Should the Bath End or the Bristol End be the designated away section?

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Should the Bath End or the Bristol End be the designated away section? Empty Should the Bath End or the Bristol End be the designated away section?

Post by OliverH on Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:57 am

Historically, the Bristol End has been the designated away end for segregated matches. However, it has been suggested that the Bath End might be more appropriate in the new stadium, as the capacity of the Bristol End is much higher. What do people think?
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Post by PHILB1973# on Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:00 pm

Bristol end for away supporters for the Torquay/Luton games we sometimes get. There's always been enough space for all the city supporters on the popular side and in front of the main stand and we rarely completely fill out the Bath end.
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Post by comrade powell on Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:09 pm

Firstly, thanks to Oliver for setting up this section on the forum - it's good to have a dedicated place for supporters to offer feedback and ask questions concerning the redevelopment of the ground.

My feelings regarding segregated matches are that Bath City fans come first! Those who followed the team to away fixtures during our two years in Conference National will have memories of some grounds where we were treated really poorly - often fenced in at a corner of the ground and offered substandard facilities.

In contrast away supporters visiting TP for segregated matches are given the large Bristol End terrace plus seats in the Family Stand. It's worth mentioning that the current capacity of the ground is just 3,528, of which approximately 1,500 can fit into the segregated section.

The crowd for Torquay's visit last season was 3,492 of which 1,429 were in the away end. Imagine if we had won through to the first round of the Cup this season and drawn Bristol Rovers at home. Over 40% of the current capacity would be given to visiting fans - only around 2,000 home supporters would be able to watch the match.  

It is hoped that the capacity of the terraces will be increased with the redevelopment but the flattening of the pitch will affect the Bath End and the adjoining section of the Pop Side. So I can't see the ratio for the home:away capacities changing drastically if the arrangements for segregation remain as they are.

Of course this only applies to segregated matches and while we remain at this level they are only likely to apply to big matches or where there is an 'issue' with visiting supporters. But the ambition is to be playing at the higher level where circumstances are very different.

And I appreciate that this could be an emotive subject for many supporters, especially those who enjoy standing at our 'favourite end' or in the singers section when we play towards the Bath End.
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Post by westonpundit on Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:20 pm

I don't really know the proposed capacity at either end of the new stadium but think we really need to maintain the Bath End as the 'City' end with the history attached for the faithful at that end of the pitch. What would be good for either end is that, with possibly some investment by a generous sponsor, we could have some limited form of covering over the 'City' end ( whichever that is ) in the form of some steel structure and basic roof which would capture the atmosphere created in the ground......make it a Kop end etc. Obviously the covered area could be named after the sponsors or investor for hopefully a local contracting firm or generous supporter.

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Post by OliverH on Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:54 pm

Thanks Westonpundit - I'm going to start a new topic about that!
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Post by Phil H on Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:13 pm

I agree that the Bristol End gives away fans too much of the capacity. Is it practical to just give them half of the end, plus the seating bit to away fans?
Bath fans could then use a part of it.

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Post by Twerton Parker on Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:13 pm

I've just written on the Bristol end topic that it needs covering if the club is to move with the times. However, there is still surely a place for a little bit of sentiment now and again, isn't there? Once the work is all done and if these things are possible I'd like to keep the Bristol end for the Away supporters

BUT

If it's going to be in the Club's interest to move things around a bit then that's what will have to happen if it means making the most of the investment in the re-development.

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Post by tovid on Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:24 pm

It would be good to know exactly the capacity of each side after redevelopment. This must be known.
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Post by tovid on Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:27 pm

comrade powell wrote:My feelings regarding segregated matches are that Bath City fans come first! Those who followed the team to away fixtures during our two years in Conference National will have memories of some grounds where we were treated really poorly - often fenced in at a corner of the ground and offered substandard facilities.

And these games are remembered bitterly by fans. Isn't it right for Bath City to be more welcoming?
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Post by OliverH on Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:15 pm

tovid wrote:It would be good to know exactly the capacity of each side after redevelopment. This must be known.

Thanks! I have added this question to the "Requests for Information" thread. We will regularly gather these and put them to the relevant club officials and working groups.
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Post by comrade powell on Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:59 pm

tovid wrote:
comrade powell wrote:My feelings regarding segregated matches are that Bath City fans come first! Those who followed the team to away fixtures during our two years in Conference National will have memories of some grounds where we were treated really poorly - often fenced in at a corner of the ground and offered substandard facilities.

And these games are remembered bitterly by fans. Isn't it right for Bath City to be more welcoming?

Of course it is, and reading other clubs' forums it looks like we're getting it right. But I'm not sure that welcome should extend to giving visiting fans almost half of the capacity in a segregated match.
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Post by kermit on Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:50 pm

This question could be in either topic, but.....
Could we utilize parts of the existing family stand to provide seats and maybe even cover at one or other end of the ground? Obviously we don't want it to look too Mickey Mouse.
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Post by tovid on Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:52 pm

Thats a good point kermit. I will have a look at the stand tomorrow with fresh intrest. It might be better to sell it to some local club with a level ground as there may be too much to do to make it fit our terraces
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Post by tovid on Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:29 am

I had a look at the stand yesterday. It appears to be built off a concrete ring beam which is hidden by the cladding on three sides. This means it would have to be adapted to fit our terracing. The terracing would need to be re-profiled so that the steps are at the correct length for the seats. Min 800 long. Not insurmountable.
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Post by Jon_BOA on Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:23 am

Throwing in my tuppence worth, with the levelling of the pitch, the motivation to attack the Bath End second half will be removed, therefore is having the Bath End as a home end made a bit redundant?

