A quick heads-up on some stadium-related news that has featured in recent days and weeks:
- Just over a month ago we reported good news for Bristol City fans as a claimant had withdrawn a legal challenge to City’s planned Ashton Vale stadium. It seemed that this would be the end of a judicial review that was to assess the protestors’ claims and could potentially block the new stadium. However, a judge has now ruled that the review can go ahead as initially planned. So bad news for Bristol City, who will again face months of waiting.
- Local rivals Bristol Rovers, on the other hand, seem to be making more progress on the stadium front. The club recently submitted a planning application for their proposed UWE Stadium. They also unveiled some further details and renders (e.g. the one above) of the new stadium, which will have a capacity of 21,700 seats. If the stadium receives approval, the club hopes to start construction early next year.
- Also looking to build a new stadium, though less concrete, are Queens Park Rangers. During the Soccerex conference in Manchester, QPR chief executive officer Philip Beard confirmed that the club is investigating the options, adding that he would like to see the new stadium be an “entertainment destination” like Los Angeles’ Staples Center (home of the Lakers). He furthermore stated that his preference would be to ground-share, however also acknowledged that this would be difficult to realise. He specifically ruled out a ground share with Chelsea FC.
- West Ham United, in the meantime, are putting all their eggs in the basket of a move to the 2012 Olympic Stadium. The club’s marketing director Tata Warren reinforced their bid by stating that the stadium will be essential for the development of the club.
- And finally, across the channel, French club Le Havre is nearing the completion of its new Grand Stade du Havre. The opening of the 25,000-stadium has been announced for July of this year, however the stadium still lacks a name. That’s why the local Le Havre government has opened a website where every citizen of the city is invited to suggest a name. The government will than choose the best three names, after which the public gets the chance to vote for its preference. The name of the stadium will then be announced at the end of June.