English rugby league club Featherstone Rovers has unveiled plans for an overhaul at its stadium to boost matchday experience while also making sure facilities are used throughout the year.
Featherstone competes in the second-tier Betfred Championship but is making a concerted effort to reach the Super League, with on-the-pitch progess complemented by a new forward-thinking approach to hospitality and technology. Rovers host Toulouse this weekend in their opening home match of the season.
The club plays at the LD Nutrition Stadium, which has a capacity of just under 10,000, and general manager Davide Longo has said improvements are being made to enhance the matchday experience at the ground.
However, he also added that a limited number of rugby fixtures means the emphasis has to be on making LD Nutrition Stadium a venue on the 350 days of the year that games are not being played.
Longo said: “We have invested heavily into the LD Nutrition Stadium and this will be continuing in the coming weeks. With the help of Amico IT Services, one of a number of new partners backing us going into 2018, we have installed state-of-the-art IT infrastructure and Wi-Fi capability. This will allow for a more professional and enjoyable experience for staff and guests.
“Before the end of February, The Capper’s Bar and newly-named TASK Utilities Premier Suite will be refurbished and the changes will be notable. We have plans to further improve other areas – but all within the constraints of our budgets, which we respect and always work within to ensure a secure future for this great club.
“We only play 13 to 16 home games a year, on average, so our focus – for the good of the business – is also on events outside of rugby league. [Bar manager] David Farrar has done a tremendous job in this area and our facilities are in use virtually every single day.
“Commercially, we are progressing at a tremendous pace. Over the last 12 months, we have welcomed Wakefield College University Centre, Task Utilities, Amico IT, One Connectivity and Arc Construction on site – which has turned the LD Nutrition Stadium into a hive of activity.”
He added: “We are attempting to re-think things in areas where the club has lost money, both recently and in the past. An example would be our matchday magazine. On this we have worked to implement a fresh idea, which is now generating a small profit. This mindset is what we are instilling into our staff.”
IMAGE: Featherstone Rovers