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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know that the majority of the NI public have zero interest in the local Carling Premiership and most will never have visited an Irish League ground, and prefer to favour the dazzling lights of English Premiership/Championship, and to a far lesser extent of dazzling lights...... Scotland's SPL.

However over the past few seasons, stadia in Northern Ireland has been starting to move slowly into the 21st century with the financial aids of UEFA and Sport NI now available.

Various clubs have recently installed brand new high power floodlights provided with funding by the IFA and UEFA. Such clubs that have benefitted from this are;- Coleraine, Institute, Glenavon, Cliftonville, Glentoran, Crusaders, Ballymena, Portadown and during the 2010 summer Newry City should be having their new floodlights installed.

Spectator seating areas in various grounds are beginning to be either completely rebuilt, upgraded, or built to replace terracing.

A few examples include;

Newry City - Family Stand with Media room, opened last month.


Newry City FC have outlined plans to build a 650 seat stand for visiting supporters.

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Portadown - new South and MET stands (new floodlights not in picture)


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Ballymena United - Home supporter's stand already completed




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Glenavon - new all-seater stand for away fans constructed in recent years

New UEFA-standard floodlights included above

Glenavon now plan to have their turnstiles completely rebuilt, their covered terracing remodelled to an all-seater stand with toilets and food dispensary.


Terracing behid goal is planned to have a new all-seater stand constructed, currently it looks like


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Cliftonville have rebuilt the Cage into a 1400 seat stand with the aid of Sport NI funding - along with high powered UEFA-funded Lux floodlights which were erected in September 2009(not included in picture).


Recently built stand for visiting fans, known as the Bowling Green End, due to the Cliftonville bowling club based at the rear of the stand.


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Institute have had new UEFA funded 800 watt Lux lights installed at the Riverside Stadium last summer


Crusaders and Coleraine have also benefitted from the above UEFA-granted floodlights.


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Crusaders FC have also recently released ambitious new plans for a new ultra modern 4000 seater stadium to be based within the proposed Belfast City Council sports complex on the site of the North Foreshore:



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As i have said at the start, extremely few people will have any such interest in such a thread, but i feel it is important to highlight how our own local game's facilities are improving over the coming months.

When more photos and information of stadium upgrades are available i will post on here.
 

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I have no interest in football itself, however a positive thread. It's interesting to see the stadia and proposed upgrades and new grounds.

Suppose this thread can serve as the main thread for such related developments :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
a bit old, but is relavant to the refurbishment of Glenavon's Mourneview Park ground.

The company that was due to undertake the reconstruction work, Jameson Building, went into liquidation back in March which i wasnt aware of and thus far the only work that has been done is the uncovered terracing having been demolished, along with the back wall of the Crescent Stand (pictured below), which is planned to have a police/steward crowd monitoring room and new toilets and food outlets added. Other work carried out so far is the two turnstile blocks getting levelled before Jameson Building liquidated.





An official club statement was released a while back which i have just came across:-

ONGOING developments at Glenavon's Mourneview Park have been suspended due to the contractor going into administration.
So far the terracing at the Hospital End of the ground has been demolished along with the club’s front entrance, both sets of turnstiles, part of the social club and the back wall of the Crescent End stand.

The club had hoped that a new entrance and turnstiles would be completed this month as well as a match-day control room at the back of the Crescent End for stewards and the police to monitor crowd behaviour.

However, the work has had to be stopped due to the predicament in which the contractors currently find themselves.

As chairman Adrian Teer revealed the club are as yet unsure when developments will be resumed but that contractors have been asked to submit tenders by tomorrow (Friday).

He said: “Jameson’s have gone into administration and as we understand it, the contractors who tendered unsuccessfully initially have now been asked to submit tenders for the rebuilding of the gates, the installation of the turnstiles and associated work. Those tenders have to be in by Friday.

“This is our understanding. We haven’t been officially told of this but we have it in good authority.

“The problem with restarting the work is with the Easter holiday period which is traditionally a close-down for the construction industry but once a new contractor is appointed we will be pushing them to carry out this work with haste.”

