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The Riverside Stand Renovation Thread


JoeH
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The Brentford match thread has included a lot of chatter about the potential renovation of the Riverside Stand at Ewood Park. The club have expressed a will to “do something” about the stand in recent past according to Steve Waggott and seemingly there are many different visions among the supporter base about what should and could happen.

Some are suggesting a reduction in capacity for supporters, lowering from 4,000 seats in TRS currently, to as low as 1,000 by some fans estimations.

Others look at Millwall’s and Brentford’s plans and see a necessity for an increase in capacity instead.

Most seem to agree on the idea of a hotel, and an improvement to disabled supporters facilities on a game day. Currently, disabled facilities at Ewood are significantly behind other clubs at our level. We have no viewing platforms like at the DW Stadium, and wheelchair users end up sat at the front of TRS in the pouring rain, watching from a horrid (lower than the pitch itself) angle.

So let’s use this thread to share some ideas amongst ourselves, discuss the possibilities and the practicalities of any potential upcoming renovations to the stand, and see if we can come up with a consensus between ourselves and see what we all agree and don’t agree on
 

TRS = The Riverside Stand

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Can't believe anybody would even consider increasing capacity we'll never ever need it.

Something with 3 or 4k seats in it that moves it closer to the pitch to improve atmosphere and look better. With a hotel complex or something incorporated to help justify it would be just the ticket. Needs to be done with outside investment not money that could be used on the team or from player sales.

Unpopular opinion but if Venkys pay for it themselves then i suppose they are justified in naming it after a company of theirs or something.

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if this "safe standing" ever gets the go ahead,make it into a big terrace,would be epic imo,not sure a hotel would work,lets be honest the riverside is`nt exactly in plush surroundings!! one view of the pitch,ok,then one view of the river darwen,complete with floating sewage and other assorted waste you don`t really want to see

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Like the WBA suggestion - I’m not convinced of the viability of a hotel at the ground TBH, particularly on that side of the stadium. Having to build out over the river also introduces logistical challenges.

Having a wide open concourse with decent food & drink concessions, TV screens etc - a smaller version of the one at Spurs new ground - would entice fans to enter the ground earlier, stay later and generate income. 

As long as the cost doesn’t impact on FFP (?I don’t think it does...) then it would be a perfect way for Venky’s to demonstrate that they are open to suggestions.

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does anyone know if venkys actually own the stadium or is it a community asset or similar,meaning they can`t get their filthy hands on it,all this riverside talk has got me wandering if it`s the first stage of them trying to sell the ground,starting rumours of building work,then in the near future stating ewood is big and costly to maintain,then finally coming out and saying the only option is to sell and move to a smaller ground,they then cop a huge amount for the site and regeneration of the area and move us to a legoland,identikit stadium with a 15,000 capacity that costs peanuts,all supposition i know and thankfully can`t happen if the stadium is an asset of the community but i would`nt trust that lot and their lapdog waggot

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The topic was up for discussion some 25 years ago when Jack Walker was spending and he went as far as to have proper plans and models made. At the time the Riverside wasn't in need of replacement as it was still relatively new but it was obviously something that was being looked at.

We are now 35 years or more on from when the Riverside was done last and like it or not the standards, requirements of modern day stadia have changed massively since then. It was also put together relatively cheaply at a time when the club was struggling to make ends meet and had to put something up to replace crumbling older stands. This isnt an old stand like at Highbury or Craven Cottage oozing tradition or history. It looks and feels poor.

One of the biggest issues is the lack of a concourse and lack of cover for all seats. If nothing else those two things are an embarrassment and make the stand a problem that needs addressing. It's all well and good saying we should wait until promotion before doing anything. But then try to start work when in the Premier League and there is a demand for those premium view seats and we face the prospect of 12-18 months of no Riverside stand and a reduced capacity when the big boys come to town.

Logistically it makes more sense to do it asap with a view to it being used in the Premier League. Like how Fulham are doing with their new stand or Bristol City.

If we got up now I am almost certain our facilities would need upgrades for modern media and disabled requirements.  No way would the Riverside be able to house broadcasters in its current state and I also suspect the studio in the Jack Walker might be insufficient size. In terms of disabled facilities we would be facing a deadline to provide covered raised viewing points and without a new Riverside incorporating these we would either have to rip hundreds of seats out elsewhere or build some horrible platforms in the corners like Burnley have done.

The new Riverside has some essential requirements. It needs to be built about 15 meters nearer the pitch without the walkway along the front.

It needs spacious concourses offering shelter.

It needs to be fully covered without any obstructing columns.

It needs to ensure it has adequate disabled and media facilities to meet PL requirements.

As part of the job the old floodlights need removing and putting in the roof of the new stand.

The old TV screen needs removing. A new one needs to be put either in the roof of the new stand or one each in the corners. The ground would feel much more enclosed without the floodlights and large distance between the current stands.

Ideally it needs to be done in a matching style to the other 3 stands, admittedly that might be difficult/expensive.

It should include non matchday income streams. Hotels are going up all over Blackburn so there is clearly demand and pitch views of Ewood would be better than overlooking McDonalds at Darwen services.

Capacity wise it needs to be at least 4000. We don't need much more than that but any less and it would look silly.

Cost wise - FFP exempt so not part of that discussion, other than income from it would count towards Ffp compliance.

Billionaire owners who care about their club and never say no to a cheque? Why can't it happen?

In reality I suspect we will see nothing until the Riverside becomes a hazard or we are forced into it, then we will get some half baked refurb of the existing structure.

