With a capacity of just over 10,000, Kenilworth Road is suitable for any club at this level of the English game. However, the ground has been in need of major redevelopment for many years now. Lack of funding and talk of a new stadium have put paid to that unfortunately.
The Oak Road End behind one of the goals is very small and has pillars running across the front of the stand. Opposite is the Kenilworth Road End which used to be a terrace but has had seating installed over top. The view from this stand is very good. The Main Stand runs along side the pitch and is a two tiered affair. A camera gantry ladder and supporting pole run directly down the front middle of the stand with a couple of large supporting beams to either end. Opposite this is the Executive Stand. A long row of executive boxes run end to end with a small seating section in front of each.
Up to 1,500 visiting supporters can be accommodated here and they are situated in the Oak Road Stand behind one of the goals. As mentioned above, the view of the playing surface is restricted from most seats due to the pillars running across the front of the stand and alos the low gradient, whilst the leg room and facilities available inside are also strained. The refreshments bar is ok however.
Kenilworth Road seating plan:
There are a number of pubs in the local vicinity but if you arrive early enough, a visit to the club bar at the ground (The Bobbers Club) is well worth it. It's situated right by the Oak Road turnstiles and allows a small amount of away fans in. A selection of hot and cold drinks and a small range of food is available.
Parking is limited in nearby roads do to a permit parking only scheme so you're advised to either park a little further afield. If you want to get away quickly after the game then you'll need to arrive early to find a space nearby.
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The nearest / closest train station to Luton Town's Kenilworth Road is Luton. The railway station is around a minute walk away. You can jump on a bus or into a taxi but if you'd like to walk here's the directions: Turn right out of the station onto Station Road. Once you reach the traffic lights go straight across onto Mill Street. This road will turn to the right as it merges with New Bedford Road, so turn left here, then 1st right into Collingdon Street. At the end of Collingdon Street you will reach a dual carriageway. Head left along side the road and follow the walkway, then bear right to go over the footbridge. The bridge splits into two and you'll need to head right. This will lead you down into Dunstable Road. Take the 1st left into Hazelbury Crescent and this will lead you straight to the stadium.
Rivals - Watford, Stevenage
Travel: Having done my fair share of away days on the train and through car-sharing with others, I finally decided on taking the supporters coach down to this match. The journey itself was quite pleasant, but found some of the driving etiquette in Luton a little strange - with multiple people driving along pavements to get ahead in the rush-hour queues. The ground itself is situated in the middle of a housing estate, so roads are quite tight and there were a lot of cars already lining the sides by the time our coach crawled through. My advice to those driving would be to park a little further away and walk the last stretch. We were pointed towards the designated coach areas behind the Away end in good time.
Refreshments: As we had brought a fair amount of food/drink to have on the coach, we decided to give the local pubs a miss. It was also not immediately obvious upon arrival where we could go to get a drink without wandering down the stretch of road back into town, so we gave it a miss on this occasion.
Impressions: For a start, the entrance to the Away end is quite bewildering, situated underneath somebody's flat between two large blue gates, giving the impression that the stadium and housing have been integrated together. The stewards manning the gate were friendly enough, and offered up their own measured opinions on the local area. The next puzzling feature was the fire escape style stairs you have to climb before going through an almost makeshift doorway into the back of the Away end itself. We took our seats in good time, which were not bad at all. The supporting pillars running across the front can impair the view, but by and large the views of the important areas of the field and as good as any ground. It is worth noting the stand dips beneath pitch level so those at the front were looking upwards to watch the match - if a large away following is expected it may be better to arrive in good time and take advantage of the unassigned seating policy to get a better view! On the stadium itself, my feelings were mixed. To our left, the Executive areas looked oddly out of place, a small, thin stand seemingly crowded on one side, with the front of the stand near enough pitchside. The Away end is as good as any I've been in, and the other two "Home" stands are moderately impressive, with a decent, all-seater capacity and a "proper ground" feel about it.
Atmosphere: The atmosphere from the Home fans was excellent, and they made their voices heard, surprising for a Capital One Cup First Round tie, which are normally quite muted affairs. They stepped up the banter with their 1-0 lead by the hands of Luke Rooney, an ex Swindon midfielder, and retaliated well when we took a 2-1 lead and got on their backs in return. The chanting between the two sets of fans was inventive, with both sides exchanging a number of slurs on both Swindon and Luton as places to live. There was a slight edge to the atmosphere, but nothing that you sensed wouldn't abate with the final whistle.
Facilities: I'll be honest - the facilities are the worst I've experienced at an Away venue. The toilets are cramped, small and fairly dank. Four cubicles at a quick count to serve an entire Away end doesn't seem adequate for Football League level. The leg room itself in seats is absolutely fine, no different to any other ground. We didn't sit down for the entire game, but the level between rows also seemed decent. There is a small kiosk serving refreshments, but on a busy day I can see this becoming a near impossibility to get anything from - with just over 500 fans I decided not to bother. The fact the kiosk is in a good viewing area of the pitch is a good idea though - even those queuing wouldn't miss a kick. It is slightly disappointing, however, that there seems to be a shortage of options for fans to buy view other than this single kiosk. With larger attendances this would probably prove a more obvious problem.
Exit: As soon as the game finished we headed back out and rejoined our coach. We were away quickly and easily, with no trouble or serious traffic. We were home about 2 hours later, which isn't bad timing for the length of the journey. The traffic exiting the stadium must have been well managed at other areas, as we left around the same time as 6,000 others and were barely held up at all. No complaints on that front.
Enjoy: I'll be honest - the general impression of the ground is one of serious work needing doing to it. The area is slightly intimidating, with row upon row of terraced housing stretching on all sides and a fair few people just loitering around the streets watching the Away turnstiles. The stadium itself is quite something to get your head around, I've never been in an Away End like it. I will say that, for an atmosphere, the Luton fans are just as good as any I've come across, and, whilst it was a slightly nerve wracking experience walking amongst home supporters to get hold of a match programme, the Club itself and their staff seemed fairly friendly and orientated to help both sets of fans get the most from their trip. The result was very enjoyable, as was the manner in which we took it. The ground is an experience in itself, but if the journey isn't too far I would recommend it to other supporters, if for nothing else than to watch your team and enjoy the novelty of this "proper football ground". It's not worth a long-distance journey to visit, though.
Ground Name: Kenilworth Road
Capacity: 10,226 (all seated)
Address: 1 Maple Road, Luton, LU4 8AW
Main Tel No.: 01582 411 622
Team Nickname: The Hatters
Year Ground Opened: 1905