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DAN THE FAN: Redevelopment dream finally a reality?
If you looked over most of the town’s and cities of the UK you would find the same key builds in any community.
Schools, libraries, churches, supermarkets and of course the all important Football Stadium.
Weather they host thousands or just a few hundred they are cathedral like buildings for millions of football fans around the country who worship their team.
I personally find old stadiums fascinating; they were built for the normal football fan and not for the small minority of rich people/companies who watch the game now.
The new Wembley is the best example of a stadium that’s been built to make money and not for the enjoyment of all the fans attending a game.
Of course as a business and it has to make money, but to have a whole tier separating fans that support the same team on their big day out by “Club Wembley” is ridicules.
Whenever a club moves into a mass-produced stadium that has no character or history a part of that club is never the same again.
But unfortunately due to several reasons moving stadiums is normally done out of necessity for the clubs future.
As Town fans we’ve seen people come and go who promise to move the club elsewhere or who want to re-develop the County Ground, but its all come to nothing.
In 1999, 2001 and 2004 three different boards have proposed various sites around the Swindon area for a new stadium, but plans never got past the early stages of planning.
Plans to move Town away from the County Ground have never been popular with the majority of Swindon fans.
In 2006 a redevelopment campaign for the current site was established that urged the council to facilitate the revival of the County Ground and not move elsewhere.
But finally after all the baseless talk of the past it seems the County Ground will see its capacity increased in stages over the next few years.
Even though it’s all in very early stages, it’s great to see some movement on an issue that’s moved at a snails pace due to various reasons the last few years.
“The (first) stage focuses on the Town End, doubling the capacity to 4,000, and providing pitchside-view function rooms, possibly with an associated hotel,” Chief Executive Nick Watkins told the Swindon Advertiser this week.
As someone who has a season ticket in the Town End it will be sad to see the original stand go, but its also exciting to think about the Town End being updated and improved for the future.
With work on the stand possibly starting next summer, could this be the Town End’s last full season in its current state?
Will the stand end up looking like a much smaller version of the North Stand at Villa Park?
We will have to wait until the plans are released to the public at some point this season.
Don't forget you can follow me on Twitter @danjohnson_stfc.
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