Bournemouth begins search for new stadium

Bournemouth begins search for new stadium

Bournemouth is searching for a new stadium site after the English Premier League football club’s chief executive, Neill Blake, stated that expansion of its current home would not be possible.

With a capacity of just 11,450, Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium is comfortably the smallest ground in the Premier League. The ground is owned by property investor Structadene and Bournemouth had been keen to purchase the stadium in order to expand it.

Earlier in the year, Bournemouth chairman Jeff Mostyn said the club would not be held to ransom by Structadene when negotiating the terms of the contract and relocation was touted as a possibility.

Today (Friday), Clarke has issued a statement on behalf of the club’s board of directors confirming that an agreement with Structadene has not been reached, and that Bournemouth will begin searching for a new home.

“It has always been the board of directors’ preferred option to buy the stadium back from Structadene and develop a Premier League-standard stadium on the current site at Kings Park,” Clarke said in a statement published on the club’s website.

“However, following discussions over a number of months with both Structadene and Bournemouth Borough Council’s planning department, it has become apparent that this will not be possible.

“Firstly, we are not going to develop a stadium we do not own and will not be held to ransom over a price to purchase the existing site.

“And secondly, the council’s planning department have made it clear that they would not welcome a significantly bigger stadium in Kings Park, meaning we are severely constricted in what we can achieve on this site with regards to size, capacity and facilities.

“Therefore, we feel we have no other option but to find a new site and are working closely with Bournemouth Borough Council to identify a suitable location.”

Bournemouth’s rapid rise up the divisions has led to increased demand for tickets and Clarke highlighted the need for a stadium that can satisfy that demand.

Clarke added that the club is working “tirelessly” to identify a site, and it is hoped that a new stadium will be built in time for the start of the 2020-21 season.

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