Countdown begins at Portman Road

PORTMAN Road is counting down the hours to the big kick-off of Ipswich Town's first competitive home match of the season.Fans heading to the Leicester game for a slice of Nationwide League action will notice that the new North Stand is not quite up to capacity.

By Nick Richards

PORTMAN Road is counting down the hours to the big kick-off of Ipswich Town's first competitive home match of the season.

Fans heading to the Leicester game for a slice of Nationwide League action will notice that the new North Stand is not quite up to capacity.

The stand will have a reduced capacity for the club's first three home games of the season but it's expected to be to at full capacity for the visit of Norwich on Sunday, September 15.

The seating area in the Stand will be open in both the upper and lower tiers for the games against Leicester on Sunday, Bradford on August 26 and Avenir Beggen in the UEFA Cup on August 29 but there will be reduced numbers in the upper tier.

At the Avenir game, Ipswich fans will get their first chance to see the new floodlights in action.

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The new lights reach the same Premier League lux standard of brightness as the old ones.

The two corner bookends each side of the North Stand are not in use for the first three games but there are catering and toilet facilities available. Entry can be made via the new turnstile under the North Stand.

By the time Norwich City travel to Portman Road for the derby match in September, the North Stand should be at full seating capacity with bar facilities open in the east bookend and also the exit staircase in that area will be open. A lift will become operational in the east bookend for the disabled.

Town fans have shown their commitment to the cause for the forthcoming Division One season by snapping up more than 18,000 season tickets, about the same number as were purchased at this stage last year.

They've also been busy getting their new replica shirts with the club reporting good sales of the new claret and blue away kit.

And all those in love of Town merchandise won't have long to wait – the club's new two-tier superstore is progressing at a fast rate and the club will make an official announcement as to when it opens.

WEBLINK: www.itfc.co.uk

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