NEWS

AFC Bournemouth could build new stadium on site of existing athletics club in Kings Park

Tuesday, Jul 04, 2017

SPECULATION is rife that AFC Bournemouth is looking to develop a new 25,000 seater stadium in Kings Park.

The rumours come just months after comments from chairman Jeff Mostyn that the club had been given “very little choice’ but to move to a new home.

Fans' social media chatter has intensified in the past 48 hours suggesting that the new stadium will be built on the site of the existing athletics track.

Remaining in Kings Park would see the Cherries stay within a stone's throw of their 107-year home at Dean Court. The club declined to comment but the Echo understands matters are at a sensitive stage.

Bournemouth Borough Council says it is keen to assist the Premier League outfit in their relocation and the Daily Echo understands that the council has appointed a project manager to oversee the club’s stadium plans.

Roger Ball, Bournemouth council’s director of development services, said: “As part of his existing role, the council’s sports and recreation development manager is liaising closely with AFC Bournemouth as they work on plans as to how they would like to take the club forward.

“He already has well established links with them and will continue to provide advice and information on behalf of the council.” If the club were to pursue a site at Kings Park, they would need to speak with the various owners of the land.

The council owns the whole of the Kings Park freehold, whilst a section of the park is held in trust by Five Parks, and Cooper Dean Trust holds another part in covenant.

The latest rumours come two weeks after stadium designer Dan Meis revealed that he is working on an expansion study - but not in an official capacity.

Giving a presentation to an audience in Cincinnati the architect showed designs that looked very much like an expanded stadium at Bournemouth’s current home.

In January the Echo revealed that club officials were in the process of drawing up a three-site shortlist for the new home, resulting in a move away from the Vitality Stadium.

Speaking exclusively to the Echo in February, Mostyn said that following negotiations with Dean Court’s landlords Structadene and discussions with the council, the club had elected to search for a new venue.

"This is the traditional home of AFC Bournemouth and as a consequence of that, you are always disappointed if at any stage during the club's history, you have to move away. "From that perspective, there is always regret,” Mr Mostyn said.

One site was believed to be Wessex Fields, however with the council purchasing the site in May for £2.25 million to build a new link road from the Spur Road, the club dismissed speculation they were planning to move there.

Previous rumours also included building on Iford golf course, land around Bournemouth Airport, moving out of the Bournemouth area to Matchams and a potential site at Canford Park Arena in Poole.

The current stadium has a capacity of 11,300 and is the smallest in the Premier League after Swansea’s Liberty Stadium which seats 20,909.

AFC Bournemouth refused to comment on the speculation, with a club official saying they will release a statement when they have any news to share. The club remains on track to go to the appropriate planning committee in September.

 

Source:bournemouthecho.co.uk

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