and Walk)
Leave the M18 at junction 3 and take the A6182 towards Doncaster. Continue straight ahead at the next two roundabouts (following signs for ‘Lakeside’). At the third roundabout turn right onto Lakeside Boulevard. Continue round the lake to the 3rd roundabout. Here take the 2nd exit onto Gliwice Way. Continue straight ahead to the A638 t-junction, where you will turn left (signposted town centre, racecourse). After about 250 yards turn left into what’s left of Belle Vue.
From here the new stadium is 10-15 minutes on foot. Leave the car park by the Asda supermarket and turn right. Head back down Gliwice Way until you come to the lake, here take the footpath turning right. Follow this path round the lake (with the water on your left) and you will come to the stadium. The away end is at the right hand end of the stadium as it comes into view.
On public transport
Both the number 72 and number 75 bus routes go to the stadium. The buses can be caught from the Frenchgate Interchange adjacent to Doncaster train station. The buses run every 20 minutes up to 6pm and the journey is about ten minutes, although expect delays close to kick-off and especially after the match. For evening matches there are buses at 6pm, 6:30pm and 7pm.
The Keepmoat Stadium is about a 20-25 minute walk from Doncaster train station via the following directions.
Come out the front entrance to the train station and head toward the dual carriageway in front (Trafford Way), you should see a pedestrian crossing to your right, by the vehicle entrance to the station; take this to cross the road. On the other side turn down the first road to your left (in front of the optimisitcally named ‘Luxury Showers and Bathrooms’) and then turn right in front of the Frenchgate Centre, going up the street adjacent to TJ Hughes (Printing Office Street). At the mini roundabout at the end of the street turn left (onto Cleveland Street) and then take the first right onto Wood Street (in front of Tonik) and continue straight ahead, crossing the roundabout at the top onto Chequer Road.
At the end of Chequer Road you’ll come to a dual carriageway (Carr House Road). Cross via the pedestrian crossing to your right and continue straight ahead down Childers Street. Turn left after the last house then take the footpath to your right past the allotments. At the end of the path turn left and then take the first right and you’ll see the stadium ahead.
Alcohol is available inside the stadium concourses (unless the local constabulary suggest otherwise), although there are few pubs near the ground with the exception of a couple of family style bars; The Premier Inn at the Lakeside Shopping Centre, and The Cheswold further round the lake. As such away fans in need of refreshment are probably best off in the town centre.
A number of your token town centre bars (Wetherspoons, Walkabout etc) can be found on Priory Walk. To get there follow the ‘on foot directions above and you’ll see Walkabout halfway up Printing Office Street on your left. Leaving Priory Walk at the other end will take you onto the High Street, from here more town centre bars can be found by turning right, and then left.
A couple of the more traditional pre-match pubs are just about within walking distance of the ground. The Salutation on South Parade is probably the real ale drinkers’ best option. To get to ‘The Sal’ follow the on foot directions above, but turn left at the roundabout between Wood Street and Chequer Road. Turn right at the traffic lights and the Salutation is about 150 yards up on your right. The Park Hotel was the pre-match pub of choice in the Belle Vue days, and is not too out of the way. Follow the on foot directions to Carr House Road then turn left. The Park Hotel is about 500 yards along on the opposite side of the carriageway.