We look at the five stadiums Latics will visit for the first time in the 2015-16 campaign.
- Opening day visit to Coventry City sees Latics play at the Ricoh for the first time.
- September trip to Chesterfield is first visit to the Proact Stadium.
- Christmas/New Year clash with Fleetwood is first Football League meeting between the two sides at the Highbury Stadium.
- Shrewsbury Town’s New Meadow and Colchester United’s Colchester Community Stadium also new adventures for Latics fans.
1. The Ricoh Arena (Coventry City)
Latics will kick-off the 2015/16 Sky Bet League One season with a trip to Coventry City’s Ricoh Arena, a Stadium that the Sky Blues themselves are in a second-coming with after a brief spell at Northampton Town’s Sixfields Stadium in the 2013-14 campaign.
The 32,609 capacity stadium opened in 2005 and has been the Sky Blues’ home stadium for the majority of the ten years since the first fixture it hosted when Micky Adams’ side defeated QPR 3-0 in the Championship.
Coventry’s previous stadium, Highfield Road, their home of 106 years, proved a fruitful venue for Latics with the only league visits to the Stadium ending in a 2-1 victory in 2005 thanks to Gary Teale and Nathan Ellington strikes and a 1-1 draw in 2003 with Matt Jackson scoring a late equaliser for Paul Jewell’s side after Andy Morrell had opened the scoring for the hosts.
The first game between the two sides in Coventry was in the 1991 FA Cup Third Round as Darren Patterson famously equalised in the closing stages to force a replay at Springfield Park.
Roughly 115 miles from Wigan, Coventry is a relatively easy venue to get to by road as a straight journey down the M6 Toll and exit at J3 leaves you just 1.4 miles from the stadium.
Alternatively, travel to Coventry via train lasts two hours from Wigan North Western on a direct route, though the station in the Midlands is over three miles from the station and would require public transport or a taxi to get to the Ricoh.
Coventry City 2014/15 Home Record: P24 W7 D8 L9
2. The Proact Stadium (Chesterfield)
Latics will begin September with a trip to Derbyshire to face Chesterfield at the Proact Stadium for the first time.
The Spireites moved from their 139-year old Saltergate ground in 2010 to the 10,504 capacity Proact Stadium, originally named the B2NET Stadium prior to a change in sponsorship.
Latics only won on three of their 14 visits to Chesterfield’s old stadium their first victory their coming after an FA Cup defeat in 1991, two Third Division defeats and a Third Division draw as Paul Cook, future Chesterfield manager, scored the only goal of the game to secure a win in November 1987.
Another four visits would follow before Latics’ next win as Brendan O’Connell, Colin Greenall and David Lowe were on the mark to secure a 3-2 win in October 1997.
Latics didn’t lose on their following four visits with three draws dissected by a 2-1 victory in 2002 as Andy Liddell and Nathan Ellington scored either side of a Mark Allott penalty to secure a win after Scott Green was sent off.
The 75-mile trip to Chesterfield via road from Wigan would include getting onto the M6, leaving at J20A for the M56 and merging onto M60 before leaving at J1.
Then follow the A6, A623, A619 and B6050 to arrive at the Proact Stadium.
Chesterfield Train Station is roughly 25 minutes walking distance from the Proact Stadium and trains from Wigan North Western take around two hours with a change at Manchester Oxford Road.
Chesterfield 2014/15 Home Record: P25 W13 D4 L8
3. Highbury Stadium (Fleetwood Town)
Strictly speaking, this won’t be Latics’ first visit to Fleetwood Town’s ground as the new-look Highbury Stadium has been the Cod Army’s Stadium since 1939.
Known previously as just Fleetwood FC, Latics faced off with their Lancashire counterparts 44 times in competitions such as the Lancashire Combination and Northern Premier League as the club’s grew from their non-league roots.
Latics have won eight and lost eight of their 22 non-league* visits to Fleetwood, but this season’s fixture will be the first official Football League clash between the two sides.
Take the M6 North to J32 and take the M55 exit. Leave M55 at J3 taking the A585 to Kirkham/Fleetwood.
Fleetwood Town 2014/15 Home Record: P24 W8 D9 L6
4. Colchester Community Stadium – ‘The Weston Homes Community Stadium’ (Colchester United)
Colchester United left their Layer Road home of 71 years in 2008 to move into their new 10,105 capacity Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Latics won on three of their first four visits to Layer Road between October 1981 and February 1996, though their last two visits have ended in a 1-0 defeat and 2-2 draw with our last win in Colchester coming in February 2001 with Stefan Bidstrup and Andy Liddell on the mark.
A total of four wins, two draws and four defeats is a solid record against the Essex club, though Gary Caldwell’s side will be hoping to get three points against the U’s this time around.
One of the furthest trips of the season for Latics fans, Colchester’s Stadium is roughly 250 miles from the DW Stadium.
The shortest route is to take the M6 and M6 Toll to the A14 exit. Then follow the A14 to the M11 before exiting the motorway at J8.
Finally, follow the A120 and A12 before arriving at the Stadium off United Way.
By train, fans should travel from Wigan North Western to London Euston before taking the Underground to London Liverpool Street where you can catch the Abellio Greater Anglia service to Norwich, stopping at Colchester after 46 minutes.
Once at Colchester station, a shuttle service runs to the Stadium whilst the ground is just over two miles away if you fancy a walk!
Colchester United 2014/15 Home Record: P25W8 D4 L13
5. The Greenhous Meadow (Shrewsbury Town)
After 97 years at their Gay Meadow Stadium, Shrewsbury moved to the newly named Greenhous Meadow with a capacity of 9,875.
Shrewsbury left Gay Meadow in 2007, a ground Latics were reasonably successful at in League and Cup competitions with only one defeat in six visits.
That loss came in August 1991, with three draws and two victories the outcomes of the other five fixtures.
Around 85 miles from the DW Stadium, Latics fans should take the M6 to J20A and merge onto the M56 leaving at J15 for the M53.
After three miles on the M53, continue onto the A55 and take the J38 exit onto the A483 for Wrexham/Chester.
Then follow the A5 before merging onto the A5112 which will take you to the destination.
Around two miles from the Stadium, Shrewsbury station can be accessed by fans travelling from Wigan North Western in just over an hour by catching the train to Crewe and switching their on one of multiple services to Shrewsbury.
Shrewsbury Town 2014/15 Home Record: P27 W20 D4 L3