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gazsimm

[Archived] Ewood Park

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Here's my view for what its worth.

(1). Reducing capacity on the Riverside would be a ludricous idea. Why would the club want spend a few million quid on producing a smaller stand which would then provide them with less revenue. Fair enough it may look better, but in terms of a business decision simply not an option.

(2). Regarding filling in the corners. I remember when the ground was being redeveoped (which was only 12-13 years or so ago - see my next point) a decision was taken during the design process not to fill the corners in. I believe the reason for this was to aid the condition of the pitch, something to do with the wind if I remember rightly. Not sure it would aid the atmosphere too much either, I've been to Old Trafford and St Marys a few times and the atmosphere was pants.

(3). I can't believe people are suggesting such large scale re-development or even moving to a new stadium. Around 13 years ago Jack Walker spent £30m re-developing the ground and buying up land around the stadium for parking and facilites. What would be the point of now moving, it would make no sense at all (unless we could sell the present ground for re-development and make some cash out of it). Again, I think at the time of redevelopment the possibility of re-locating was discussed (whitebirk springs to mind) but decided against. Ewood Park is still one of the nicest grounds in the premiership (excluding the Riverside), even speaking to visiting supporters they comment on the quality of the stadium. From my experience terms of facilities etc under the stands we are second to none. I have been to a lot of the newer stadiums (Pride Park, Riverside, St Mary's, Madjeski, Stadium of Light) and the concourses are nothing compared to ours, all concrete floors, breeze block walls and no ceilings, a bit like a luxury cattle shed.

For me, Ewood is still a fine stadium.

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It would be a total waste of money.

As you say, we dont fill what we have now so how would making the place bigger help things ;)

So you are saying there is nothing like better facilities = more people coming? Or is it just the old school of first getting the people inside the door, then we can make the facilities better?

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Leaving huge gaps probably does help create the most beautifull of playing surfaces.But the gaps look crap,

and I will continue to insist that by filling them in the atmosphere would improve dramatically along with

attendances.I have also been to Old Trafford and Saint Marys both of then have great playing surfaces,

Old Trafford is ten times noisier than Ewood St Marys probably twice as noisy.

This idea will work, to see how it could look have a gander at FC Copenhagens ground.

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Old Trafford is ten times noisier than Ewood St Marys probably twice as noisy.

It wasn't last year in the League Cup I can tell you. Very quiet.

Filling in the gaps, rebuilding the Riverside in line with the other three stands, unfortunately it isn't going to happen unless one of the Trustees in Jersey (if that's where they really are. :o ) has one too many and signs off a cheque for us at Christmas.

Do we really need a 40,000+ stadium when we can only get 13K for a European match at £15 a pop? I suppose the atmosphere would be better in an echoey sort of way. The Mancs would be happy.

The stadium is probably too big anyway at the moment. In an ideal world you could take the top off the Darwen and Blackburn Ends and stick them on the Riverside to create three stands the same height and then the Nuttall Street towering over the rest. Perhaps that was an oversight by Jack in using Grade 1 steel instead of lego.

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In hindsight, when Ewood was rebuilt, it should`ve been a 25k stadium, but alas Uncle jack had bigger plans for Rovers & in the mid 90s we regularly had 25k plus gates.

Football is suffering from over exposure, there`s simply too much of it on telly & there`s too many ways to watch it (ie...sky, dodgy satellite,pubs) For alot of people, the matchday excitement just isn`t there anymore.

Add to that strange kick-off times & live tv games & it`s bound to affect gates.

I`d welcome the change in camera angle from the JW to the Riverside tho.

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Leaving huge gaps probably does help create the most beautifull of playing surfaces.But the gaps look crap,

and I will continue to insist that by filling them in the atmosphere would improve dramatically along with

attendances.

I have also been to Old Trafford and Saint Marys both of then have great playing surfaces,

Old Trafford is ten times noisier than Ewood St Marys probably twice as noisy.

This idea will work, to see how it could look have a gander at FC Copenhagens ground.

I agree it would look better, but thats all. Atmosphere for me is simply down to the supporters not the stadium and I can't see at all how filling in the corners would increase our attendances. If reducing ticket prices to £15 and £5 can't, filling in the corners hasn't got a hope in hell! Would you be prepared to put the money up to do it? Confident you would get a return on your investment - I know I wouldn't, not after last nights gate for certain!

Also, I agree with you that OT is a lot noiser than Ewood, but thats due to the fact there are 75000 people in there. Living in Southampton for the last 6 years I have been to St Marys on numerous occassions with my brother in law (who's a saints fan), and believe me the atmosphere is generally crap. Took him to Ewood a couple of years ago and he said the stadium and atmosphere were far better than St Marys.

