The City Ground is a purpose built football stadium located in West Bridgford on the banks of the River Trent in the city of Nottingham. Home to Nottingham Forest Football Club since the 19th Century (1898), the 30,602 capacity ground was used as a venue for Euro 96.
Table of Contents
The City ground has been the home venue of Nottingham Forest since 1898, and is famously located less than 300 yards away from The Magpies’ Meadow Lane. Situated across the River Trent, the two grounds are the second closest in terms of distance in the UK behind Dundee F.C and Dundee United. Some fans of both clubs believe that it would perhaps make more sense if the team’s swapped positions.
The name of Nottingham Forest’s Ground was chosen to commemorate Nottingham’s status of a city in 1897 however, the ground actually falls outside of the official city boundary. Ironically, Notts County’s Meadow Lane does fit within the limits, and as the team’s name suggests, the club are said to represent the county. Hardly important, but interesting nevertheless.
The modern day structure of The City Ground very much came about in the late 1970s, coinciding with the most memorable period of the club’s history. Legendary manager Brian Clough won back to back European Cups in 1979 and 1980, after claiming the First Division title, allowing the club to finance the expansion of their prestigious ground.
The large Executive Stand capable of seating 10,000 fans was built in 1980, and latter renamed in honour of Cloughy upon his retirement. The Bridgford Stand was renovated during the 1992-1993 season, and The Trend End was completely rebuilt in time for Euro 1996 when The City Ground hosted three group matches.
Nottingham Forest have occasionally explored the feasibility of leaving their home of 100 years for a new stadium dubbed “Robin Hood Arena”, however The Reds are yet to find a suitable location. Recently the stadium attached itself to England’s 2018 World Cup, however, this proved to be unsuccessful. Forest always have the option of rebuilding the Main Stand which will increase the capacity to 40,000.
Below is a seating plan of Nottingham Forest's The City Ground:
Nottingham Forest’s ground is comprised of the following four sections: The Brian Clough Stand (North), The Bridgford Stand (East), The Main Stand (South) and The Trent End (West).
Click the thumbnails above to enlarge an image of each stand and to read a more detailed description of each part of the stadium.
The Matchday Experience
Traditionally away fans are housed within the lower tier of the Bridgford End which is the asymmetrical stand located behind the eastern goal, capable of seating around 1,000 fans. There is a slight emphasis on seating here, as many fans report that stewards are particularly militant when it comes to standing, and there are often reports of fans been given one warning before being unceremoniously rejected from the City Ground.
Occasionally Nottingham Forest have trialed giving visiting supporters half of the Bridgford end towards the corner of the Brian Clough Stand which includes access to the two-tiers. This has the added bonus of not allowing the more unsavoury Forest fans the opportunity to unleash a downpour of abuse and occasional debris upon the unsuspecting visitors.
With no support beams in sight the views from the Eastern stand are generally pretty decent, and the comfort levels are on par with most other grounds in the country. If the occasion demands it then an additional 1,000 seats are made available within the Brian-Clough stand which is adjoined to the north.
As for drinking, the Meadow Club on Meadow Lane next to Notts County FC is regarded by the club as the “unofficial” pub for away supporters on matchdays, and is always lively.
If you are traveling in from the city centre then you have a lot of choice when it comes to pubs. The most famous and memorable for a lot visitors to Nottingham is Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem which is a self-described “higgledy-piggledy, old world boozer” serving a wide range of real ales. The Jurys Inn just off of London Road is also popular amongst fans.
The pubs close to the ground are generally for the home fans but as a lot of them are on route, there’s no harm in enquiring. Once you have made your way past Notts County’s ground there is The Riverbank Bar and Kitchen, and after crossing the Trent you are greeted by The Southbank Bar which is a “Popular watering hole with tv sports”.
Either side of Trent Bridge Cricket Ground are the Trent Bridge Inn and the smaller Larwood & Voce which both specialise in and purportedly are well stocked with real ales. Obviously fans can also drink once inside City Ground with the concourse offering the choice of one or two beers.
