the92.net is a site started by a group of friends to track visits to all 92 grounds in the English football league. I chatted to Pete, one of the founders and the main man when it comes to keeping the 92.net going.
We talk adventures on the road, pies and least favourite grounds amongst other things!
Can you give us a one minute overview of what @the92dotnet / the92.net is all about?
Sure, the92.net originally started out as a spreadsheet between a few mates. We were down the pub one Friday evening and got talking about how many grounds we’d been to. We put together a spreadsheet to keep track, which grew from a basic yes/no list to include match details and ratings about the things that matter like atmosphere, character, pints and pies.
As we updated and shared our versions of the file we thought; should we open this up to others? and wouldn’t this be good as a website? Having recently graduated I was looking to get into web development and took it upon myself to use building the website as an opportunity to learn and gain experience. And so the92.net was born.
The site is free to use and allows fans to keep track of their journey doing the 92 league grounds plus rate and review the grounds. As fans progress they climb our league table hopefully all the way to the 92 club. Based on fan ratings there are league tables for stats covering overall rating, atmosphere, location, programme, pie rating, pint rating, character and stewarding based on each division and out of all 92. There is also a blog that is open for anyone who wishes to share more about their experiences as well as interviews, opinion and quizzes.
I love the idea and how the92.net has come about. You mentioned that you and a small group of mates kicked this off (pardon the pun) – are they all still involved, and how many others are now involved in the site, and on twitter?
I am supported on social media and the blog by my former fellow groundhopper Moss. Moss moved to Berlin a couple of years back and now lives in Hong Kong; you may notice various posts from his travels on our social media. Our main social channel is Twitter where we’ve built an active community of groundhoppers and we started using Instagram in the last year or so.
Since going live in August 2012 the92.net now has over 2.3k registered users and approaching 57k visits to grounds recorded.
I bet you have met some interesting characters or sets of fans on your travels! Any that spring to mind that you can tell us about?
One of the best parts of running the92.net is engaging with fans to find out which grounds they’re going to and how they’ve got on. Through Twitter especially it feels like I’ve been on journeys with so many people doing the 92. A couple that spring to mind are Ed Wood and Colin Harrison.
Ed contacted us at the start of the season as he set out on a journey to regain the world record for doing the 92 (+Berwick Rangers) in aid of Prostate Cancer UK. We created a custom profile page for Ed and supported him on social media throughout his journey. I was lucky enough to cross paths with Ed as I ticked off the Amex Stadium, Brighton off my 92. Ed completed his journey in February in just 189 days smashing the previous record of 237 days.
Colin had contributed to the blog and got in touch when I shared my plans for a trip to the North East over Easter to tick off Newcastle and Sunderland. Being a season ticket holder at St James’ Park he offered to get me a ticket for Newcastle v Leeds and through a contact a free ticket to Sunderland the following day. Showing the legendary Geordie hospitality Colin showed me around the local sights, his wife cooked me a pre-match fry-up and despite being a Newcastle fan came along to the Sunderland game too! For someone to be so hospitable to in essence a stranger in me was really heartwarming.
Five Quick Fire questions with your answers in less than twenty five words per question!
Favourite and least favourite grounds and why
Favourites: Craven Cottage, Goodison Park and Blundell Park – grounds with character, personality and charm.
Least: Ricoh Arena – soulless ground attached to a casino.
What team do you support? Give us no more than five words on their ground
Can I bend the rules… I support 2 teams:
Southampton (St Marys’ Stadium) – Identikit, expensive but it’s home.
Yeovil Town (Huish Park) – 2 great terraces and…cider!
Best for food / drink
Brighton are currently top our pie table out of all 92 grounds, having sampled myself they are very good. Cardiff do great gourmet burgers too.
What ground are you yet to visit, but really want to go to (anywhere in the world)?
Of the 17 grounds left on my 92 it has to be Carlisle’s Brunton Park. Outside the 92 I’d love to go to Braga’s ground.
Have you faced any trouble at any of the grounds?
I could only get a home ticket when Yeovil played Charlton away in the FA Cup, when we equalised I celebrated and was ejected!
Thanks so much for your time, how do you see the92.net progressing in the future, and how can people get involved?
Everyone is welcome to join the92.net and share their experiences; it only takes a few seconds to register through our website then you’re away. Fans can also find us on Twitter @the92dotnet and Instagram @the92dotnet.
We’ve got big plans to give the site a facelift and add in some new features hopefully over the summer. As there’s no major football tournament on this should give me a good football-free spell to focus on developing the site, that’s the idea anyway!
Thanks so much for your time Pete and the92.net!