A couple of music and theater events made me travel to Glasgow a couple of times in the recent past. I had some amazing experience in the city like the great School Museum. During my January trip to see Rock of Ages in the Scottish city, I booked into the Glasgow Rangers Tour at Ibrox Stadium, formerly Ibrox Park. After being at Manchester United, this is the 2nd soccer stadium tour featured by flyctory.com. I was quite interested how this tour will be alike.
The Ibrox district is on the Western part of Glasgow. If you do not travel by car (plenty of free parking on non-matchdays), the easiest way to get to Ibrox Stadium is the Subway (station: Ibrox). This is also the option I took to get there from my excellent Novotel stay. You see the ground already some two minutes after leaving the station, but need to walk along it some more time until you reach the main entrance at Bill Struth Main Stand.
The admission for the tour is 15 GBP. You have to book the tour in advance, either by phone or the Rangers website. I booked it the day before my visit and was very lucky that the tour I wanted to take happened to be still free – all other tours were sold out. Thus, I would admit to be less patient in your decision to visit the club.
Ibrox Park Tour – The Tour
Unlike the Manchester United tour I took, there is no museum. The tour is the museum and also covers stages like the Trophy Room. Your group is roughly 30 people, lead by one guide through the premises. I spent roughly two hours at Ibrox – more than I expected. All stops are located within the Bill Struth Main Stand. You are allowed to take pictures and videos all the time – you are just not allowed to record the Rangers introduction video.
Press Room and Introduction
The tour starts with some introductory words and a video about the club’s history in the press room. Of course, you learn about that the club is nowadays the one with the most club titles ever (115). You don’t hear about that this record is in fact ignoring the insolvency in 2012, which lead to a “new” Glasgow Rangers Club. But if you talk about religion or sports, it is fine to ignore some major facts, I feel :). After the video, the group was visited by the club’s mascot, the bear Broxi, who danced with the kids. A lovely idea.
Stairway and Hall of Fame
The next steps of the tour are taken in the first floor. In the starcase, you see the Rangers Hall of Fame memorial board. It even features two German players, Jörg Albertz and Stefan Klos. There is a lot of explanation on the different statues and paintings in that area.
Blue Room & Manager’s Room
The next room you visit is the Blue Room, which you may visit on match days by CEO invitation only. It is quite impressive due to all the paintings at the wall.
Just next is the Manager’s Room, which is no longer used for that purpose (the new room is now closer to the pitch), but very representative. Again, there is a photo opportunity to sit on the original chair. I loved that place.
Director’s Box & Members Club
You are now heading into the Director’s Box and thus into the interior of Ibrox Stadium for the first time. You may sit where the club management and celebrities are taking a seat during the match. You are also shown the seat where players or officials have to sit when they are sent off. Next to it is the Members Club seating area, which also has a beautiful lounge and bar with a lot of memorabilia.
With the Rangers being the most successful football club in the world, the Trophy Room is just the most special part of your visit. There are loads of pennants and other memorabilia of clubs which faced the Rangers. Of course, you find a huge number of cups and medallions there as well. Just impressive to walk around there and look for some artifacts of your club – there are a couple of items of my beloved team, Cologne, there as well.
When I say that the visit in the locker rooms is “disappointing”, I don’t mean that in the literal sense. Both locker rooms, the smaller for the away team and the major one for the Rangers are just incredibly old-fashioned – you may have a nicer setup in your school’s gym. Hard to compare it to other places, it is part of the Rangers philosophy and history not to change it.
Inside the Stadium
Your final steps are to walk inside the stadium. You are – of course – not allowed to enter the pitch, but you may sit on the benches or walk around in the coaching zones.
Ibrox Stadium Tour – My View
The Ibrox Stadium Tour offers a very different experience to the ones I visited before. You get a lot of information, the guide is telling you a lot of stories. For me as a non-native tongue, listening to Scottish English for almost two hours is extremely exhausting, because I have to highly concentrate. Especially if you visit with kids (which I feel is absolutely great), they should have a an advanced level of understanding the language definitely.
Despite that small fact, I felt that the tour was really great. It told you a lot about the club’s philosophy and history, the guide was excellent. Stages like the Manager’s Room or the Trophy Room were highly memorable. I also feel it is a very fair value for money – you won’t miss a museum before or after your visit definitely! Top Pick!