The set-backs are however unlikely to affect the club financially as the initial funding on offer from SportNI to carry out the developments will still be available despite a move to the new financial year at the end of this month.

“We expect that money will be found within the 2010/2011 financial year to enable the project to be completed. Our understanding is that the cross-over of financial years will not affect the completion of the overall programme,” said Teer

“It’s an absolute nightmare. The work should have been completed and paid for in March.

“ Apart from the inconvenience and the impact it has on our match-day organisation it’s an unnecessary burden for the directors to have to carry.”
 

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Good call for a thread, good to see what is going on.

Few questions:

1. Are Crues going ahead with the new stadium - the last i saw they were building new pitch-end covered terracing - would they be doing this if they were about to move?

2. What is the story with the glens now - are they still waiting for something to happen at danny blanchflower? do they still have a guaranteed sale of the Oval?

3. Are there crowds to fill the new stands - the crowds on any of the BBC NI reports on the net are never that massive. Has the IFA marketing of the premiership worked?

blandy
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good call for a thread, good to see what is going on.

Few questions:

1. Are Crues going ahead with the new stadium - the last i saw they were building new pitch-end covered terracing - would they be doing this if they were about to move?

2. What is the story with the glens now - are they still waiting for something to happen at danny blanchflower? do they still have a guaranteed sale of the Oval?

3. Are there crowds to fill the new stands - the crowds on any of the BBC NI reports on the net are never that massive. Has the IFA marketing of the premiership worked?

blandy

1. As far as i am aware Crusaders are going to have a new stadium built there, but when this will happen is anyones guess. I think the terracing stand they speak is only going to be temporary


2. Gurns are screwed is the long and short of it. Rumoured to be close to £3 million in debt, their crater of a ground is worth pittance and they dont own the land anymore, i believe it was sold a few years ago to a development company. They also owe around £300k to the tax man, and released shares to try and raise this figure to pay the tax, but only managed to get a 1/3 of that figure required. Blanchflower stadium is also a non-starter now due to the proposed redevelopment of Windsor Park. Also there is the fact that they didnt even come 2nd in the league and didnt even get into the Champions League qualifiers - so even less money, and not forgetting they offered significantly higher wages than other teams to coax players into signing for them over the last number of years, which has also contributed to their peril.

3. Irish league attendances are getting noticeably lower every season. Due to a number of factors.

A) IFA has done next to nothing to promote the game, no advertising and extremely poor sponsorship.

b) Cheap flights and accommodation in england and scotland also contribute to alot of fans going across the water to watch teams on the mainland. a bit sad really.

c) Very few sunday games on offer throughout the season, and no late saturday afternoon/evening kick offs, a lot of people would play amateur football on saturday mornings throughout the country and many cannot make football games.

d) Lack of any decent coverage in local media, fair enough we get 10 mins of Final ScoreNI at 5 oclock on saturday afternoons, but when i queried BBCNI about getting a better MOTD style programme, they said their is not enough demand for a programme. When i told them that 5 o clock was a useless time to air it as many fans will be travelling home from games at that time and they are missing their target audience - they still havent got back to me almost 5 months on.
 

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Few questions:

1. Are Crues going ahead with the new stadium - the last i saw they were building new pitch-end covered terracing - would they be doing this if they were about to move?

2. What is the story with the glens now - are they still waiting for something to happen at danny blanchflower? do they still have a guaranteed sale of the Oval?
1. Crusaders are planning to put place two 650 seated stands behind both goals but they will be modular design so that they can dismantled and moved to the new ground. But as they received a grant for the 3G, i think the prerequisate for that grant is that the pitch stays in place for at least 3 yrs so new ground move is probably 5 yrs away.

2. The Glens are screwed. The Oval, great in its hay-day should be condemned. The Oval can not be redeveloped as it is in the Belfast City Airport flight path and at present they have no alternative. there was talk of a ground share with Crusaders but that has been muted.
 

