Redevelopment

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by BenE on Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:12 pm

Jolly interesting discussion this evening regarding the pitch with strong arguments from both sides.
The idea is to level the pitch during the redevelopment so it will be an opportunity to decide what playing surface we want.
The big question is can the club survive if we don't have an artificial pitch. If we are going to stay with grass we need to come up with some pretty convincing alternative money making schemes. There must be ways of making money, although the difficulty of raising the money for the community buy out would suggest not.
We are actually losing £180 per person per season that attends. I suppose we could all pay an extra £7-8 a match to cover it. Or all eat loads of pies.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by comrade powell on Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:23 pm

Yes, it was a very good meeting with lots of interesting points raised. It was clear that some present were very opposed to 3G but everyone listened to the views offered with respect. Well done to Michael Clayton and Nick Blofeld for leading things. Just surprised there weren't more Society members present for an issue which everyone must have an opinion on and will have a direct bearing on the future of our club.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by striped67 on Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:18 am

And well done for the internet radio feed. I was able to listen in for half an hour or so, whereas without it I would have missed out completely.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by yuffie on Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:37 am

So did there seem to be any general feeling either way. For me it is a no-brainer to have a 3G pitch but I fear that a small number who appear to opposed to the idea for largely nostalgic reasons could derail it. Especially when they throw the unproven health issues into the argument.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by comrade powell on Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:54 am

Of the 16 or so present who were neither members of the club's board or Society committee it looked like there was a 50:50 split. I've talked to others in the past few weeks and apart from the group who produced the anti 3G paper, everyone shares the view that while grass is preferable from a viewing and traditionalist perspective, the alternative makes sense financially and would foster close links with the community.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Jon_BOA on Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:04 am

comrade powell wrote: I've talked to others in the past few weeks and apart from the group who produced the anti 3G paper, everyone shares the view that while grass is preferable from a viewing and traditionalist perspective, the alternative makes sense financially and would foster close links with the community.

To be fair, that's pretty much always been my view, I accept it makes sense - Steve Skinner nailed it with the we can't do nothing point raised - but I don't (won't? I'm not sure) want to watch City playing on it week in week out, as you admit yourself grass is preferable from a viewing perspective.

The plastic pitch was always, always* going to be laid, I just put in the motion to at least force the debate, and give myself the cop out of "at least I tried to keep grass".


* It was too integral a part of the whole BBCB prospectus for it to not happen.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by yuffie on Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:30 am

comrade powell wrote:Of the 16 or so present who were neither members of the club's board or Society committee it looked like there was a 50:50 split. I've talked to others in the past few weeks and apart from the group who produced the anti 3G paper, everyone shares the view that while grass is preferable from a viewing and traditionalist perspective, the alternative makes sense financially and would foster close links with the community.

I think the idea that watching football on grass is preferable falls into the nostalgic reasoning. I personally have noticed no difference in the games we have played on 3G pitches over the last two seasons, even the poorer Hendon surface had no effect on the game to my (camera obscured) eye. The only pitch this season that had any real impact on the quality of the game was Hungerford's traditional grass one.

Hopefully, the majority of supporters will be able to look at the bigger picture and not be taken in by the more emotive reasoning behind keeping a grass pitch and once we start winning games* on it nobody will even worry we don't have a grass.

*Though if we maintain our current home form then I'm sure the 3G pitch will be blamed!

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by OliverH on Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:33 am

Well done everyone for putting it on, and for BCIR for streaming it.

3G was absolutely not integral to the BBCB prospectus, the financial plan did not assume that one would be laid. There may have been an assumption in the back of some people's minds that it would eventually be part of the future, but it's only mentioned in the prospectus as something that will be reviewed for its pros and cons.

I will still be voting against 3G, for what I believe to be rational and forward-looking reasons. I'm not convinced that it really will cover the losses, and I think that there are many other ways to build community links without it all being about the pitch, especially if you are literally rebuilding the main stand from scratch. I find it hard to believe that there won't be a tradeoff in the final design of the main stand between 3G-related facilities such as changing rooms etc, and spaces that can be used to generate revenue and deliver community benefit in other ways (bars, meeting rooms, office space, gym space etc).

The "doomsday scenario" presented last night if we don't install 3G was relegation to the Southern League. Taking a long-term view, I can live with that.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Steve Whites Missus on Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:32 pm

OliverH wrote:Well done everyone for putting it on, and for BCIR for streaming it.


