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New grounds success or disaster?

Discussion in 'The 'Rob Dunkley' League Two Forum' started by AFaceInTheCrowd, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. AFaceInTheCrowd

    AFaceInTheCrowd Active Member

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    Now I want to make this clear I have absolutely no beef with Colchester or their fans. I have visited their new stadium before and thought it was another bland identikit lego stadium like Shrewsbury for a club who have been removed from their community. But yesterday a few years on I couldn't help but think how much I'd hate it if Notts ever had to play in an out of town ground as my matchday routine would completely change and it was devoid of any atmosphere. What interested me was how their fans perceive their new ground compared to their old and whether moving grounds long term has improved gates? Personally I'd find it very hard to find the motivation to drive to each game park out of town have no pubs nearby etc.

    Numerous clubs Oxford Darlington Colchester Morecambe Doncaster Coventry Rotherham Brighton Chesterfield have all moved recently and their fortunes have varied wildly. Do the stadiums play a massive part in the matchday experience and whether you attend or is it down to the board and the team on the pitch?

    Would you return to your old ground and are you happy with your new stadium?

    Has your club benefitted from moving grounds long term or has it affected your progress on and off the pitch negatively?
     
  2. GTFCfish

    GTFCfish Well-Known Member

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    Well we were hoping to move to our new ground in the mid 1990's.


    We're still waiting.
     
  3. GTFCfish

    GTFCfish Well-Known Member

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    Out of that list of yours the only one I've been to is Chesterfield's new one and it is fantastic to be honest I loved it.
     
  4. Silver Stone

    Silver Stone Well-Known Member

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    Well... my club was essentially reborn with our new ground. Crowds up by 500%, back in the consciousness of the town, three promotions in four years, flourishing youth and community programs etc. I realise many people don't like the artificial surface (it's not an advantage, check out our home record compared to our away), but I'm okay with it given the club we have now.
     
  5. Kenneth E End

    Kenneth E End Well-Known Member

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    I've not been to the Ricoh, but Colchester's new ground is the worst I've been to in a long time, but maybe it was just the day in general.
    -Pissed it down with rain all day.
    -Spent an additional 2 hours in traffic getting there and home, and missed the first 20 minutes (albeit not that much due to Berry's injury). Walked in to see us go 2-0 down.
    -A ground completely devoid of atmosphere.
    -Ran out of food in the away end. Not enough bogs for the people.
    -Spend an hour trying to get out of the car park at the end of the game.
    -Stewards standing up right in front of the fans at the front, rather than kneeling, increasing the chances of needless trouble.
     
  6. Dave-Vale

    Dave-Vale Well-Known Member

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    Would love us to have a new ground but it would have to be in the town. I wouldn’t want one of these new, weird out of town, retail park grounds. The grounds themselves are better and provide better views but most of them don’t have decent pubs within the vicinity.

    Our grounds main problem is that the stands are too shallow and the views are generally quite shite wherever you sit. That, and the facilities are generally garbage.
     
  7. The Jovial Forester

    The Jovial Forester Well-Known Member

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    Don't know why we're planning a new ground, nothing wrong with the current one except we spoil the away fans with five concrete steps on the terrace.
     
  8. darren gregory

    darren gregory Active Member

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    Agreed that Colchester is soulless, Chesterfield isn't that bad as good pub crawl from the station.
    Locally Stoke fans I know hate their ground. Can take longer to get off the car park than us travelling back from Walsall .
    Shrewsbury also has grown on me despite there being not a lot near to the ground.
    In the main I do not want to go to a football ground surrounded by M&S, Next or Argos.
    Bereft of the match day experience and more like an outing to the cinema.
     
  9. Maple Hatter

    Maple Hatter Active Member

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    We've been waiting 60 years!!!

    I'm sure fans are very divided about the move to a new stadium. Some clubs have seen a considerable increase in attendances and income even at lower levels whereas for others its been a complete disaster. The worst case being Darlington. A club with a low fanbase having to play in a stadium far too big and expensive for them. Colchester and Shrewsburys grounds were built with the best intentions but are completely souless and their location makes it difficult for fans to get the matchday experience. Personally I miss the great old grounds that were replaced with modern stadia. Roker Park, Upton Park and Maine Road were grounds I enjoyed going to. Granted a little intimidating but that was part of the experience. Full of passion and noise with the fans right next to the pitch.
    Our new stadium, should it happen:hb:, is designed with the fans in mind. Stands close to the pitch, located in the town centre for easy access and places to eat and drink all within a couple of minutes from the ground. Would love safe standing but that seems a long way off.
     
