Demolition of the near sixty-year old Williams Stand started this week, as the third and most complex phase begins of Bristol Sport’s GBP£45m rebuild of Ashton Gate Stadium.
Three phases of work are now underway simultaneously at the home of Bristol City FC and Bristol Rugby:
- Phase 1 – demolition of the Wedlock Stand, replaced with the new 6,000-seater South Stand
- Phase 2 – complete remodelling of the Dolman Stand, including complete new lower seating tier and Dolman Conference & Exhibition Hall
- Phase 3 – demolition of Williams Stand and construction of new 11,000-seater, two-tier, West Stand
Bristol Sport Chairman, Martin Griffiths, said:
The redevelopment of Ashton Gate has been a complex project, and just to get to this stage, has been very challenging. As we now enter the final weeks of the construction of the South Stand and the complete refurbishment and modification of the Dolman Stand, demolition of the Williams begins.
We thank supporters for their patience and really look forward to welcoming everyone back to the new Ashton Gate Stadium at the start of the football and rugby seasons. Given there has been so much change it is going to take a short while for all to get used to their new surroundings, but it remains an exciting time both on and off the pitch.
Mike Henderson, project manager for Barr Construction admitted it is the busiest part of the build:
We’ve started on the main demolition of the old Williams Stand by taking away the concrete front deck using a hydraulic breaker. Starting at the Atyeo end, we will work along the old Williams Stand and work towards the new South Stand.
Once that’s completed we will bring in a large ninety-tonne demolition machine, which will remove the roof structure and basically take the stand down piece-by-piece to the ground.
All the external buildings around the old Williams have now been removed, including the Megastore and Hire Rite building. We will need all of that space to construct this new two-tier stand, which is far bigger than anything else in the stadium. I think everyone will be quite surprised by the actual size of it.
Fans will be greeted with the new South and Dolman Stands come the start of this 2015/16 season. The Williams Stand will be completely removed, with new foundations for the West Stand being laid ready for overall completion in July 2016.
Once finished, Ashton Gate Stadium will become the largest conference and events venue in the south-west.
Images courtesy: JMPUK / Rogan Thomson
Our latest Q2/Summer ’15 edition of PanStadia & Arena Management magazine includes an in-depth Q&A with Bristol Sport’s Chief Stadium Operations Officer, Mark Kelly, on the redevelopment of Ashton Gate Stadium and the fans first initiatives that will be employed in the new venue.