Bescot - How big does it need to be?

Thinking about PT’s post, I said some weeks back that Bescot was oddly both too small and too big.

For twenty years or more we have been a club in decline, with a Chairman going through the motions, doing just enough to keep at least 3,000 punters going: enough to pay the rent and declare a profit of several thousand pounds. Any bigger, Bescot would have been a mausoleum.

But the potential here is far bigger than that. I seem to recall when Bescot was being planned, there was talk of a capacity of 16,000, but that never materialised. With seating, other regulations and segregation it is now barely 10,000 in, lets face it, a dated and uncomfortable stadium.

You might say that in the Championship, we never achieved the gates that the size of the town should be generating, but this is where Bescot was too small. In the Champ (or Division 1 as it was) we faced the same sort of problem as we have with Leicester, big teams gobbled up extra seats and under Roy Walley’s stewardship, the club never made it easy for fans to roll up on the day. Then of course the slippery slide took place and many of us got out of the habit of turning up week in week out.

The speed with which Leicester sold out and the remarkable, disproportionate volume of travelling Saddlers, should tell the club that given a feel good factor and success on the pitch, there is a well of untapped support, like there is at, err, ‘Bournemouth, Luton or Rotherham’!

Perhaps the vision of 12,000 - 16,000 needs to be realised

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About half the size it is now, we aren’t playing Premier League sides every week.

When the ground is full or almost full every week then we’ll have this discussion!

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I think it’s worth building the away end.

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Can you get expandable stadiums?

The Bonser era stifled any potential that Walsall had. It held the club in a smalltime vicelike grip. When football boomed and gates went up everywhere post the 1990 world cup at Walsall they declined. Finally after 32 years we own our own ground and we have owners who want to tap into our potential. We can finally grow the club and the fanbase. If we are successfull in the next 5-10 years I dont think a rebuilt Bescot with a 15,000 capacity and 7,000 season ticket holders is unrealistic

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10,000 is more than adequate when we average around 6,000. As someone has already said, we’re not playing PL sides everyweek.

IF we start to see some consistent success on the pitch then attendances should increase. It is only then, with larger away followings which would come with getting back into L1, should this even start to be a discussion.

I hate our ground tbh. It has too many stanchions which impede your view in 3 out of 4 stands, has a small pitch with little to no room to extend this and is completely soulless. In my opinion 3 stands need completely ripping down and starting again.

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It really isn’t most clubs in League 2 being around 300.

Interesting that we only attracted 8,766 for the 5th Round tie v Fulham. I know Leicester is a Midlands team but it shows there is a spark now that there wasn’t back then.

More than adequate for now .Any extra cash should spent on the playing budget

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Hopefully we won’t be in league two much longer :wink:

Get it done while it doesn’t cause disruption.

Fleece them away fans.

I must admit there have been times the last 5/6 years I wished the upper tier didn’t exist.

Low Roof on the GA (partly aided by standing) always generated good noise.

Capacity is fine. If we are at 11300 now. Unless we are pulling 8000 Walsall fans - pointless considering

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It’s a nice vision to have. getting 10,000 in a stadium of 15 or 16000.

Getting a bit ahead of ourselves though, a lot of work to be done before we are anywhere near thinking about that. Maybe not even in my lifetime (getting on towards 50)

Let’s just focus on getting out of division 4 and making positive incremental changes over time that will continue us on the right path.

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The original plans presented to the SWAG COMMITTEE by Miller and Gilman were for a capacity of 18500.This was obviously watered down to save cost.

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I’m happy it does, for me the best view of a game of any ground in L2.

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I love my upper tier.
As a weirdo who loves analysing games, watching style of play ,pretending I’m either a manager or when I want to annoy my brother a commentator. There is no better place to sit
I’m one of these who preferred the beauty and tactical side of football than the atmosphere and social side

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How many games at Bescot have we had when demand would have exceeded capacity - particularly in relation to home fans?

I can’t think of too many over the last 32 years.

Nothing wrong with ambition and I’d hope Trivela have been posing some questions to Pomlett, Gamble et al as to how to proactively grow the fanbase, but i think we are a long way off needing to expand the stadium.

If we ever do, and stay in situ, I’d hope they’d rebuild both sides and the away end, on a phased basis, and factor in more space between perimeter and pitch, deeper terraces for more legroom and a stanchion-less structure.

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With segregation and unused seats I expect the capacity for the Leicester match to be around 9,500. Take off 2,200 away and its just over 7k Saddlers. We are averaging around 5k, so it’s hardly surprising we’ve sold out!

For me, the problem is not the size of the stadium, it’s that three sides are completely tinpot, out of date and when it was built, had more stanchions than Fellows Park.

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Depends on our Championship aspirations. If the plan is to get their in 3-5 years, then developing the ground now we own it wouldnt be a bad idea. I’d be tempted to do the family stand ans fill corner before the away end.

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Family stand would be the last to happen, if at all, due to the houses and hotel.

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Depends how it’s built but agreed would be a challenge.