The Verdict

We headed to Welford Road for the first Tigers home match of the season yesterday – and the first with the new stand.

Although the designers have gone for an unashamed grey breeze block motif throughout – which seems unavoidable with modern stadia, presumably for financial reasons – the set up and facilities are undeniably a huge improvement.

The new stand is triple the capacity of it’s predecessor and, although I definitely wouldn’t want to be at the back – which looks like both binoculars and an independent air tank may be required to last the course – we’re about twenty rows back and so have the benefit of the improved view (no pillars) coupled with the familiarity presented by the other three stands. In other words, it feels the same but better from where we sit.

Managing the flow of fans after the game was clearly a central concern for the developers. My concerns on this score were completely unfounded as a mystifying sequence of doors on the way in became a clever one-way exit system on departure, so getting out actually took just a couple of minutes.

The game itself was frankly pretty dull. We won – but still have scored no tries in three games, which is something that needs to change rapidly if we’re to have anything approaching a decent season.

Still, I’m delighted with my four seats – six including my parents’ two – and am very much looking forward to many years of fun ahead in the company of my friends, family and particularly my three girls.