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The stock cars are definitely gone for good. There is actually a chance stands could be built behind the goals, especially if the joint bid of the IFA AND FAI get the European U21 championships in 2023. The Showgrounds is one of the proposed venues and apparently will need an 8000 capacity.
 

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Coleraine looking to redevelop the Showgrounds.

Will include a 4G pitch, planned to be installed over next summer if the redevelopment progresses.

There will be a new 2000 seat stand, and safe standing at both goals. Will take 3 to 5 years to deliver.

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Will also include a new bridge over the railway lines.

 

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Run off areas in place ahead of the Europa League match at The Ballymena Showgrounds.

Good about the run off areas but do you think they might widen the pitch a bit to reduce the gap between the stands and the play? (I think the playing pitch is allowed to be wider than Ballymena currently is under international pitch size rules).
 

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Good about the run off areas but do you think they might widen the pitch a bit to reduce the gap between the stands and the play? (I think the playing pitch is allowed to be wider than Ballymena currently is under international pitch size rules).
Don't see it happening. The run-off was put in place to allow for pitch widening and to allow for UEFA games to be played there.

I could only really see maybe a running track asphalt placed between pitch and stands in the event that there was also greater development, perhaps stands behind the goal that would square-off the stadium.

The problem is that both stands at the ground are both relatively new/redeveloped that the distance from pitch to seats will exist for some time.
 

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Don't see it happening. The run-off was put in place to allow for pitch widening and to allow for UEFA games to be played there.

I could only really see maybe a running track asphalt placed between pitch and stands in the event that there was also greater development, perhaps stands behind the goal that would square-off the stadium.

The problem is that both stands at the ground are both relatively new/redeveloped that the distance from pitch to seats will exist for some time.
I agree that the stands are recent so they wouldn't move the stands nearer each other. But surely the playing area of the pitch itself could be widened a few metres so that there is less of a gap - football pitches don't have to be a given size and ballymena's is less wide currently than many.
 

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I agree that the stands are recent so they wouldn't move the stands nearer each other. But surely the playing area of the pitch itself could be widened a few metres so that there is less of a gap - football pitches don't have to be a given size and ballymena's is less wide currently than many.
Currently the pitch meets UEFA size standards so not sure how much wider the pitch could be.

I think an option would be to replace the track with a 4 lane running track and fill in behind goals with 2 new, smallish stands like Allianz Rugby Stadium. Running groups and even Ballymena United could use the track for training.

 

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That's an interesting idea, but does NI need a running track stadium? Also the end stands are quite small.

If I understand things correctly the current ground is 64m wide, which is good for UEFA categories 1 & 2; But we could widen it to 68m wide for UEFA category 3&4.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFA_stadium_categories


That means 2 metres on each side which should reduce the gaps at least a bit, reducing the sense of being far away from the play.
 

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I agree that the stands are recent so they wouldn't move the stands nearer each other. But surely the playing area of the pitch itself could be widened a few metres so that there is less of a gap - football pitches don't have to be a given size and ballymena's is less wide currently than many.
UEFA requirement is 100–105m length x 64–68m breadth.
 

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https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/51194824

The Department for Communities says a fresh consultation needs to take place on sub-regional stadia funding, given the changes in football since 2015.

Five years ago, the Northern Ireland Executive allocated £36m for the sub-regional programme for local football.

Glentoran were set to receive £10m to redevelop the Oval, with £17m put aside for other stadia.

A department spokesperson said £36m was still available but would not commit to a timeframe or any extra money.
 
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