Within the southern side of the River Trent where Nottingham Forest’s ground is located there is reasonable choice when it comes to eating. There are a decent selection of high-street brands such as McDonalds, Costa-Coffee and Co-Op, as well as independent fast food outlets selling kebabs and chips.
Within the city center there are of course much more options to choose from.
The Nottingham Forest Megastore located at the City Ground with the exception of the official online store is the best place to pick up any club related merchandise.
The opening times are as follows:
- Monday to Thursday: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
- Friday in season: 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
- Friday close season: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
- Saturday: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
- Sunday: Closed
- Matchdays: 9.00 am – 1 hour after full time
Fans of the Reds can get a behind the scenes tour of Nottingham Forest’s iconic stadium by undertaking a tour of the premises which lasts anywhere between 90 minutes to 2 hours.
Hosted by Brian Goodliffe who is one of the of the longest-serving members of staff having worked at the club since the age of 14, fans will get to see first-hand restricted access areas such as the players’ changing rooms, the tunnel and dugouts and even the replica European Cup.
With prices starting at just £8 for adults, £7 for seniors and £4 for under 16s when accompanied by an adult, with a small discount available to season ticket holders, a tour of the City Ground certainly makes for an affordable and memorable day out.
For more information and to book your place on the tour, you can either phone (0115 982 4388) or visit the ticket office with the latest tour dates listed on this page here.
Tickets to see Forest play can either be purchased in person at the megastore or ticket office at the Brian Clough Stand up to and just before kick-off. Alternatively you can phone the ticket hotline on 0115 982 4388, send an email to [email protected] or purchase tickets online.
Prices across for the Championship season are hard to list as not all tickets are on sale yet, but so far early on in the season prices appear to range from.
- Adults: £26.00 – £35.00
- Seniors: £14.00 – £18.00
- Under 18s: £12.00 – £18.00
- Under 12s: £6.00 – £7.00
Located in the West Bridgford area of Nottingham approximately 2.2 miles out of town, the City Ground and Notts County’s Meadow Lane stadium are close to each other, only separated by the river Trent.
City Ground’s address for satnav is as follows:
- Pavilion Road, Nottingham, NG2 5FJ.
Parking at the city ground is limited with priority given to players, members of staff, guests of the club and disabled supporters. This essentially means that the small “Brian Clough Car Park” is for all intents and purposes off limits but thankfully there are numerous Nottingham Forest FC approved car parks nearby:
- Meadow Lane (Notts County’s Stadium) – £3 per car.
- Victoria Embankment (To the left of London Road Bridge northside) – £4 per car and very limited availability
- County Hall (Notts County Council – south of City Ground) – £4 per car, £12 per minibus and £20 per coach.
- Cattlemarket Pay & Display (North of Notts County’s Stadium) – £3 per car
A full map of these is available to view by following the above link “Full Driving Directions”.
Nottingham Railway Station is located exactly 1.1 miles north-west of City Ground with an estimated walking time of slightly over 20 minutes.
The station is served by three train operators: East Midlands Trains, CrossCountry and Northern Rail with direct and regular routes to UK destinations including London, Birmingham and Sheffield.
- Exit onto station street and turn left walking past Tesco Express and then left again onto Carrington Street.
- Follow this road to the junction where the British Transport Building is and proceed down Arkwright street as it rifts leftwards, becoming Meadows Way.
- Follow this road for its duration until you can access the bridge on London Road.
- Proceed over the River Trent and turn left onto Trentside North with the ground less than 500 metres away.
There are a few hotel choices located near to City Ground on the south/south eastern side of the River Trent including The Gallery, The Castle and Grantham Hotels.
Heading a mile or so north back towards the city centre there is lots of choice with the usual suspects such as Premier Inn, Travelodge and Ibis all highly accessible. The closest hotels to Notts Station is either Hotel Bentinick or the Jurys Inn – both of which are located on station street.