Sheffield Sharks venue guide

Information to help plan your trip to see a basketball game at the English Institute Of Sport, home of the Sheffield Sharks in the BBL.

? Address ∙ ? The venue ∙ ? Seating ∙ ? Tickets ∙ ? Food and drink ∙ ? Entertainment ∙ ? Public transport ∙ ? By car ∙ ? Parking ∙ ? Accommodation ∙ ? Previous visits

? Address

English Institute Of Sport, Coleridge Road, Sheffield S9 5DA

? The venue

Plans are afoot for the new 2,500-seater Park Community Arena at the Olympic Legacy Park. For now, Sharks go on playing at the adjacent EIS. It’s situated among a cluster of other out-of-town attractions alongside the ice arena, Sheffield Arena and Valley Centertainment. All venues are run by SIV, which claims EIS to be ‘the country’s largest multi-sports training centre‘. Long-standing voice in British basketball, Mike Shaft, provides in-play commentary. Regrettably, the music selection hasn’t advanced beyond what is seemingly a 90s football anthems CD, with short bursts played near constantly throughout the match. Playing out a recording of ‘Here we go, here we go, here we go’ – a chant not heard at a football ground for 30 years, never mind a basketball game – is arguably the BBL at its most small-time.

Occasionally games have been switched to the 300-seater Blue Hall in the same venue, notoriously for a BBL Trophy semi-final game in 2016.

? Seating

Capacity: 1,200. Standard flip-down seats on both sides of the court.

New for 2017-18, the benches and season ticket holders have switched to the opposite side of the court for better TV exposure.

? Tickets

The visiting team may offer a small number of its tickets to travelling fans, usually priced at £10 adults / £8 children. Your name will then be on the team’s guest list at the venue’s ticket desk, where they will issue you your ticket. Where seating is allocated, tickets bought through the visiting team are usually grouped together behind their bench.

Alternatively, you can buy tickets through the home team. Prices are a little more expensive this way.

? Food and drink

On a previous visit, an excellent homemade-looking chilli and nachos was worth second helpings. Expect a selection of bottled lagers, which are to be poured into plastic cups (a first for Corona!), but quite limited stock of some brands and only a mini-fridge for chilling. The queue can grow long. All very pleasant though and friendly service. EIS also has small cafeteria on entrance to the building.

Due to the close proximity to the other arenas, there’s plenty of chain restaurants at Valley Centertainment. Five Guys burger bar would be my pick. Hollywood Bowl, open till late, has a bar which proves popular with locals for a night out as well as having a large selection of arcades (including my own personal vice, NBA Hoops); it too serves food. Meadowhall is only 1½ miles away.

? Izzy’s vegan choice: Twisted Burger Company offers vegan burger and breakfast options at The Harley on the edge of the city centre. Nearer to the arena, Harvester at Centertainment offers vegan options on its main menu. For other suggestions, visit HappyCow or download their app. ??

? Entertainment

Different child dance troupes, children’s basketball, raffle

? Public transport

The train to Sheffield takes a little over 2 hours. Virgin Trains East Coast from Kings Cross changes at Doncaster, or direct East Midlands Trains from St Pancras. Single tickets from £20. Alternatively, travel into Meadowhall. Megabus has coach tickets from just £3, as well as offering East Midlands Trains tickets for the cheaper price of £13.

Everyone likes a tram! Get the Supertram from the city centre to the Arena/Don Valley stop. Alternatively, travel to the Valley Centertainment stop. Pay the conductor on board.

? By car

Sat nav reference: S9 5DA

Detailed directions on EIS website.

? Parking

On-site parking. Centertainment has a large car park but does warn of a parking enforcement scheme on its website.

? Accommodation

ibis Budget Sheffield Arena is usually the cheapest nearby option, offering a no frills en suite room. Don Valley Hotel and Premier Inn Sheffield Arena are also nearby. Travelodge Sheffield Meadowhall . Pub B&B The Noose & Gibbet Inn has always caught attention with its hanged man model.

? Previous visits

  1. Sun 08/02/2015: Sheffield Sharks 80 – 83 London Lions (BBL Championship)
  2. Fri 18/12/2015: Sheffield Sharks 69 – 66 London Lions (BBL Championship)
  3. Fri 11/03/2016: Sheffield Sharks 73 – 63 London Lions (BBL Championship)
  4. Fri 22/04/2016: Sheffield Sharks 94 – 70 London Lions (BBL Playoffs Quarter Final 1st Leg)

I strive to offer useful information based on past personal experience and secondary sources. All information is given in best faith and I hope is as accurate as possible for you to plan and enjoy your day. Please let me know of any corrections or other suggestions.