City Ground (Nottingham Forest)

When I’m doing interviews with international media they always ask what the best thing about this blog is, what makes a great ground. It’s always the same: “Hey Andy, so can you tell the people of Oklahoma what’s so great about the Turnbull Ground?”

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It’s amazing and of course the answer differs from place to place. The sheer size of Old Trafford is overwhelming, the state of Tinto Park is almost surreal but for those stadiums that are just that, there’s one thing that will always win over: the chance to sneak in.

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And so the City Ground, home of former European Cup winners Nottingham Forest, will always be remembered fondly by me. It’s not really one for daytime tourists to wander inside, but on a Saturday evening shortly after a home game, the doors were still open.

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That meant yours truly having a mope about and there’s no denying the City Ground is an impressive venue. It’s a big stadium anyway and pretty immaculate, in fact there’s a lot of grounds such as Oxford’s Kassam Stadium that are much newer, not a lot smaller but definitely looking worse for wear.

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Wonderful old school floodlights perched high above and old-school turnstiles give this a warm feeling and regardless of its flashy interior, will win even the coldest heart over. Inside there’s bright red seats that are visually striking but also stanchions interrupting the view from one stand. It’s a cracking mix of schools both old and new.

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There’s plenty to see of Forest’s home from the outside too, so it definitely wouldn’t be a wasted journey if you can’t get inside, but I can only really judge this one as being brilliant due to the thrill of a peek behind closed doors.

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