Now it's official: Norwich's the best place to watch
Chris Lakey Norwich City have come top of the league when it comes to looking after their fans on match days. In a major Football League survey, the Yellow and Green army reckon Carrow Road is tops for matchday atmosphere, safety and stewarding, cleanliness and - not surprisingly with Delia Smith at the helm - catering.
Norwich City have come top of the league when it comes to looking after their fans on match days.
In a major Football League survey, the Yellow and Green army reckon Carrow Road is tops for matchday atmosphere, safety and stewarding, cleanliness and - not surprisingly with Delia Smith at the helm - catering.
City bagged top spot in seven of the 12 categories for matchday experience with arch rivals Ipswich claiming a solitary success for the quality of their pre-match and half-time entertainment - which last season included a Norwich shirt being kicked and stamped on.
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Canaries fans had few complaints: 12pc of all fans had cause to complain, but City's figure was below 5pc.
The survey was conducted throughout the Football League and involved more than 40,000 supporters - more than half of them following Championship clubs.
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The hand of Delia is evident in the catering report, with City top of their league when it came to the price of food and drink, the standard and the attitude of kiosk staff.
The club also passed the thorny subject of stewarding with flying colours, with special mention reserved for stadium manager Leon Blackburn and his team who look after the second biggest average home attendances in the division.
The secret, says Blackburn, is having diehard fans on his books.
“You develop an eye for people and can quickly assess the way they communicate or the way they listen,” he said. “If they come and work as stewards, they put on the official orange Norwich City coat and immediately feel part of the club, a sense of belonging. Our stewards are very loyal - we only have a 10pc turnover every year from a pool, of around 300 stewards and some of the team have been with us for years.”
Elsewhere in the Championship, promoted Hull pushed City hard, with fans impressed by the stadium sight lines and toilet facilities.
The MK Dons' new stadium was best in League Two for safety and toilet facilities - which will be a bonus for Norwich fans going there for the first time when the teams meet in the first round of the Carling Cup in August.
Charlton almost swept the board when it came to their ticketing policy, although Norwich fans put their club top for its office opening times.
Championship matchday experience
t Atmosphere: Norwich
t Quality and use of PA: Sheffield Utd
t Pre-match/half-time entertainment: Ipswich
t Fan safety: Norwich
t Stewarding: Norwich
t Sight lines: Hull
t Toilet facilities: Hull
t Cleanliness: Norwich
t Parking facilities near ground: Barnsley
t Prices: Norwich
t Standard: Norwich
t Attitude of staff: Norwich