CITY ANNOUNCE NEW STADIUM PLANS
Steve Lansdown tonight revealed City plan to relocate to a brand new 30,000 all-seater stadium in the South Bristol area for the start of the 2011/12.
Detailing the plans at the club's Annual General Meeting, the City chairman confirmed the proposed redevelopment of the Wedlock Stand at Ashton Gate will no longer go ahead, as the club moves forwards by building a new stadium.
Although Steve wouldn't confirm its exact location, he did say it would be in "South Bristol" and "not too far from Ashton Gate".
The club will now enter into a feasibility study early in the New Year, with a view to gaining planning permission later in 2008.
Announcing the news at the AGM, Steve said: "The bad news is the Wedlock Stand redevelopment is off, but that's because we're going to try and build a brand new stadium."
Following a large applause, the chairman added: "The plans are still sketchy, but we are very confident about this project.
"We have worked hard to get to this point, where we have acquired land in South Bristol - although I will remain coy about the location as I promised I would be.
"It's not too far from Ashton Gate and is still in the club's heartland, so this is very exciting times for Bristol City Football Club.
"Ashton Gate has been fantastic for us, but it is tired and limited in capacity. We owe it to everyone - for Bristol City and the West Country - to build a stadium to be proud of."
Manager Gary Johnson informed the playing squad of stadium news earlier today, and he revealed: "All the lads were buzzing about the news, along with the new training ground information.
"It will aid the club to attract and bring in new players in the future, and it's already put a smile on the faces of the lads currently here ahead of Saturday's trip to Watford."
Steve also confirmed the club has received council backing and it would look to host World Cup football at the new stadium if the FA wins the right to host the 2018 World Cup in England.
He added: "We've gone to the council and have a letter of support from all three leading parties. It's important we have them on our side, that's a big, big stepping stone out of the way.
"We now want to sort out feasibility studies and masterplans in the New Year, and want the Supporters Trust to work with fans with ideas of what they would like to see incorporated into the new stadium.
"The plan is to have the stadium with us for the start of 2011/12, with 2009 being the deadline for work to begin.
"It will be a 30,000 seater initially with the option to take it up to 40,000, which is a requirement for World Cup football. It may turn out cheaper just to build a 40,000 seater rather than adding on 10,000 seats a few years down the line.
"These are all things we need to look at, along with other things like naming rights, what the final cost will be and how to fund it."
One of the funding options will be the redevelopment of Ashton Gate, the City chairman confirmed, while another is the possibility of housing, offices, hotels, etc on the site.
He also said that the stadium would be for Bristol City only, and is not to be shared with Bristol Rovers or Bristol Rugby.
In other AGM news, shareholders rejected a proposal for the company to send out the accounts via e-mail and through the website, rather than the current postal system; plus - in the same proposal and under the new company's act - end the process of an official AGM each year, negating the need for 'official business'.
Instead, it was proposed by City's chairman, a less formal annual meeting would take place for shareholders and non-shareholders to speak to the company.
But after that was also rejected, City's chairman admitted: "I'm very disappointed and we will leave this for another year."
Meanwhile, Steve also confirmed the club had received just under £300,000 from Liam Rosenior's move to Reading.