Thankfully it will all be decided on the pitch in terms of score. But the score on matchday revenue is already certain to be lowest across Premier League as Bournemouth prepare for their debut.
They were this year’s sensation of the Championship, winning promotion to England’s top tier from first spot. The 125-year-old AFC Bournemouth will see their first season in the Premier League this summer.
One thing sure already is that their stadium will be the smallest one. And smallest by far as it was the most humble even in the Championship. If QPR get relegated, the Dean Court stadium may be over two times smaller than the next smallest ground with its 11,700 seats.
The stadium opened in 2001 and expanded in 2013 was widely expected to see expansion before promotion, as suggested last year by the club. However, that won’t happen as AFCB have to cover other upgrades of the stadium before they play in the Premier League.
Photo: Matthew Jackson (cc: by-sa)
“When all of the factors were weighed up it just wasn’t feasible to push ahead with expansion of the stadium,” the chief executive, Neill Blake, told the club’s website. “There are a vast number of demands for change behind the scenes placed on any club following promotion to the Premier League, and we have to ensure we meet those demands in time for next season.
Clearly an expansion is feasible overall and the next step is adding seats in the south stand. Unfortunately the land there is contaminated and will take time to deliver any expansion.
“With intensive testing necessary before any building work can be done, something which can take months to complete, this was one of the major stumbling blocks in our proposed plans. In addition, our first priority is to invest in the squad and football staff infrastructure to support the manager Eddie Howe and his coaching staff, which we believe is the best strategy to maintain our Premier League status.
Overall Dean Court (currently known as Goldsands Stadium) can be expanded to some 18,000 in phases, seeing additional sections filling corners and added in other areas.