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The Football Grounds Debate: Should Teams Move or Stay?

For those of you who read this blog regularly and listen to the EPL Talk Podcast, you’ll know that I’m enamored with football grounds. So, thanks to a tip from the Tokyo Toffeeman, he pointed me to an article on the BBC Sport blog entitled “Do you care where your team plays?”

BBC’s Football Focus is doing a documentary on football grounds and are asking fans whether they prefer old grounds or new. While the post itself isn’t that interesting, the comments from football supporters around the world are fascinating.

There used to be only a few things you can count on in your life. Your family, death and taxes. But one most not forget football grounds, which are larger than life but sadly being replaced by modern grounds that lack the character of the cathedrals of football.

My personal recommendation is that the BBC visit the grounds of the past that are still standing (albeit perishing). The grounds are a good reminder of where clubs have evolved from. For example, traces of Arsenal’s Invicta Ground from 1893 in Plumstead can still be seen today.

The topic is a hot one with Everton looking into the possibility of moving from Goodison Park to Kirkby, six to seven miles from their current home. In America that distance may not sound like much, but it’s a huge in England for many reasons. One being that it would take Everton outside of Liverpool and away from their home since 1892.

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  1. Stevan Shaw

    January 22, 2010 at 11:12 am

    As a Forest fan I do hope we stay at the City Ground, as it would be a shame to move just for the sake of maybe 2 games being played at the proposed new stadium. Surely it would make sense to stay at the city ground and redevelop the main stand. The capacity for the new stadium is going to be between 45-50 thousand, we only get on average 22-23 thousand and when we were in the premiership we were averaging 24- 26 thousand so how are we supposed to fill a stadium of 40,000+ ?
    It’s just a shame we have to move to a new stadium just to appease the F.A. when we have a fine stadium that just needs touching up a little as it is or in a couple rebuild the main stand.

  2. Anonymous

    December 19, 2006 at 1:49 am

    This debate is similar to what has gone on in the States over old baseball parks, in particular with the Red Sox and Fenway Park.

    Basically, the bottom line is that the club has to compete financially.

    The Red Sox have so far kept Fenway Park and done a fabulous job renovating it, but that comes at the expense of charging astronomical ticket prices and alienating a large segment of the population who simply can’t afford to go to the game. Even with all the renovations, they will probably need to eventually move to a new park anyway.

    I think it should also be noted that in places where new stadiums were built, the tradition did not collapse as new ones developed.

    I think that British teams now are sort of like baseball teams in the 60s and 70s, ditching smaller parks for massive cookie cutter stadiums in an attempt to maximize profit. I think that eventually, like baseball did in the 90s, they will build “retro” stadiums that have a happy medium of traditional atmosphere with modern comfort and convenience.

  3. Jafar Ali

    December 17, 2006 at 3:05 am

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