Design & Development

Gloucestershire Cricket targets new stadium on edge of Bristol

Seat Unique Stadium

Featured image credit: Gloucestershire Cricket

Seat Unique Stadium

Featured image credit: Gloucestershire Cricket

Gloucestershire Cricket has announced that it is considering leaving Bristol’s Seat Unique Stadium, with the club exploring opportunities for a new stadium development in South Gloucestershire.

Gloucestershire said the decision has been made to ensure its competitiveness and long-term sustainability. The club is now looking to enter into more active negotiations around a potential move to an appropriate new site.

Gloucestershire’s current home, the Bristol County Ground, has been known as Seat Unique Stadium since March 2022 after the premium ticketing marketplace acquired naming rights in a four-year deal. The stadium, also known as Nevil Road, has served as Gloucestershire’s home since 1889.

Following a period of consultation with South Gloucestershire Council spanning several months, the club said it has identified potential sites that it feels could accommodate its required growth. A preferred site has been identified in South Gloucestershire, close to the M4 near Bristol.

The club intends on developing a stadium that provides greater accessibility for larger parts of the county and is purpose-built to host high-level cricket, including International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament fixtures.

Gloucestershire has said that while Seat Unique Stadium is still able to deliver the highest level of cricket and customer experience, the club must “prepare for the future”.

Gloucestershire pointed to the strain on infrastructure and facilities at Seat Unique Stadium, as well as access to and from the ground, which it believes will become increasingly challenging. Gloucestershire said the opportunity to move to a new stadium is a “highly exciting prospect” that would allow the club to enter the next stage of its history.

The club’s statement added: “The delivery of sport both globally and nationally is evolving far beyond the point at which the footprint at Nevil Road will allow us to adapt to and keep pace with. The option to relocate to a larger site would allow us to build a stadium capable of delivering better first-class international and overall cricket experience, alongside a much greater range of diverse and sustainable revenue streams – all designed to give us the financial sustainability we need to thrive as a first-class county.”

Gloucestershire added that a potential new stadium would set the standard in terms of environmental sustainability and provide greatly improved seating capacity. Seat Unique Stadium’s current seating capacity is 8,000.

Gloucestershire chair David Jones said: “This is a significant turning point for cricket in Gloucestershire and Bristol as we look to secure the club’s long-term future in an ever-changing sporting world. As well as delivering for our members the modern and low-carbon facilities they deserve in order to showcase an ever-wider range of world-class events here in the South West, we are keen to continue our active role in the community to widen participation and inspire the next generation of sports women and men.”

The plans have also been welcomed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), whose chief executive Richard Gould added: “It’s always exciting to see county clubs come up with ambitious plans for growth. We are clear on the importance of Bristol, Gloucestershire and the South West to the game and recognise that continued investment at all levels is vital for the ongoing growth of cricket across the region. It’s fantastic to see Gloucestershire displaying the ambition to provide cricket fans in the West Country with a state-of-the-art sports and leisure arena.”