I will still be voting against 3G, for what I believe to be rational and forward-looking reasons.

#metoo

I just don't think there is a realistic return on investment for the pitch.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by stillmanjunior on Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:42 pm

Just a quick one re streaming it on radio, apologies if anyone was unaware we were doing this but we didn’t want to advertise until late on as we thought it’d effect numbers turning up.

Thanks to Michael for setting all that up. The audio was better than I expected and a few people posed questions online, which is good.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by BenE on Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:04 pm

I was encouraged last night because of the Credo that was presented.

The main reason I bought into the community-owned model is because I firmly believe that the club should have an ethos about how the game is played, and that that ethos should be instilled right through the player structure from 5 year olds to the senior team. It seems to make sense to me that there should be a natural progression from one age group to another.

With this in mind the youth teams should be integral with the club. They currently aren't. But if they could play on the Twerton pitch every week it would be fundamental to creating that Bath City identity.

The suggestion was that opening the pitch to the public would not change the changing room requirements. I am not convinced about that but I can see that it is not as fundamental as compromising other potential spaces. I think the board has been conservative in its estimates of revenue. But even if we fall short of that it will bring in money that otherwise simply is not there.

I am not convinced about the need to replace pitches every five years. That is an ideal scenario. If an artificial pitch had as much care taken over it as the grass one currently does then it will last for ever.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by stillmanjunior on Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:36 pm

One thing, which I don't believe has been mentioned, acts as a concern for me: Is there any risk of the pitch being vandalised?

I believe Sutton and Hyde had flares thrown on theirs during/after televised FA Cup matches in the past year or so. I guess the argument is someone could damage a grass pitch too, but it worries me that someone could throw something, at any time, from behind the wall onto the surface. I'm guessing we haven't been the victim of vandalism for a while, because a few years back it was worryingly frequent.

Apologies if it was mentioned yesterday as well, but has there been a survey which states that teams/people would frequently use a 3G at Twerton on a regular basis? I was surprised to hear that the Odd Down one is thriving. We tried to play a friendly there last year and the price they quotes, for pitch and changing rooms, was outrageous. We didn't follow it up.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by OliverH on Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:52 pm

It's not just deliberate acts of vandalism. People wearing the wrong boots/shoes - even once - can muck up a 3G surface as well.

In fairness the feasibility study does not assume any cost savings, but it would be good to get a better understanding of the risks on the cost side, as well as the revenue side.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by stillmanjunior on Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:20 pm

I've just had a brainwave: Lets have half the pitch on 3G, and the other half grass.

This maintains the tradition of what football should be played on, whereas you have another area to hold 5 a-side matches and so on.

Install a great long divider like what they have separating Charlie's and Randall's, to be put up when necessary. Maybe at half-time to stop the opposition equalising.

Have a vote on whether the Bath or Bristol End remains grass or not.

Club gains more publicity for being so unique and quirky.

I should have thrown this into the mix last night...
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Steve Whites Missus on Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:31 am

I think you have something.
The good, or bad, thing about opinions... why not split into thirds. The centre circle area as grass then each goal mouth section (like the shooting area on a subbuteo pitch) could be 3G.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by BenE on Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:56 pm

Yes unfortunately the dodgy areas of the pitch are the goalmouths. Ideally you would want the middle of the pitch 3g and the perimeter grass so you can lump your long balls into the corners for the grass to hold up.

Having said this you can have 3G any length you like so you could have it short in the middle and longer on the outsides if you wanted. It doesn't have to be like a billiard table.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by LB on Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:20 pm

I am not sure why there seems to be so much animosity to the idea of a 3G pitch - the chants in the first half made the position of some at least fairly clear.

From my point of view there are a couple of other aspects that concern me more. Firstly, if part of the scheme is to include student accommodation then I think there is a danger of that ship sailing. Bath Cricket Club has just recently got planning permission for this but not without some opposition, and BANES does seem to be getting less favourably inclined to it, driven I think in part by the general concern about it continuing to built off campus.

The other thing is where we will play while the work is being done to the ground and the pitch - the options seem fairly limited, Chippenham being the nearest ground up to league standard. I don’t know whether Melksham’s new ground would fit the bill and of course there is always the Rec...

