Roots Hall is situated within a terraced housing estate and has many entrances to the ground in between various houses. All stands have supporting pillars including the relatively new South Stand which possibly has more pillars and more faults than any of the others. If you sit toward the back of the lower tier there are too many pillars to have a clear view and if you sit at the back of the upper tier you have to duck down to see the goal at the far end. However, all four stands remain similar in height and close to the pitch.
Visiting supporters are situated in the north stand which has a capacity of 2,000. There is little leg room between the rows and frequent banging of knees on the row in front and getting kneed in the back from the row behind. Situated directly below the electronic scoreboard, the view isn't the best, largely due to supporting pillars, but due to the old domed roofing it does make for the best noise with even a handful of supporters. There is a Transport style cafe with tables and chairs offering the usual selection of pies, burgers and hot dogs.
Roots Hall seating plan:
Located on East Street and just a 2 minute walk from the ground is The Fish House which many consider the best fish and chip shop in the Southend area. To wash down your chips there are a couple of pubs to choose from up by the ground. The Blue Boar is the birthplace of SUFC and is a small family run friendly pub that serves hot and cold food and shows Sky Sports. Away fans are allowed in and it's literally 2 minutes from the ground. The Spread Eagle is another small-ish locals pub with food and Sky Sports. Although away fans can be allowed in, home fans have priority in a first come first served policy.
Parking is available at the ground behind the north stand at a cost of £5 per vehicle. However, street parking is in abundance being situated in the residential area that it is with no permit holder sections, you'll just need to avoid the yellow lines. Providing you do this, you'll find a spot within 10 minutes walk of the ground without any problems.
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The nearest / closest train station to Southend United's Roots Hall Stadium is Prittlewell, on the Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria Line. Services run every 20 minutes and take around an hour. The ground is a 5 minute walk from the station, turning right on exiting onto East Street. Turn right at the junction with Victoria Avenue and the ground is on the left hand side.
Away supporters should walk down Victoria Avenue past the main entrance before turning left into Fairfax Drive. The entrance to the North stand is on the left.
Rivals - Colchester, Leyton Orient, West Ham
Travel: I had been informed there was plenty of street parking near the ground, but arrived late and was struggling until I stumbled upon Prittlewell Chase, which had tons of free parking bays along the side of the dual carriageway, even so close to kick off.
Refreshments: The ground is very well placed just off a main road, so plenty of pubs and places to eat only a couple of hundred yards away. I had a pizza from Super Pizza. It was alright, I certainly wouldn't say Super! Inside the South Stand, awful. Just one food kiosk to serve both tiers of the South Stand. There were bars in the upper tier though, they were just deserted, so its not like there was nowhere for them, and as a result of only having one kiosk, the queues were obscene.
Impressions: Classic old style English ground, with 4 unique stands! The West and North Stands with their big old fashioned barrel roofs, and the East a typical Main Stand, all given a bit of variety by the narrow two tiered South Stand behind the goal. The South Stand was reminiscent of the School End at Loftus Road, only its just about small enough to get away with it.
Atmosphere: Nothing to write home about, but it wasn't bad either. There was a group of Southend fans in the West Stand making most of the noise, while the Rovers fans were quiet for much of the game, they could make some noise when they got going.
Enjoy: It's only really the awful refreshment facilities that let it down really, as otherwise, it was a quality little lower league ground.
Ground Name: Roots Hall
Capacity: 12,392 (all seated)
Address: Victoria Ave, Southend-On-Sea, SS2 6NQ
Main Tel No.: 01702 304050
Team Nickname: The Shrimpers
Year Ground Opened: 1955
Online Shop: store.tothe92.co.uk/southend-united