  10. The Jovial Forester

    The Jovial Forester Well-Known Member

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    Have been told (by DV no less) that they'll look at safe standing if they ever get the go ahead for our new ground, hope that's true; they're being sensible about capacity too, current design is for a 5,000 capacity that easily increases to twice that should we ever need it.
     
  11. denzel ecfc

    denzel ecfc Active Member

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    Your ground is already out of town though :)
     
  12. Chris FGR

    Chris FGR Well-Known Member

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    First time I've heard that, thought it was planned as an all-seater?
     
  13. valefan16

    valefan16 Well-Known Member

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    Colchester ground is dreadful, identical to Shrewsbury but with whole sections of it empty and literally in a field off a main road.

    Rotherham have the best for me, still pretty much in the centre and got it to a tee sizewise and facility wise. Don’t know if it’s still the same name there but just the name let it down!

    I believe the original plan with the Bet365 stadium was that Vale and Stoke would share it? But we refused
     
  14. denzel ecfc

    denzel ecfc Active Member

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    Colchesters is awful, and is it always cold there? it has grown on me a bit after I found out about the bus from the station, and The Cricketers pub afterwards which isn't too bad. I didn't enjoy Chesterfields, though we did lose 4-0 in their promotion season (how times change) and I'm not a great fan of FGR either, mainly due to the location away from any train station. Also been to Bolton (boring), St Mary's (pretty good), Scunthorpe (dull, but getting on a bit now) and Yeovil (functional, poor location).
    I can't say any of them feature in my top ten away days.
     
  15. The Jovial Forester

    The Jovial Forester Well-Known Member

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    That was the plan but they'll consider safe standing if there's interest - used to work in one of his warehouses so took the opportunity to mention it to DV when he stopped by one time because I'm keen. Hardly a commitment but he's not averse to the idea in principle.
     
  16. Chris FGR

    Chris FGR Well-Known Member

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    A club loses some it's identity when it moves grounds imo, especially if it's to an out of town ground. Football grounds should if possible be in the centre of the town/city they represent surrounded by pubs and be right at the heart of their community.

    In terms of the grounds themselves, I actually much prefer going to places like Luton, Grimsby or Aldershot then places like Colchester or Shrewsbury. Proper history and character at those places. Which the new grounds lack. Don't really give a shit about how comfortable they are. It's not a tea dance.

    Soon most lower league grounds are going to be like FM stadiums, identical lego-like designs with different colour seats.


    There'll definitely be a lot wanting standing of some sort, so that's good to hear.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  17. The Jovial Forester

    The Jovial Forester Well-Known Member

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    Expect next thing is to make sure it gets brought up at any consultations when/if planning permission comes down and the project starts rolling.
     
  18. Optipez

    Optipez Member

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    I think Doncaster is a great example of a decent new ground in a terrible location.
    As a social and community thing it's awful. Much prefer a ground in the heart of the town it's supposed to represent with a few pubs close by and a town centre with transport links.
    I feel the same about multiplex cinemas stuck on the outer ring road.
     
  19. shoddycollins

    shoddycollins Well-Known Member

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    Doncaster's is in almost the same place as the old one.
     
  20. GTFCfish

    GTFCfish Well-Known Member

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    I think Spurs new ground will be a disaster as I’m not sure their fans will be happy travelling all that extra distance compared to White Hart Lane. :dry:
     
    Greenacres likes this.
  21. The_Viking_Magpie

    The_Viking_Magpie Active Member

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    I love Meadow Lane for many reasons, even though it’s too big (by about 5000) for us clearly, there is no limitation on our ambition in terms of of the capacity. Only negative really is there is a huge difference when 6-8K In in there compared to 4-5K. It’s old now which people may forget or not know. I remember the two seasons when it was built well as a youngster but has aged well. It’s got 4 stands, the correct number , always a good start. Each stand is different in shape and size and although built on the cheap (not a surprise with our chairman at the time) and almost identical construction two of the stands are very impressive to look at, for lower league, great corporate and fan facilities in the Derek Pavis done really well tbh if you’ve ever been in there , the view from the stand I sit in is superb. No obstructions unlike the old Meadow Lane, the one I fondly remember as a kid. The underneaths of the stands elsewhere is a bit basic and dull but spacious enough.

    Then their is the location sandwiched between two areas containing as many pubs and food options as you could ever want. Nearby river, attractive area surrounds , close to train station and very walkable from the city centre. Also like the recent addition of the Sirrel statue and the old tree in front of the big gates, bit of class there.

