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The English Rugby Stadium/Attendance thread

ratsapprentice

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Thought I'd make a thread to post news and discuss new stadium developments in English rugby.
There seems to be quite a swell of news at the moment so I thought it would be easier to consolidate it into here!

Bath - The Rec


  • Will have an extra 2000 temporary seats added for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons - for a capacity of just under 14,000.
  • Close to 7,000 season tickets have been sold - breaking the old record of 6,200.
  • Planning permission still pending on the 16,500 seat redevelopment. If granted it should look a little like this:

Rec_Bath.jpg

5499754-large.jpg


Exeter Chiefs - Sandy Park


  • Exeter have made the most significant upgrade for the 2014/15 season, with two wings added to their main stand and have replaced their old east stand terrace with a much larger one.
  • Their 2014/15 capacity looks to be 12,300
  • They have also upgraded their playing surface to a hybrid Desso system (the same as Twickenham's)
  • This will be the last upgrade until after the world cup - their long term plan is to have a 20,000 capacity stadium with extensive conference facilities by 2020, depending on rugby performance

The new grandstand extensions under construction for the 2014/15 season:
10561827_698530970200817_2115760109100074788_n.jpg


The proposed 20,000 seat set-up:
3eb4ebe2-1f8b-4766-baa1-bddba80074fe.jpg


Harlequins - The Stoop


  • Quins have sold 8,000 season tickets 5 weeks out from the start of the regular season - a club record.
  • They have recently announced their intention to increase the capacity at the Stoop from 14,800 to 20,000 "within a decade".
  • This will involve rebuilding the north stand thus increasing the total capacity to 16,800 within the next three years.

Leicester Tigers - Welford Road


  • Last year they sold over 15,000 season tickets - by march they had sold 12,000. I would expect them to exceed last year's sales.
  • In 2012 Leicester announced their plans to increase the capacity of Welford Road to 30,000 - I'm unsure of the current status of those plans - I expect they are still very much in the pipeline however.

Proposed 30,000 seat layout (with adjoing hotel/car-park):
1585600423_C4d.jpg
1624449379_C5c.jpg


Newcastle Falcons - Kingston Park


  • Newcastle have installed a new 3G artificial pitch at Kingston Park
  • The 7,000~ attendance for the Premiership 7s at Darlington bodes well for an increased average attendance over the 5,000~ in 2013/14.

Northampton Saints - Franklin's Gardens


  • Northampton have been granted planning permission to build a new north stand which will take Franklin's Gardens to a capacity of 15,500 in 2015.
  • Last year they had 8,500 ST holders and the ground was sold out for more than half the games.

600600p526EDNmainNewNorthStand1_web12.jpg


Wasps - Adams Park


  • New owners have expressed an interest to move back into London proper

That's about it for the Premiership.
The average attendance figures may or may not go up, depending on how many people turn up at London Welsh (their average last year was a dismal 1,300).
Assuming all clubs have a marginal increase in attendances, and Bath and Exeter have increases directly proportional to their capacity upgrades then we should be able to break the 13k average attendance barrier for the first time.
If LW can get 5k on average and Gloucester can get slightly closer to capacity (which I think they probably will) then that should be very doable and would be a good bit of growth.

Overall I think think the outlook for the clubs is largely positive - I think a reasonable target for the premiership over the next 10 years should be for every club to average 10k over the course of the season, and for at least half the clubs to average over 15k.

Outside the Premiership Bristol are moving to Ashton Gate and it looks as if the Pirates/Cornwall could finally be getting the stadium they deserve (their new chairman has said they want to move by 2016).

Proposed new Pirates stadium: http://www.cornishguardian.co.uk/In...ium-Cornwall/story-22051198-detail/story.html

6569892-large.jpg


That would be fantastic for Rugby IMO.
 

Patchey

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Nice thread idea Rats!

Just two things, firstly that the Stoop development can't come soon enough! The non-permanent stands behind each try line are terrible to sit in and offer a rubbish view of the pitch (odd I know, but there's something about them that just stinks).


Also, the conference centre at Sandy Park is more important than it might seem. I read an interview with Exeter's CEO a few years back where he talked about how a big part of their plan when they were promoted was to turn Sandy Park into a top quality event's centre for the South West and thereby guarantee a level of financial security usually only seen in bigger clubs. I know they have quite a few events down there already so this planned future expansion is, I presume, to take them to the next level.
 

TRF_Olyy

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The AJ Bell is currently only in "stage 1" and will eventually be extended so the corners also have stands, and all are about the size of the west stand (the biggun) - however there's no real rush as neither Sale nor Salford "Red Devils" are drawing in big crowds.
Can't remember the exact figures it'll hold when fully finished, something like 15k seats in stage 2 (filled in corners) then 20k (including terraces) at stage 3.
 

welshglory

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Northampton are a bit conservative i think, they could easily fill 18,000+

Bath should really consider leaving the Rec if they can't get it sorted in the next 2-4 years it's beyond ridiculous now.
 

ratsapprentice

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The AJ Bell is currently only in "stage 1" and will eventually be extended so the corners also have stands, and all are about the size of the west stand (the biggun) - however there's no real rush as neither Sale nor Salford "Red Devils" are drawing in big crowds.

The stadium itself is quite nice from what I can tell.
Are they planning on making it easier to get to?