 

 

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Jack's vision was for one of the best clubs in the country, a regular in Europe and commanding fans from across Lancashire (before Fleetwood, Morecambe and Stanley's rise). Like it or not we are not that club. We do not need and would be embarrassed by another Jack Walker stand.

I don't think this is going to happen in the next decade (probably next few decades) but if it did...

I would be in favour of something truly unique that would get people keen to stay in it (hotel/entertainment complex is a must for revenue). When I think of different stands, I think of Bristol Rovers. Not just a cuboid with blocks of seats and executive boxes. Of course, that particular stand is lower league and we can/should do better. Like this but not necessarily the same shape:

Image result for unque sports stands

Edited by Riverside under the drip
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41 minutes ago, simongarnerisgod said:

does anyone know if venkys actually own the stadium or is it a community asset or similar,meaning they can`t get their filthy hands on it,all this riverside talk has got me wandering if it`s the first stage of them trying to sell the ground,starting rumours of building work,then in the near future stating ewood is big and costly to maintain,then finally coming out and saying the only option is to sell and move to a smaller ground,they then cop a huge amount for the site and regeneration of the area and move us to a legoland,identikit stadium with a 15,000 capacity that costs peanuts,all supposition i know and thankfully can`t happen if the stadium is an asset of the community but i would`nt trust that lot and their lapdog waggot

Crikey, there’s a lot going on here...! Let’s break it down...

1. The Ground is owned by the club which is owned by Venky’s London. It’s therefore theirs to do with as they wish, except...
2. The ACV is a separate instrument aimed at protecting the site & was taken out by Rovers Trust. All the ACV does is buy some time to raise some money in reality.
3. There are threads on here castigating Venky’s for not selling the ground to raise money for a promotion push so whatever they do, they’re on a hiding to nothing. Given the lack of trust between owners and fans, whatever they do is seen as nefarious by at least some fans. 
4. I struggle to believe the land & buildings around Ewood are worth a great deal to be honest (compared to the location of other stadia around the country). Venky’s are only ever going to get their money back by getting us in the PL. Selling all the club’s assets will barely make a dent into what they’ve had to put in to keep us going. Makes no sense so to do.

The really interesting point is that the club needs to raise turnover (income) & investing it facilities will help to achieve that. Waggott says the owners are willing to invest...so why not redevelop it with income-generating facilities ? 

 

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Someone in the other thread mentioned that Jack had wanted a train station but the council refused. The thing is that times have changed. Blackburn, the UK, the world and attitudes have changed. There was no climate or green policies at the forefront of decision making back then.

In 15 years we are going to need 20 thousand people to attend games on carbon neutral public transport. This requires infrastructure and investment.

Easy in the centre of London but in East Lancs how do we get 20 thousand efficiently in and out of Ewood with no cars ? It will happen now if the questions are asked and the money is put up. 

The owners have a responsibility off the field as well as on it and FFP is not an excuse.

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Some good ideas above.

whatever happens the disabled supporters deserve far better than what we currently have to offer. In this day and age no disabled supporter should be sat in the wind and rain below pitch level. This needs addressing urgently and regardless of the new stand. Ideally the new stand would have viewing platforms like at Wigan and undercover. 

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Just now, OldEwoodBlue said:

Someone in the other thread mentioned that Jack had wanted a train station but the council refused. The thing is that times have changed. Blackburn, the UK, the world and attitudes have changed. There was no climate or green policies at the forefront of decision making back then.

In 15 years we are going to need 20 thousand people to attend games on carbon neutral public transport. This requires infrastructure and investment.

Easy in the centre of London but in East Lancs how do we get 20 thousand efficiently in and out of Ewood with no cars ? It will happen now if the questions are asked and the money is put up. 

The owners have a responsibility off the field as well as on it and FFP is not an excuse.

i would`nt worry about that,the govt is likely to do a u-turn and declare battery powered cars are as bad for the enviroment as conventional power,they did the same with diesel vehicles 15 years ago,they encouraged every one to buy one then a decade on changed their minds!!!!!!!

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I might be imagining it (!) but I seem to recall on the stadium tour being told  that the ground was originally meant to be like that (see Telegraph clipping above) but pitch maintenance issues were cited as a reason not to do it. Of course nowadays, clubs with enclosed stands have lighting rigs to counteract the permanent shadows that occur in winter so less of an issue.

Now Ewood has been built as 4 discrete stands, I think filling in the corners wouldn’t look right given the designs used on the 3 modern stands.

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I’m amazed there is so much appetite amongst our supporters to do anything at all with it.

We certainly don’t need extra capacity, we don’t need any more corporate facilities either. We can’t shift sponsorship either. Money would surely be better spent elsewhere. Waggott is obsessed with the idea of a hotel, “like we had at Coventry”. Make if that what you will. I think he’d like to see some sort of conference centre, I’m not convinced, and I certainly don’t think the Riverside is the place for it... due in no small part to the river! 

Selfishly, it’s my stand of choice, and has been since it was rebuilt. I’ve tried every other stand but I prefer the view, perspective and the aesthetic of the Riverside to any of them. I know I don’t really have a say if I am boycotting, but I doubt I’m alone in this.

There were some rules around emergency vehicle access... you may notice the hash markings at either end of the walkway at the front. The Riverside was the designated entrance for fire engines and the gap at the front of the stand big enough to accommodate them. Don’t know if there is now an alternative or if there has been some change, but this was definitely the case.

Also, the wall at the front of the Riverside is the oldest part of the ground still standing. I like that.

I wouldn’t be opposed to making it a safe standing area in the future, depending on how things pan out. 

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