Yes the 31,000 (with potential for more) seems a complete white elephant now, but it was built on the proviso that we would spend the 90s growing and remember Blackburn itself was demographically different with a massive support within the town boundaries that doesn’t really exist now in large parts of it.
By 1996 time you could see it bearing fruit with coaches coming from all over and clubs like Burnley/Bolton/Preston/Blackpool floundering in L1/L2, Accy in the Northern Premier. Even clubs like Man City were weak. Which would have meant even with the town itself changing, we would be covered long term by a branch network all over the north west.
Alas, that calamitous relegation in 1999 (yes we came back in 2001 but much weaker, as the game was rapidly changing, growth of the southern clubs, Abramovich and so on), Jack’s death and the relative renaissance of other local clubs meant, we threw away a once in a life time chance to be the go to club outside Manchester and Liverpool.
Yet, even up to 2011 we were averaging 25,000 crowds due to switched on executives who did everything they could to protect PL status and understood our demographics and priced games accordingly. Alas, this lost decade, 10,000 fans long out of the habit, a conveyor belt of carpetbagging executives who seemingly know little of how our fanbase is made up, neglectful owners, plus rapid demographic change, notwithstanding the as yet unknown pandemic impact, tells me we never even get back to 2011, never mind those halcyon days of the 90s