If push comes to shove and Bath look like they're going to leave then I think the council would probably find a way to sort it out.
It's too much money for them to lose - that would require some pretty ballsy brinkmanship though.
 
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TRF_Olyy

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The stadium itself is quite nice from what I can tell.
Are they planning on making it easier to get to?
Yeah, new access roads, improving the ones that are there atm, and a tram station at the stadium - however all this is being done by the council rather than the Stadium group so it's going to take forever.
 

SelimNiai

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Bristol moving to Ashton Gate which has joined the list of these Desso pitch stadiums. First action it'll see is Saturday as the football league season starts (Excellent) and is beginning an upgrade to 27k
 

ratsapprentice

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For anyone who wants to see what the real average attendances would be without the "big games" at Wembley, Twickenham and MK.

Screenshot%202014-08-07%2016.00.12.png


funniest-simpsons-gifs-nerd.gif
 

goodNumber10

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great thread rats, i do't really have much to contribute but find it interesting.
 

ratsapprentice

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http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/rug...for-a-permanent-ground-continues-9698718.html

Wasps are ready to switch high‑profile games to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry as they search for a new permanent home, which could take three years.

It is understood that Wasps will conclude their groundshare at Adams Park — home to Wycombe Wanderers — at the end of this season.
They kick off their campaign a week tomorrow in front of a bumper crowd at Twickenham for the London Double Header, which also involves Harlequins, London Irish and Saracens.
The annual season opener hammers home the fact Adams Park has not produced the number of fans to make Wasps a viable Premiership winner, with attendances at around 7,000.
Wasps used the 30,000-capacity Ricoh Arena in 2007 and Saracens have also played at the ground where Coventry City football club have returned this season after a controversial short-term switch to Northampton.
Despite Wasps’ strong links with Land Rover — which is based in Coventry — the city is not seen as a long-term solution, and the club, captained by James Haskell, are understood to be trying to identify a new home nearer London.
However, this is part of a strategic plan that will not be implemented for at least three years.
Until then, Wasps look certain to have to continue using various stadia for home games with Adams Park remaining the first choice if they opt to sign a new agreement.

I guess they are in a difficult position at the moment, what with the state of West London football grounds in a bit of a flux.
 

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http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/rug...for-a-permanent-ground-continues-9698718.html



I guess they are in a difficult position at the moment, what with the state of West London football grounds in a bit of a flux.

It is a hard position, i believe it would be better to try and move in with Brentford in that new stadium, but otherwise where can they go? We dont have the finances to build there own ground. But Coventry, who will travel there? Surely the crowds will just get even smaller up there. But for 3 years? thats a long time to be away, if it was 6 months you could understand it as a short term measure. I really would like answers though from the club on the direction we are going. Dropping the london from the name and now this..
 

ratsapprentice

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Brentford don't have permission to host rugby AFAIK...
Owning/joint-owning their own stadium is essential too - otherwise they are just as vulnerable to oblivion as they were just two seasons ago.
They need to have bricks-and-mortar assets, and a separate income stream.
I still see a fair few people in Queens Park wearing Wasps shirts.

As I have highlighted - the club are trying to find a new ground closer to London.
And most of their games will still be played at AP - it's stated that the move to a new home ground is to happen within three years, not in three years.

I think they need to wait and see what QPR, Brentford and Chelsea do, as all three have built or are planning to build new stadiums in NW London.
 
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Patchey

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Is there anything to stop them from trying to move back to Loftus? I used to love going there as a kid and I can't remember exactly why them moved?
 

ratsapprentice

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Is there anything to stop them from trying to move back to Loftus? I used to love going there as a kid and I can't remember exactly why them moved?

London Wasps agreed to move out of Queens Park Rangers' Loftus Road stadium to allow Fulham F.C. to rent for 2 seasons between 2002 and 2004, while their ground, Craven Cottage, was redeveloped. They became tenants to Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park at the end of the 2001/02 season. The success of Wasps at their new ground meant they did not return to Loftus Road after Fulham left.


QPR are looking to build a new stadium on Wormwood Scrubs as part of a massive new development.

I don't know if they'd be interested in a groundshare, and that still leaves the club without any real assets.
Although the location would be perfect - Crossrail, large working, middle and upper-middle class populations in the immediate vicinity.
 

TRF_Olyy

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If QPR are looking to build a new ground then the extra income Wasps would bring would be welcome, as well.
 

ratsapprentice

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...maybe... Wasps still wouldn't have any real income other than ticket and merch sales. I also get the feeling QPR wouldn't want to share.

All of the financially stable and sustainable clubs have their own conference facilities/other sources of income.
 

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Brentford don't have permission to host rugby AFAIK...- But it hosted some Rugby league some years ago, has this permission been revoked?
Owning/joint-owning their own stadium is essential too - otherwise they are just as vulnerable to oblivion as they were just two seasons ago.- I agree for more match revenue, more money means better wages and hopefully better players.


As I have highlighted - the club are trying to find a new ground closer to London- But what areas?
And most of their games will still be played at AP - it's stated that the move to a new home ground is to happen within three years, not in three years.


Is there anything to stop them from trying to move back to Loftus? I used to love going there as a kid and I can't remember exactly why them moved? I agree with this, eaiser for me and better transport links, but no revenue stream as before.
 

ratsapprentice

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They're building a new stadium - which has an explicit restriction on professional rugby in it's planning application.

They haven't stated which areas, I'm guessing NW London, inside the M25 at a guess.
 

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