The match started at 5.30pm on Saturday evening but we were invited into the Clubhouse for pre-match drinks and to check out the facilities on offer at Ricoh Arena, Coventry.
We paid for match parking that was 20 minutes walk from the stadium. At £10 it seemed a little steep but the car park was well lit, manned and seemed to have a lot of fans parked there so we had plenty of people to follow. My Dad always says a pre-match walk is good to warm you up before sitting down and I have to agree. By the time we reached the stadium we were toasty.
Rather than walking around the stadium to the Clubhouse we cut through the part that hosts events and it is well worth checking out. With Christmas almost upon us, the area was packed to the brim with lights, trees and strange Christmas elves greeting everyone. It was like wandering into another world.
Once we did find the Clubhouse we were greeted by a host and shown through to the bar area. We walked in with eyes and mouths wide open. The space was like a sports bar in Vegas. High ceilings lined with massive TV's all playing sport and then as the game approached the pre-match TV programme. There were baby changing facilities and toilets available but our first stop was the bar!
After the main crowd headed out to their seats we followed. One thing for the Ricoh Arena is that it is great for a work out! That stadium loves a staircase. I don't think I would have noticed before but with Annabelle attached they suddenly become a work out! Our seat was behind the goal about halfway up giving us a great view. Annabelle would rate the seats highly as we were right in front of a giant screen so when she wasn't watching the match she had her eyes on the screen! Win-win for entertainment value!
The game was enjoyable and the fans were lovely. In fact it was the fans sat by us that made the game more enjoyable as they explained the rules and what was happening when the play stopped. I think we could have figured some of it out but I'm glad we didn't have to.
So in summary yes rugby is family friendly. From our experience the fans are welcoming and happy to chat. We enjoyed the celebrations when Wasps (the home team) scored, they were fun to join in with and had Annabelle smiling. The stadium is impressive and easily accessible. And the food is pretty yummy too - well the pies at least!
If you enjoy rugby or want to try something new we would definitely recommend trying a game with children of all ages!