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Ashton Gate Proposals Draw Big Crowds

Fri 5th Jul 2013 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Over 1,600 people viewed proposals to redevelop Ashton Gate Stadium, which were put on display to the public by Bristol Sport last week.

The proposals are based on a plan to replace the existing Williams and Wedlock Stands which, together with a refurbished Dolman Stand, would establish Ashton Gate as the premier sports and exhibition centre in the South West, with a capacity of approximately 26,500 for Bristol City FC and Bristol Rugby home games from 2016 onwards.

Supporters of both clubs attended the display throughout June 25th and 26th, along with many of the stadium’s immediate neighbours, local councillors, businesses, club sponsors, local voluntary and community groups, as well as playing and coaching staff. Their response was overwhelmingly positive, with the vast majority of visitors backing the proposal to redevelop Ashton Gate.

The ‘supporter experience’ was highlighted as one of the most important aspects of the proposed upgrade of facilities, with the individual stands, rail-seating, the quality of food concessions, corporate lounges/boxes and accessible seating for disabled spectators receiving particular attention.

Visitors to the display also appreciated the need to improve the quality of the non-matchday conference, function and exhibition offer, and noted that the plans for lighter, flexible and spacious open concourse and event space would help in this regard. The plans for a sports bar, shop and museum were also welcomed by supporters.

Guy Price, Ashton Gate’s development director, said: “We are extremely grateful for the interest that supporters and the public have shown in the proposals, and for the time they have given to comment on and help finalise the overall design.

“We are now analysing the comments and feedback, with a view to submitting a planning application later in the summer. The response to the proposals will shape the final design that is submitted for planning.”

A planning decision is expected later this year. If a decision is made to redevelop Ashton Gate as an alternative to building a new stadium on land at Ashton Vale, it is likely that work would start at the end of the 2013/14 seasons, and that a phased redevelopment would be complete ahead of the 2016/17 seasons.

 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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