I am sure these things are all being considered as part of the grand scheme.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by comrade powell on Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:45 pm

Yes, the possibilities of where we might play if we have to move away during re-development works are being explored. But I don't think there's any chance of us playing at the Rec.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by LB on Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:57 pm

My Rec suggestion wasn’t serious, hence the “...”.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by BenE on Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:05 am

I'd have thought you could redevelop without moving with some careful planning. Start at the bath end with possibly temporary changing at the bristol end of the car park. Keep the rovers stand until the bath end is completed (and changing facilities) then decant into the new bit until the west end is completed.
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Re: Redevelopment

Post by comrade powell on Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:51 am

I guess factors like spectator safety and access to the ground will be factors in any decision. A problem we have is that entry is from one side of the ground only. Ebbsfleet were able to build their new stand and continue playing but their turnstiles and main facilities are on the opposite side.

Perhaps we could bring the Innox Park entrance out of mothballs...
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Redevelopment

Post by the demon headmaster on Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:56 am

My school was redeveloped over a two year period. It involved the whole site in stages and we still managed to stay open, working around the active building area. It wasn't easy, but it's definitely possible.

I hope this debate manages to avoid the pitfalls of a recent terrible referendum. Can people put their emotions aside for a change and can both sides muster their arguments with evidence and facts? This needs to be settled by reason. Feelings will eventually adjust to new realities either way, but if they get in the way of good decision-making we'll all lose out.

Can someone explain what the mechanism for making the final decision will be? Will it be a vote by shareholders? Will it be carried by a simple majority? When is such a vote likely to take place? I did listen to some of the contributions via BCIR (thank you), but I didn't hear these details discussed.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Sir Ged Roddy on Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:39 pm

comrade powell wrote:I guess factors like spectator safety and access to the ground will be factors in any decision. A problem we have is that entry is from one side of the ground only. Ebbsfleet were able to build their new stand and continue playing but their turnstiles and main facilities are on the opposite side.

Perhaps we could bring the Innox Park entrance out of mothballs...
I hadn't thought about using the Innox Park entrance. I don't know how far towards the Bristol end the redevelopment will take place, but it would be very easy to use the Bristol end turnstiles. Also, I recommended that we could turn the Bristol end into a combination of terraces (recently strengthened) plus a permanent stand on the side nearer to Freeview Road. We had a temporary stand there when the current stand was rebuilt after a fire. I realise that using a ground that has work being done on it is not easy, but all we would basically need is temporary portable changing rooms, which could be placed well out of the way of the redevelopment work.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by BenE on Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:08 pm

The crucial factor is laying the pitch whether that be grass or synthetic. The proposal is to level the pitch with spoil. This means all the spoil has to be in place before you even start laying the pitch. Presumably a new grass pitch will need growing time before you can play on it too.

But the excavation work would have to be virtually complete by then. This in itself assumes that there is the same amount of spoil as is needed to level the pitch. My gut feeling is that there will be a lot more spoil than pitch.

One issue with levelling the pitch is that any terracing at what is currently the lowest end would have to be over eight feet higher. In my opinion you will therefore need steps to egress from the Bath end of the ground. Disabled access may have to be limited to the Bristol end of the ground.

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Re: Redevelopment

Post by Sir Ged Roddy on Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:23 pm

BenE wrote:The crucial factor is laying the pitch whether that be grass or synthetic. The proposal is to level the pitch with spoil. This means all the spoil has to be in place before you even start laying the pitch. Presumably a new grass pitch will need growing time before you can play on it too.

But the excavation work would have to be virtually complete by then. This in itself assumes that there is the same amount of spoil as is needed to level the pitch. My gut feeling is that there will be a lot more spoil than pitch.

One issue with levelling the pitch is that any terracing at what is currently the lowest end would have to be over eight feet higher. In my opinion you will therefore need steps to egress from the Bath end of the ground. Disabled access may have to be limited to the Bristol end of the ground.

I think that the difference in height between the 2 ends is about 8 feet, but the obvious thing to do would be to take 4 feet out of the Bristol end and add 4 feet to the Bath end. You are right, as the Bath end wall is only 3 feet tall, and so remodelling would be needed. but that would be reasonably easy in a fairly small area at the Bath end. Personally, I would propose that the pitch be moved towards the Bristol end by about 10 feet, which would give us much more room to re-do the Bath end. Actually, this is why the floodlights are in such a strange position; the Bath end pylons are very close to the pitch, while the Bristol end ones are well behind the end wall. This was originally done so that the pitch could be moved towards the Bristol end.

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Re: Redevelopment

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