Music venue to become new home for away fans before Norwich City games
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images
A popular music venue is to become the new home for away fans before Norwich City games this season.
The Waterfront on King Street is to open its doors to hundreds of away supporters in the build up to home games at Carrow Road, starting from the match with Chelsea on Saturday August 24.
The venue is now one of about three in Norwich that accommodate away fans prior to kick-off.
The University of East Anglia Students' Union, which has operated the venue for more than 25 years, said up to 500 supporters can be accommodated inside.
But it stressed the number will be controlled for safety purposes and customers will be required to show a match ticket to gain entrance.
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The students' union said Norfolk police had "expressed" its support for the idea.
"... In particular [police] felt there was a shortage of venues that catered specifically for away support," the union said.
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"The Waterfront has an excellent record with regards to safety and security at public live music events and the same high levels of preparation will be applied to the football days."
Due to the venue being predominately used for live music, the union said it will not be able to open for every match.
The union added: "In reality this will be continually assessed during the season as matches are regularly rescheduled for TV coverage and cup-tie clashes."
Nigel Utton, chairman of the King Street Residents' Association, said he had not been made aware of the plans.
But he said: "As long as sensible security measures are in place, we will be fine."
Both Stadia on Upper King Street and The Town House on Yarmouth Road also welcome away fans on match days.
The Compleat Angler had been the go-to destination for away supporters for about 30 years, but in 2017 the manager turned it into a venue for City fans.
A spokesperson for Norfolk police said: "Officers have been involved in discussions with the venue.
"In terms of patrols, the policing of any football match is intelligence led and any operations will be developed accordingly.
The Waterfront will also open before the Norwich V Manchester City match on September 14.