December 5, 2013, by Ben Read
Nottingham – The City of Sport
Last Friday I went to watch Nottingham Forest play Reading (who is the team I support), it was a great game finishing 3-2 to Reading. However, I was sitting right in the middle of a block of Forest fans so my celebrations were fairly muted!
This trip to the City Ground got me thinking, Nottingham has an amazing amount of opportunities to watch sport, so I thought I’d tell you about them…
The sporting district of Nottingham lies about a mile or so south west of the city centre. Adjacent to the River Trent you will find the world famous Trent Bridge, The City Ground, Meadow Lane, The National Ice Centre, Nottingham Racecourse and The National Water Sports Centre.
Trent Bridge is home to Nottinghamshire Country Cricket Club and regularly plays host to international matches, most recently between England and Australia in the Ashes this summer. It’s a stunning venue with a great atmosphere. The large investment into the redevelopment of the stadium is impressive and I was lucky enough to watch England play New Zealand there in a One Day International match earlier in the year.
The City Ground is home to Nottingham Forest Football Club. It has been home to club since 1898, and has an all-seated capacity of 30,602. Nottingham Forest currently play in the Championship, the second division of English football, however, have great hopes of regaining a place in the top flight as soon as possible. Of course the moments that stand out in Forest’s history are the back to back European Cup victories in 1979 and 1980 under the guidance of, beating Malmo and Hamburg by one goal to nil respectively.
Meadow Lane is the home of Nott County Football Club, as well as Nottingham Rugby Football Club and is the venue for the varsity football and rugby fixtures. Notts County are the oldest football team in the world to currently play at a professional level (formed in 1862) and play in the third tier of English football, league one. Nottingham RFC shared the ground with Notts County and play in the second tier of English Rugby, the Championship, and reached the play-offs last year to gain promotion to the Premiership.
The £43 million National Ice Centre was the first twin Olympic-sized (60m x 30m) ice rink facility in the UK and is home to the Nottingham Panther’s (Ice Hockey). The Panther’s completed the treble in the 2012-2013 season winning the Elite League, Challenge Cup and Play-Off titles. The venue also hosts the varsity Ice Hockey and Basketball, which are the most attended and vocally supported varsity matches. Big concerts are also held there throughout the year, as well as the finale to Freshers Week.
Nottingham Racecourse is a flat course with a decent fixture list that runs throughout the year. The Nottingham Dogs track is also in the same location as the racecourse and the track races every Monday, Friday and Saturday evening throughout the year.
The National Water Sports Centre is set in 270 acres of parkland and many different water sports take place there. The Centre has three distinct spaces of water designated to different sports. The regatta lake, is a 2,000 metre regatta rowing facility which features a six lane rowing course, there is a 700 m purpose-built white water canoe slalom course, as well as a water ski lagoon equipped with slalom course and ski jump.
In addition to all these facilities, there is a tennis centre located just outside University Park which has both grass and indoor tennis courts, as well as the UK’s largest ten pin bowling centre is also located in Nottingham with over 48 lanes spread over two floors.
Nottingham really is sport mad, so if you are too, this is a great place to be!
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