Monday, 18 May 2015

Dean Court's capacity to remain 11,700 for 2015-16

It did not take Neil Blake, AFCB's chief executive, that long to reach the conclusion that Dean Court could not be expanded in time to make the start of the 2015-16 season. While it would have been satisfying for everyone to have a bigger ground with more people able to see the games, making a bigger temporary stand would I suspect only have increased capacity for away fans and any improvements would have been taken with as a short term fix rather than a long term view of what can be achieved with the available space.
Dean Court is not the biggest of stadiums but it's
home and AFCB will make do with what it has.
The knowledge that the South stand is located on former waste ground seems to have been the final factor that just made it too difficult to sort out quickly, as further tests are needed for a larger permanent structure at that end of the ground. Neil Blake refers to this as, "one of the major stumbling blocks in our proposed plans."

The question now is whether the ground will be able to host larger crowds in 2016-17? Mr Blake said that: "If we are able to retain our place in the Premier League, stadium capacity will be a priority for the following season." 

Even that though would need testing to be done at some stage and plans will have to be advanced to create a stadium that would pass building regulations and safety standards if the club is to build during next summer when the time period to build I imagine would be from the end of May to the start of August. It would probably mean that any pre-season games next season would have to be held away from Dean Court, while this summer the ground may also be out of use with so many revisions needing to take place such as the underground heating, new pitch and expansion of the media section with hard wiring and new floodlights.

It's a lot to take on and as Jeff Mostyn indicated earlier in the month, this promotion allows the club to invest in the team and that will be a priority to try and retain Premier League status. It does mean that away fans will probably be restricted to around 1500-2000 fans while it will be important for AFCB fans who don't already have season tickets if there will be a number of seats available to new season ticket holders. The news on season tickets is said to be announced on 19 May 2015.

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