Bristol City Football Club is hedging its plans to build a new stadium in Ashton Vale by bringing forward alternative plans to redevelop its existing stadium, Ashton Gate.
The plans foresee a multi-purpose stadium for Bristol City FC and Bristol Rugby, both of whom are overseen by the same umbrella company, Bristol Sport.
Speaking on behalf of the Bristol City FC board, Jon Lansdown said:
Modern stadium facilities are a key pillar for the club, closely aligned with our community engagement and the importance of financial prudence. This redevelopment plan is testament to all of that.
A staged reconstruction is planned to replace the Wedlock and Williams stands and to renovate the Dolman Stand, increasing the capacity to over 26,000 seats. The interior of the Atyeo Stand will be improved and there will be a new club shop and museum of sport, as well as a large ‘Wedlock’s Pub’ area incorporated into the site.
The proposed redevelopment is estimated to cost £40m, with any shortfall being underwritten by Bristol Sport owner Steve Lansdown. The redevelopment plans have received the backing of the Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson.
Plans will be submitted early in the summer months and, once underway, a full stadium redevelopment would be deliverable within three years.
Bristol Rugby chairman Chris Booy commented:
Whichever outcome, new stadium or a redeveloped one, this is an exciting project to be linked with and represents a bright future for our club.
The club says that a Desso pitch will be installed at Ashton Vale or Ashton Gate to cope with the multi-purpose nature of hosting both football and rugby.