    Of the new ones I’ve been to, Derby and Leicester felt the same in similar average locations , I liked St Mary’s, Riverside less so for obvious reasons. Stadium of Light is great but the location takes the mick.
    Down the league , Rotherham’s is the best I’ve come across in terms of design and decent location , like Chesterfields for both design and location , then there is a general drop to the rest mentioned above.

    Plenty of talk in past of Notts sharing with Red Dogs (would of been a joke), moving to a newer smaller stadium elsewhere in suburbs but I’m delighted we haven’t tbh. Meadow Lane has too much going for it , too much history and character to move although it may start to creak a little in old age. Concrete has a shelf life after all

    We even have room for a hotel if we want to follow the recent trend lol
     
  22. Optipez

    Optipez Member

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    It is but the way the retail and industrial units have grown around it, it doesn't feel part of the town though.
     
  23. shoddycollins

    shoddycollins Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure how much most teams would lose in attendance through fans who walk to inner city locations not being arsed driving out to a retail park on the ring-road. I'm sure most of those fans would grumble about it but still go.

    I've heard the odd person say whenever the prospect of us moving grounds has come up that they doubt they'd go but I still think if push came to shove most would go. In our case I think most of the people who might stop going if we moved out of town stopped going already because they're unhappy with the way things are so moving out of town might just make it harder to get those people to return.

    On the other hand there are those who may be more likely to go. The fair-weather supporters and families who may put up with poor football if the facilities are decent and access is easy, those for whom a city centre location is inconvenient because of traffic and parking. We'd all moan about them on here but they probably make up at least half of the attendance for any successful club, it's just part of football that not everyone is as prepared or as able to stand on a terrace in the cold listening to the moron behind you profess his knowledge on everything.

    I guess it depends on how the finances are put together on whether it works or not, whether they're able to secure a good income from it. Also a new stadium will do nothing to help a struggling team and may put more people off attending than it encourages to go. I'm sure if by magic, we moved to a new stadium on the outskirts this summer attendances would fall because we're not in a position to attract new fans and anything that alienates existing fans further would be the final straw for many.
     
  24. AdamStag

    AdamStag Well-Known Member

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    Colchesters and shrewsburys grounds are dreadful, agreed that the grounds at Rotherham and Chesterfield are decent especially given the latter 2 are in town

    Even we've made a decent effort, despite it only having 3 sides having a big stand creates much more atmosphere than another stand across from it where atmosphere would be a little worse. Another big thing for any club is to have decent boozers which we have, but grounds like Colchester don't, wycombes another terrible one for that also.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  25. Moomin

    Moomin Active Member

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    I’d hate it if we ever relocated and i am delighted we’ve decided to stay where we are and redevelop the ground. Even though our ground will be pretty ‘new’ once it’s finished, it will still have a fair amount of character and it’s close to the city centre.

    When the Exeter Chiefs built there ground there was some talk of sharing it but I’m delighted that never went anywhere as it’s miles out of town by junction 29 of the M5. It’s an okay looking stadium with terracing, but even so wouldn’t fancy it.

    I do feel for the likes of Colchester and Shrewsbury fans as their ground look awful, although never been. Went to Layer Road and Gay Meadow a couple of times and both we quirky and had a good feel so I imagine their fans miss them.
     
  26. AdamStag

    AdamStag Well-Known Member

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    Chiefs ground is far better than yours though and still accessible from town easily enough. That said, being you I wouldn't want to move.
     
  27. Kenneth E End

    Kenneth E End Well-Known Member

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  28. The_Viking_Magpie

    The_Viking_Magpie Active Member

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    You should bloody hope so ! Lol. If it wasn’t you would have some serious questions as a Luton fan surely?

    Huge and necessary upgrade on Kenilworth Road, which tbh is the equivalent of knocking one in with an open goal at your mercy from about 3 yards out
     
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  29. Moomin

    Moomin Active Member

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    It’s a decent ground, although never been to watch a game as can’t stand Rugby. Still prefer ours though, particularly with the new stands being built. We’ve arguably got the best terrace in the football league too.

    It’s accessible but it’s 4 Miles from the city centre and you either need to drive there or get a park and ride bus, plus there’s only one pub nearby which you still need to drive to. No thanks.
     
  30. Kenneth E End

    Kenneth E End Well-Known Member

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    But Kenilworth Road has got character by the bucketload. I want to take the SKF clock to the new ground!
    Its just the area it's in which is an absolute hole.
     

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