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In hindsight, when Ewood was rebuilt, it should`ve been a 25k stadium, but alas Uncle jack had bigger plans for Rovers & in the mid 90s we regularly had 25k plus gates.

Football is suffering from over exposure, there`s simply too much of it on telly & there`s too many ways to watch it (ie...sky, dodgy satellite,pubs) For alot of people, the matchday excitement just isn`t there anymore.

Add to that strange kick-off times & live tv games & it`s bound to affect gates.

I`d welcome the change in camera angle from the JW to the Riverside tho.

I'd agree with that Cletus. I'm probably going to open a whole can of worms here, but here goes:

Jack obviously did have bigger plans for Rovers, and our attendences in the mid 90's success period were on the up. One thing that I'd like to raise, more so just to get other peoples views than anyting else, is that I can't help but feeling that we as a club really failed to build on and capitlise upon winning the league. In that close season of 1995 we had the footballing world at our feet: Champions of England, The worlds greatest striker, a great manager, a huge transfer budget, great stadium with good crowds. We could have, within reason signed anybody we wanted in that summer. I remember we were being linked with the likes of and up and coming Zidane (who I beleive was still playing in France at that time) etc. But what did we do, changed the Manager and replaced him with the assistant and signed Matt Holmes from West Ham. For me that is the root of where it all went wrong. We should have really gone for it on the back of the title win, and I honestly I think we'd be a far bigger club for it now.

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Many of you are missing the point here.....we dont have to increase the capacity just bring the stand and its facilitys up to standard and in line with the rest of the stadium.Quite frankly the Riverside looks tired and totally out of place with the rest of Ewood and lets the stadium down badly aesthetically....the fans on that side deserve better.

Look at PETERBOROUGHS SOUTH STAND and look what is achievable under a budget,imagine this stand or similar in place of the awful Riverside.....smart, modern two tier seating in line with the rest of the ground and even space for exec boxes !!!!

With a bit of imagination,sponsorship and the WILL to finish Ewood properly, it is possible.

Edited by SIMON GARNERS 194

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Ideally what we need is something not with a huge capacity, but with about the same capacity of the Riverside or very slightly more and which is aesthetically appealing and fairly unique - instantly recognisable across the world so that when Sky home in, people across the world will instantly recognise it as Ewood Park. And not for the wrong reasons because they're looking at a potting shed.

In the past we as a club have shied away from redevelopment of the Riverside or even spending money on repositioning cameras facing the more attractive three sides of the ground preferring to spend any available money on the team. That's quite sensible but I really think in the current climate we need to explore every angle and option of making attending a match at Ewood seem a more attractive proposition.

As a side issue, redeveloping the Riverside would temporarily restrict capacity, possibly encouraging people to think a little harder about their purchase of tickets and season tickets.

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Their South stand holds 5,000 Rev,Ewood would be a great modern stadium with similar in place.

Surely cost is not a massive factor here if its achievable for a club(with all pespect) like Pererborough utd........its just a lack of forsight imho.

And your sopt on about Ewood looking more full for twelve months or so while the redevelopment took place!! :lol:

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I can't help but feeling that we as a club really failed to build on and capitlise upon winning the league. In that close season of 1995 we had the footballing world at our feet: Champions of England, The worlds greatest striker, a great manager, a huge transfer budget, great stadium with good crowds. We could have, within reason signed anybody we wanted in that summer. I remember we were being linked with the likes of and up and coming Zidane (who I beleive was still playing in France at that time) etc. But what did we do, changed the Manager and replaced him with the assistant and signed Matt Holmes from West Ham. For me that is the root of where it all went wrong. We should have really gone for it on the back of the title win, and I honestly I think we'd be a far bigger club for it now.

Absolutely correct.

It's been debated before but it's worth discussing again: Jack Walker's failure to build on the championship success in the summer of 1995 was probably his biggest mistake - even bigger than his appointment of the lamentable Bryan Kidd as manager a few years later.

There were several top-class players on the market that summer (including Kanchelskis when he was still in his pomp, if I remember rightly), but Rovers (Walker) decided to stand still and stick with the squad they had, which in the fast-moving football world was asking for trouble.

In effect, the club shut up shop for the summer and went on holiday while the likes of United and Arsenal continued working like they do every close season to strengthen their squad.

Walker said he wanted the club to "wash its face financially" but the reality was having taken Rovers to the summit he hadn't got the courage to keep them there.

As for the Riverside, it continues to be an embarrassment to the club.

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As well as the Riverside stand the area behind it is a disgrace and needs improving.I work with fans of many clubs who have visited Ewood and their almost unanimous opinion of the 'shed' is it looks ridiculous compared to the rest.