Secondly an much more importantly, the new design has the bars/changing rooms/tunnel etc., in the Bristol End corner (where the away turnstiles are now), would you want to put the away fans near the tunnel so the first thing seen/heard on a segregated game would be massed ranks of away fans? The club may also think it will make more revenue from home fans accessing the bar at half time in segregated matches. Not sure if that's true, but it is a thought!

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Post by tovid on Mon Oct 14, 2019 1:42 pm

Good points.
The levelling of the pitch and orientation of the new stadium certainly gives reason for a rethink.
Presumably the new turnstiles at the Bath end could be for away supporters. You could actually allocate that end of the stand for away supporters and have the Bath end for the visitors. Some means of segregating fans would need to incorporated into the grandstand plans so they could be allocated some of the concourse.
Bath fans could then have the rest of the stand, the bristol end and the popular side.
It might be possible to introduce some means of enabling away support to overspill on to the bath end of the popular side if necessary for games with a large away contingent and segregation.
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Post by LB on Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:56 pm

I do agree that having the whole of the Bristol end for away supporters does seem excessive based on the current overall ground capacity, and Jon_BOA makes some good points as well

I suppose one of the things to consider in this is how fans will get around the ground or from one side to the other. At present access to the Popular Side is via the Bath end as that is where everybody comes in - if that became the 'away' end then that might prove a problem, although home fans might have to be 're-trained' to enter by what are now the Bristol end turnstiles and go around to the Popular side from there. As tovid mentions, there will need to be space in the grandstand for away supporters so that will presumably be a factor in where the away end is.

I assume that it isn't intended that the away end will be permanent - i.e. never accessible to City fans - as in reality we probably aren't going to use it that much.
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Post by OliverH on Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:24 pm

LB wrote:
I assume that it isn't intended that the away end will be permanent - i.e. never accessible to City fans - as in reality we probably aren't going to use it that much.
.

Yes I believe that is a safe assumption - at this level, it would only be 1-2 matches a year. Would change if we went up though.
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Post by comrade powell on Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:09 pm

Jon_BOA wrote:
Secondly an much more importantly, the new design has the bars/changing rooms/tunnel etc., in the Bristol End corner (where the away turnstiles are now), would you want to put the away fans near the tunnel so the first thing seen/heard on a segregated game would be massed ranks of away fans? The club may also think it will make more revenue from home fans accessing the bar at half time in segregated matches. Not sure if that's true, but it is a thought!

These are very valid points. For a segregated match we need our supporters to be able to easily access our bars, shop, ticket office etc - if they are at the opposite end of the car park to the home turnstiles with the possibility of stewards wanting to keep the two sets of supporters apart the club could well suffer financially. And yes, you want the teams to enter the pitch near home supporters, not to mention sponsors etc being turned off by what went on at the Torquay fixture.

The idea of making the Bath End for away supporters in a segregated match also means that they could be instructed to approach the ground via the walkway off the High Street - much easier to police if necessary than the main carpark entrance.
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Post by Palms on Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:35 pm

With the teams coming out in the Bristol End corner there's no way that should be the away end any more, especially for big games when they'll be in the stand too. Stick them on the new Bath End, they can have the crap old bogs and some seats at that end of the new stand. Leave it uncovered too. Will also be easier for exiting the ground, they can all just file straight down the slope and away rather than merging with home fans at the new bar areas in the Bristol corner.

Edit. Didn't bother reading all of the preceeding posts, ignore.
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Post by tovid on Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:51 pm

It isn't necessary to make new points it is about getting a consensus isn't it?
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Post by OliverH on Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:11 am

Absolutely - great discussion so far, keep it up!
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Post by PaulB on Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:43 pm

Very useful consultation session on Saturday - many thanks to all concerned. My vote would be for the Bath End to be for away supporters on the grounds that the Bristol End will be bigger, have proper terracing across the width of the pitch, is closer to the main entrance, gives better access to the bar and is close to the tunnel.

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Post by Peter Newman on Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:00 pm

The problem is that the only need for segregation is the big games against well supported opposition. E.g Luton and Torquay recently.
By restricting their numbers we miss out on good gate income as the reduced level of away support is unlikely to be offset by home supporters.
I suppose there would need to be a flexible system where the home end is normally the Bristol end but switched to the opposite end for certain games. We have to bear in mind that for FA Cup games the opponents have to be offered a certain percentage (25%?) of the available capacity.

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Post by Ashley on Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:06 pm

FA Cup and Trophy is 15% to the away team (Rule 21(a)).

On one of the other threads the Bath End is to have a capacity of 840 after the development, I can’t remember what the overall ground will be but with 840 spaces available as long as it’s not over 5,600 the away end should be ok there.

We’d also have some away seats available in the stand I would think?
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