Adams Park and Wycombe Wanderers FC logo

Adams Park, High Wycombe

Wycombe Wanderers FC vs. Reading FC
Carabao Cup 1st Round

Ah the 1990s. There was so much to appreciate about this decade, from Tamagotchis, Pogs and the yo-yo to learning to read. It had it all. Stadiums were also becoming all-seater (whether that's a good thing or a bad thing) and new ones were popping up all over the country, quicker than blisters on a chickenpox sufferer.

Sunset at Adams Park
Fans shield their eyes from the shit show in front of them.

Unfortunately, stadiums were also popping up in the middle of nowhere. For example, the once easy to reach Elm Park (RIP) just outside Reading's town centre was replaced by the Madejski Stadium, well outside the town centre, on top of a rubbish tip and a complete pain in the arse to get to.

This was symptomatic of many new stadiums, forgoing their town centre roots and heading out into the countryside where there was more land to be acquired. An understandable idea, given the crowded nature of England's town and city centres, sure, but one that completely overlooked perhaps the important point of 'how the heck are people meant to get there?'.

View of the car park at Adams Park
Ample parking in a field for people who love to get home 5 hours after the game finishes.

Why they can drive! Again, nice idea, but it'd help if you actually built a car park to support the increased capacity your new stadium provides. It's a luxury in American stadiums. Large cathedrals for sport surrounded by a vast concrete moat for people to park their trucks, motorhomes, and passenger jets. Their stadiums are usually downtown too.

But we don't have the space. So we're left with a 25,000 capacity stadium built out in the sticks, with enough car parking for about 15 people. Wembley is particularly stupid. One of the largest stadiums in the world, with a puny little multi storey car park of a similar size to Wokingham train station's. It does have very good public transport links, so I guess we can cut it some slack.

A look down the away stand at Adams Park
Away fans. A curious breed.

All that pales in significance to putting a stadium in a cul-de-sac at the end of an industrial estate, in the middle of nowhere, which is quite possibly the most stupid idea anyone could ever have had. Welcome to Adams Park.

On one hand the location, surrounded by sprawling fields and tall trees is actually pretty picturesque. On the other hand, nobody can get there, and nobody can leave, and you have to watch Wycombe, or Reading's women.

Adams Park under lights
Adams Park under the lights.

This was my third trip to the stadium, and I was still grumbling over my experience last time. Knowing cars exit the stadium complex at a speed similar to me running round the base paths in a softball game after my knee dislocated, I smugly snuck into one of the office blocks down Lane End Road (by snuck in, I mean paid £5). Located right by the exit I was looking forward to a quick escape to home.

Unfortunately, what I hadn't banked on was a) they'd sell every last millimetre of space to anyone who wanted to park, and b) Accrington Stanley were on the verge of promotion and if they won, their fans would most likely stick around to celebrate the victory.

Reading goalkeeper Rafael taunts Wycombe Wanderers player
Rafael holds down 'X' on his PlayStation controller.

Of course Accrington won and my car was blocked in. And not just that, it was an Accrington fan. For 45 glorious minutes I sat staring at a stationary car blocking my escape back to Berkshire. Never again.

And of course by never again I mean, I'll definitely come back. This time, emboldened by my past experiences, instructed my taxi driver friend not to make this same mistake. There'd "surely be street parking around somewhere," I said. There wasn't.

Useless information about Adams Park

Address: Hillbottom Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP12 4HJ
Capacity: 9,448
Pitch Type: Grass
Ticket Price: £15 (The Lords Stand)
Programme: £2, 32 pages

Wycombe Wanderers ticket from the 2019/20 season

Wycombe Wanderers 2019/20 season programme