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Modular stands - new one on me! Any chance of one to replace the railway stand at windsor short term, sell it to whoever whenever (hopefully) WP is properly rebuilt! Various clubs have a blank end/side to fill! Any Idea on timescales?

W.r.t. glens I thought that the IFA were still putting in for a smaller (10k) ground at Blanchflower in addition to the Windsor refurb. The plan would be for the glens to come in as a tenant. This may have bit the dust given current government budget woes (answers on a postcard please) I think they wanted a smaller stadium for junior matches.

Lateral thinking here - could the oval replace that proposal - I assume it would be a tad cheaper to spruce up a bit. Since when can the area not be developed? - there are new houses just gone/going up all around it! I could see a limit on high rises for obvious reasons.

Were the IFA not claiming rises in attendance over the last season or 2, now that they have a few hoardings up and carling promos? Mind you, looking at some of the capacities vs average attendance on an NI grounds website I discovered after my last post the stadia are hopefully optimistic as it is. www.nipremgrounds.co.uk by the way.
 

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No wembley I agree, unfortunately its the only one we have, so we cant afford the luxury of having it out of commission for 2 years while your advice is implemented. Our GAA neighbours would not be as obliging as they were to the FAI I fear.

Expansion & refurb has to be staged therefore to maintain capacity
 

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25 years now since the Bradford fire, whatever happened to our money that was supposed to come following the Taylor Report?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Taylor report recommendations only applied to England and Wales (possibly Scotland as well) im afraid.

Kop stand at Windsor doesnt need demolished as its not even 15 years old yet, North Stand just needs a bit of updating done, South and Railway stands are disgraceful it must be said, and new floodlights wouldnt go a miss either.

Only problem with updating Windsor Park is the fact it will far too big for Linfield, as its already too big for Linfield's needs.
 

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Havent heard them complain - I assume their share of the international proceeds compensates them for any attacks of agrophopia amongst the fans!

They had the perfect out over the past few years if it was a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
to the best of my knowledge, but its not a great stadium either, seats are too far away from the pitch
 

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The railway stand at Windsor was built about 55 years ago as a temporary measure for 3 games! its completely made of wood and hence why it was closed for fire safety.

Windsor:
Kop Stand is ok
North Stand needs new roof, PA speakers, toilets.
Demolish South and railway stand.
Maybe replace it with 5000 seater stand to stretch round both sides and maybe look like the Ballymena showgrounds stand with corporate facilities at the back.

The Glens cannot rebuild on the site of the Oval as it is in flight path. Planning means that you can not build anything that will greatly increase an areas population. Hence why housing is ok but 10000 people watching a game under a flight path is not. some how IKEA was built despite this.
 

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The Glens cannot rebuild on the site of the Oval as it is in flight path. Planning means that you can not build anything that will greatly increase an areas population. Hence why housing is ok but 10000 people watching a game under a flight path is not. some how IKEA was built despite this.
Re building at the Oval wouldn't necessary mean more attendance than whats there at present - At the moment some improvement at the Oval is necessary and if the Airport regs wont allow them to rebuild then maybe the Airport can pay for the Glens to move to a new stadium.
 

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Imrprovements can be made to the Oval as it was there before the Airport but a new ground can not be built there.

Glentoran do not own the Oval any more as it was sold to developers to pay off debts
 

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at the risk of thread creep.... it seems ridiculous that the airport has been allowed to evolve at the expense of the rest of the city (not just the problems above but also max building heights etc). perhaps it is time for a good express railway line to aldergrove and close the place down. the airport should at least be made to cough for a glens move if their existence has buggered any decent ground redevelopment.

what is the difference between improvements and a new stadium - it can fit the guts of 10k already - a crashing aeroplane would make no distinction between a standing or seated football fan!

As an aside - despite ripper roo's reservations this has the makings of a good thread, so long as we (myself included) resist the urge to turn it into a national stadium thread. titbits about local ground development always interesting.
 

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PS any windsor (or any footy ground, or ravenhill) upgrade which closes off the corner in line with the winter prevailing wind will get my vote any day. even if there is not corner seating a decent windshield would always be welcome.
 
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