Saturday, 21 May 2016

New ticket prices and discussions with Structadene

I was delighted to hear that AFCB would not be raising the price of season tickets at Dean Court next season and happier still that a new price concession has been brought in for U21s. It's not that I am 21, of course, but I have a young son who is approaching the cut-off for being a Junior Cherry and I was preparing for a steep rise in his ticket price even though he is going to be at college next year.

The club has been a bit slow to react to making it fairer for students but I'm pleased that there is something now as older teenagers debt levels are among the highest in the country if they go to University. However, those fans who are still waiting to get in queues for match day tickets will not have been so pleased to hear the decision to delay the expansion of Dean Court that was announced just after the last Premier League game of the season. I feel for anyone who wants to get inside AFCB's ground but has to try and buy tickets for individual games when they are announced.
The club still doesn't know what is happening with
the South stand and the ownership of Dean Court.
While discussions are said to be ongoing with the freeholder for the ground, I wonder how the fans feel about trying to buy back the ground now. If it is a necessary move to shape the stadium as AFCB want in the future then I can understand the need to gain full control rather than being a tenant, but if Structadene don't want to sell then there has to be a question over whether it is sensible for AFCB to keep putting money into something that they don't fully own. Of course, Structadene themselves may be against further ground development.

It's really all about what vision AFCB has about its future and whether it wants a revamped Dean Court of a new stadium elsewhere. Answering this question has really been held back for some time and while I understood that Dean Court has always been the preferred location, you wonder how big the stadium can be expanded in future and what hurdles the club faces in doing this. Structadene may hold out for a high price and may like the regular income they receive in rent while there must be a limit on how much redevelopment can be done at the ground.

There is a lot of money for the club to spend, if it wants to right now, but like last season it will be on the pitch where it really counts. A small expansion seems reasonable to get a few more fans in, but if Dean Court is not the long term solution then it will be best to find that out now before throwing money away at something AFCB can never be fully happy with.

1 comment:

  1. I believe structadene are so comfortable with its rental income that nothing except a ridiculously exorbitant offer by AFCB will dislodge them. Having the privilege to go to all away game's these past two seasons, two grounds spring to mind for an alternative ground of a comparative size and shape. Swansea and Reading would be our best template if new land could be found (easier said than done) I know, however as long as stuctadene holds all the cards could this really be the only way forward for us. Mark