Why anyone would not support sensible and within budget redevelopment of that side of our ground is beyond me.

Remember the original plans that were mooted for the Riverside?...a 15,000 :o seater behemoth taking Ewood to 40,000 capacity!!.A model is still on show at the club and can be seen on the ground tour.

With the current crowd problems thank christ it never happened......we'd have ended up giving Utd or Liverpool the whole stand!

Edited by SIMON GARNERS 194

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On the subject of noise and atmosphere, there is a survey in todays Sun which lists Rovers as the 8th noisiest set of fans in the Prem. Atmosphere cant be that bad then can it :P

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One of the things I love about Ewood is the fact that the cornes aren't filled in. It gives the ground a connection with locality and a sense of place. Sat in a host of the newly developed grounds, you could be anywhere in the country or world for that matter.

And if you don't like looking at the Riverside, do what I do and sit in it.

As for ideas for its redevelopment, what about a terrace?

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Some funny contradictions get thown up on this messageboard.

Elsewhere there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth that too much football on TV is killing the game, and Sky is the root of all evil.

But here, usually sane people are quite seriously suggesting an expensive and major change to Ewood Park so that the pics look nicer when Rovers are on TV!!

It's quite ludicrous. The media facilities in the Jack Walker stand are up there with the best in the country - purpose designed and much appreciated by those who use them.

You can't just pick it all up and move it to the other side of the ground!! It's not just the cameras and the miles of new cabling - it's up to 4 commentary teams who need to be on the same side as the main camera (BBC / Sky / Rovers / international feed), it's the catering which would need to be provided for all that lot, it's the pointless building work, moving people from the best seats in the stand who have been there for years (the new structure would probably wipe out 5 seats either side of half way from front to back - so up to 300 people to relocate to poorer seats) ... could go on and on!!

Or did you lot think it'd be one bloke with a Sony Handycam perched on some scaffolding on the roof, with Wendy dashing over the pitch at half time with a flask of tea?!?!

Edited by Tris

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The only reasons that I would consider improving the Riverside stand would be for the overall look of the ground. If the stands were the same all the way around it would look awesome. Also, if there was legitimate demand for tickets and as such we would need to expand the ground. But because we don't even fill Ewood at the minute, it would be a complete waste of money.

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You can't just pick it all up and move it to the other side of the ground

You don't move it all, you only need a camera gantry.

4 commentary teams who need to be on the same side as the main camera

Why ?

The commentary team can stay where they are, so can everyone else for that matter, just position a camera on the opposite side of the ground to film the bulk of the action and the three major stands.

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You don't move it all, you only need a camera gantry.

Why ?

The commentary team can stay where they are, so can everyone else for that matter, just position a camera on the opposite side of the ground to film the bulk of the action and the three major stands.

Hmmmm, Jonathan Pearce would have great fun describing Rovers kicking right to left, or is it left to right.

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The commentary team can stay where they are, so can everyone else for that matter, just position a camera on the opposite side of the ground to film the bulk of the action and the three major stands.

The solution is easy. Just leave stuff as it is but due to declining attendances shut the now pointless Riverside stand and put up a crowd frieze like the Arse did when the North Bank was rebuilt*.

* btw What a waste of money that was trying to keep up with the Walkers.... A few short years later and the new facilities got the ball and chain treatment.

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I know, lets replace the Riverside with a bus shed and call it Lancashire United!

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They only way the club will develop the Riverside is when the current ground is sold out for home supporters on a regular basis. Until that happens (and with the present attendance "issues" I can't see that it ever will) the Riverside will remain as it is.

Plans were drawn up a few years ago to redevelop the Riverside, if i remember it would have increased the capacity of the ground to over 40,000 and included a hotel. At the time gates were a lot more healthy than they are now, but I would assume that following the dramatic drop in attendances that the plans have been well and truly shelved.

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Would it be difficult to put the TV Cameras on the roof of the riverside? Wouldn't make any difference to the ground - but it'd look a damn site better on the television. I'm being serious now! :P

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We are all agreed then so allow me to sum up:-

A nice new (but cheap) stand of simlar capacity to the riverside with nice new bars and shops with facility for the TV cameras to sit on top allowing the media world to see the grounds 'bigger' sides.

Sorted. Who's going to tell John Williams?

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Personally I like the fact that the ground isn't all modern and state of the art. It's quirky and slightly scruffy on one side with real class on the others - a bit like the town and the people who go to the ground. It takes all sorts and there are those who really like sitting in the Riverside, some of them far posher and well-heeled than most of us. For them it's a bit of a retro thing - reminds them of where the club has come from and I don't see why we as fans or anyone else needs to apologise for that.

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