Much has been made of our proposed new stadium and all its relevant issues, but something particularly struck me about my first visit to the emirates on Sunday.
I couldn't help feel that yes it was a lovely arena, very nice padded seats with great views and excellent facilities, but with the overriding view that Arsenal have sold out the fans for corporate revenue. This was of particular concern to me given how many times we have heard Kenwright & Wyness talk about increased revenue from corporate areas.
For those of you that have not been there, if you imagine a doughnut shape with the lower & upper rings being normal seats, then two middle rings facilitate corporate boxes and what I believe is called club level (presumably backing onto restaurants etc). I don?t know whether the fans were just quiet because of the game or not, but it just seemed to me that there was no connections between the ordinary fans in the upper & lower tiers and therefore noise didn?t seem to carry through the stadium very well.
I probably haven't followed the detail of the Kirkby project enough but aside from transportation issues, location, Cost etc, does anybody know if we are likely to follow suit?
My preference would be to have a stadium that is intimidating for the opposition, where the ordinary fan is able get the key seats and generate atmosphere, I?m not particularly interested in padded seats or toilet facilities! I want lots of noise from the terraces & great football on the pitch, even if I have to sit on a wooden seat and keep bending around to see the corner flag!
In short, I left there feeling like I had had a nice day out at a pleasant stadium, not quite the same as the likes of Goodison, White Hart Lane, or Upton Park?
David Whitwell, Posted 06/05/2008 at 11:16:26
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1 Posted 06/05/2008 at 14:08:13
2 Posted 06/05/2008 at 14:36:15
3 Posted 06/05/2008 at 14:22:17
Off topic: I just received a link to an article where the director of Feyenoord Rotterdam says they’re looking to build the biggest stadium in Europe, on a space next to their current stadium (the Kuip where we won the Cup Winners Cup).
Initially it will contain 80000 seats, but design and infrastructure will be such that an expansion to ’somewhere far over 100000 seats’ is possible. Now that’s showing some form of ambition. And they’re not moving far away either...
4 Posted 06/05/2008 at 14:59:43
The fact is that the corporate boxes at Ashburton Grove on their own generate more income than ALL of Highbury used to.
Much as we deplore the "prawn sandwich" brigade we welcome the fact that many will pay more per match than the "normal" fan pays for their entire season ticket.
We cannot have it both ways boxes are a necessary evil because we want the money...
5 Posted 06/05/2008 at 15:34:09
6 Posted 06/05/2008 at 15:32:59
Their supporters are spoilt and expect more. Finding a link between the stadium and atmosphere of the game and comparing it to our Kirkby situation is clutching at straws me thinks David.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the whole Kirkby shenanigans and keen to renovate Goodison if possible but the comparison you make is a bit out there mate.
We killed any possible atmosphere with OUR approach.
7 Posted 06/05/2008 at 15:40:51
If we had of tried to play the bloody game rather than kill it, there might have been an atmosphere. You get good atmosphere’s at good games - simple as.
8 Posted 06/05/2008 at 15:59:26
From the corner where we were sat I had a good view of the Everton fans and we don’t half make a racket! I was proud to be Blue, and neutrals and Gooners I was with all commented on our great support.
Similarly though there are fanatical Arsenal fans who are sat in the opposite corner of the stadium and they make a noise too.
I think, as Steve Pendleton says, the main difference is that they’re used to seeing free-flowing football and weren’t getting excited by what they saw. The place erupted after their goal so imagine our fans in there during a derby match! It would be electric.
It’s easy to suggest that their stadium is souless (due to the corporate element) but I think they’ve built a fantastic stadium for the 21st Century and a beautiful piece of architecture, within an urban area of London where space is at a premium.
I’m not for the Kirby option but I’ve seen what can be achieved with a bit of ambition and how we’re going to be left in the past if we don’t do something. The club need to find an investor, a suitable plot in the city, and move us into the 21st Century.
9 Posted 06/05/2008 at 16:28:03
Or am I wrong?
10 Posted 06/05/2008 at 16:49:13
As Gerard Madden contantly assures us, the vast majority of Blues fans want roomy seats, no pillars, no queues for a pie and a pint, 1 urinating facility for every 3 people in Wetherspoon standard toilets and, of course, a view over the River Alt.
Never mind the bollocks on the pitch. Corporate punters love visiting retail parks and will flock to the new stadium in their thousands. There’ ll be precious little room for riff-raff like you and me.
11 Posted 06/05/2008 at 18:23:04
12 Posted 06/05/2008 at 19:15:30
13 Posted 06/05/2008 at 20:13:15
14 Posted 07/05/2008 at 04:26:37
15 Posted 07/05/2008 at 09:48:13
On other matters, Keegan hits the nail on the head. Megabucks are necessary to break into the higher echelons. What we need is a limit of 4-5 overseas players with the rest from Britain - not necessarily England - we are after all in a union of countries! If the EU don?t like it tell ?em to go to blazes, just like France does on innumerable occasions; after all what can they really do? Ban us from Europe? That would really bring everyone down to reality... maybe about time too.
16 Posted 07/05/2008 at 11:55:14