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Cherries: Mitchell confirms fresh plans for south stand
CHERRIES chairman Eddie Mitchell is set to reveal revised plans for a new fourth stand at Dean Court, increasing the capacity to around 13,000.
Mitchell is working on a proposal which would see the club erect a 2,500 all-seater stand, including 10 sponsors’ boxes, and build a hotel and spa complex at a later date.
The south end of Goldsands Stadium, which was the site of the Main Stand before the ground was redeveloped in 2001, is currently empty.
It has housed a temporary fourth stand to accommodate supporters, both home and away, in previous seasons but was open to the elements.
Mitchell, who has overseen considerable improvements to the stadium since he became chairman in 2009, says he has already started trying to source investment for a new stand.
Cherries had previously lodged plans to put up a new stand, a hotel and spa complex, office suites and executive boxes in one application.
Mitchell, who has seen the club’s on-pitch fortunes revived since the return of team manager Eddie Howe, told the Daily Echo: “We are revising our plans and are going to phase it. If we get to where we want to at the end of the season, we want to get the stand up. If we get promotion, we would like to build it in the close season.
“We are redesigning it on a smaller scale, without the hotel, but with the prospect of building that later. If we were to reach the Championship, it would be no good saying we could have filled a fourth stand if we had one.
“You can’t just build things all of a sudden like you used to be able to. You have got to jump through so many hoops and that is what I am trying to do.”
Mitchell, meanwhile, said the club had had no further dialogue with stadium landlords Structadene regarding the possible re-purchasing of the ground.
Although he declined to reveal any figures, he said Structadene’s asking price was “unrealistic to us at the moment”.
Mitchell added: “We are still interested but they want too much money for it. We want to get it back into the club’s hands and would pay market price for it.
“But they won’t accept that so it has gone off the radar at the moment. We have stopped negotiations, we haven’t put a bid forward and haven’t spoken to them for a few months. We would always be interested if the price were right.”
Mitchell said he hoped the resurfacing of the lorry park in Kings Park would be close to completion by the time Cherries hosted Colchester on Saturday and said business had been brisk in Legends Café and the club’s restaurant.
“It is all income for the club,” said Mitchell. “We are turning it into a good and viable business. When we start getting local players through in more numbers, the club will be able to stand on its own two feet and that has got to be our aim.”