Brentford FC in West London was always at the top of my list for people who wanted to see English soccer beyond the Premier League. And it still is, for different reasons.
Up until this year, it was all about Griffin Park (right), where Brentford played for over 100 years. It didn’t seem to have changed a whole lot in that time; it only seated about 12,000 people, had terraces in two ends, and was famous all over the country for having a pub at each corner outside the ground.
I sent people there, and took a Groundhop tour there, for a taste of old-fashioned community football.
Well, the 2019-20 season was their last one at Griffin Park, because they built a new place. And now I can’t wait to go there to check out what a modern, convenient place in London is like.
The Brentford Community Stadium — one assumes a sponsor will eventually affix their name to it for a fee — sits right next to the Kew Bridge Railway Station and a few minutes’ walk from the River Thames. Across that is the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. There are pubs and restaurants around, which wasn’t the case at Griffin Park beyond the small, traditional places at the ground.
The stadium itself seats 17,250 and is part of a development that includes 910 new homes and a promised 365 days of community events per year.
They have some very cool 360-degree views on their website, including a feature where you can clock on an entrance, go into that hospitality area, and then clock the door to go back out and see the view. Check it out.
And one of their supporter YouTube channels got a tour, as well. Here’s that video. Dude is a little silly, but hey, that’s YouTube.
And if you’re into construction time-lapses, here’s one from the club: