BATE Borisov

 

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Comments

Anthony Joy

Match: BATE Borisov v Arsenal, Europa League Group Stage, 28/09/17

Published: 27/10/2018

 

Match: BATE Borisov v Arsenal, Europa League Group Stage, 28/09/17

 

Arsenal's opening matchday of the Europa League group stage threw up a visit to Belarus, to play BATE Borisov. A trip to Eastern Europe tends to fill me with a mix of excitement and trepidation.   Some quick research suggested that the town of Barysaw was not ideal for touring supporters, so following some quick calls to Arsenal, we were recommended to stay in Minsk into where we flew from London

 

Getting There & Parking

The Borisov Arena is approximately a 90minute drive from Minsk city centre. The Arsenal Belarus supporters club arranged for a social meeting point near to where Arsenal had laid on free coaches to take supporters to the ground.  These were not wheelchair accessible so I had to drag myself up the coach steps and sit in the front seats. Arriving at the stadium in the middle of a forest, the outside of the ground resembles a steel ladybird.

 

The coaches parked immediately outside the ground, and I waited until the majority had headed to the turnstiles before descending the steps.

 

Getting a Ticket

Our tickets were arranged through Arsenal and were complimentary however we never actually received a ticket. Arsenal officials called the BATE Borisov supporters liaison officer who collected me from the away end and escorted me through to a large gate at the other end of the stadium.    

 

Spectator Viewing Areas

Having entered through the gate there were 2 disabled toilets on the right hand side which were welcome having been on the coach for so long.

 

You are then at pitchside and have to wheel alongside the pitch (on astro turf material) to a steel ramp and platform for wheelchair users.  We were positioned on the second of four on each side of the ground, and were midway between penalty area and the half way line.   We were some distance from the Arsenal fans, which was disappointing as we could see a platform empty near to them.  The view was good: we could see the touchline over the larger advertising hording.

 

Amenities

As mentioned above the disabled toilets were immediately next to the entrance.  I couldn’t find any refreshment kiosk, however a gentleman came around and handed out essentially a packed lunch to everyone: my contained 2 small rolls, a chocolate bar and a bottle of water. 

 

We were not kept in, while the majority of Arsenal fans were.  I had chance to visit the BATE Borisov club shop while I waited for my friends to exit from their section, before boarding the coaches again to head back to Minsk.

 

 

 

 

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