Going over old (new) ground

Nottingham’s 2018 world cup bid is back in the papers today – complete with pictures of the proposed new stadium which is rather central to the bid.  Contrary to past reports that it would be ‘unique’ and would definitely be distinctively Forest’s ground – I’m not convinced by the latest artists impression which looks like a fairly featureless bowl design as available in countless other conurbations.


Whilst I can see the big picture benefits for Nottingham as a place, I can’t help but think that Forest are somewhat shoehorned into this scenario.  If we are being honest, we have no need for a 50,000 seater stadium.  And if I’m being brutally honest, I don’t think we will have need of that in the medium term either – and that’s even if we were to attain top flight status.

However, it’s a nine year projection – a nigh on impossible time period to forecast over – nine years ago Bradford narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League, whilst Hull City managed to complete a mediocre season finishing 14th in League Two.  A great deal can change in that kind of timescale, so perhaps my natural cynicism and caution should be put aside, and the ambition of the powers that be applauded.

But my emotional attachment to the City Ground, site of so many triumphs (and disasters!), beautifully nestled on the banks of the River Trent, forbid me from wanting to leave.

Certainly forthcoming designs will require a little more obvious Forest-related branding – when they said the new stadium should be green I didn’t think they meant the colour of the roof!  When they said it wouldn’t just be another flatpack bowl design like Derby, Leicester, Southampton, Middlesbrough, Stoke and countless others – well, I’m not convinced by that design either.

Sorry 2018 bid, I’m not dismissing you summarily but you need to convince me more than you have done before I’ll back it.

8 Responses

  1. Yet another white elephant, but something different is needed. Re-develop the banks of the river trent and incorporate a new stadium aswell. This will attract countless new businesses and reduce unemployment. Simple isnt it?

  2. I can’t think of anything worse than a World Cup in England anyway so the thought of it screwing the City Ground is just icing on the cake. Even in the prem the new ground will be half empty most the time and you still won’t be able to park outside.

  3. Are the city council aware that Nottingham Forest already charge £25 a ticket to watch second league English football?, I can only image what Mr Arthurs plans to charge to sit in this generic bowl.
    We are about to enter an era of high cutbacks due to to political incompetence, this white elephant is yet another display of stupidity.
    Forget the word cup, invest in our squad, and OUR stadium(which is excellent). I’m sure the tax payers of Nottingham will have something to say about their hard earn t money being spent on a stadium which, let face it will only be at capacity for just 4 games in a world cup. Forest are for life, not just for politics.

  4. Well said. The commercial aspect is what Mr. Doughty is after though. Didn’t he have plans for casino and shopping as well. Also from the looks of things birthday cakes.

  5. Great post. If you hadn’t summed up my feelings about the whole scheme I’d be posting the same thing on LTLF but with more swearing. Have they not listened to the song? “My desire is always to be here… oh City Ground”!

  6. Funnily enough a song the club shamelessly reappropriated from the fans for the promotion celebrations, and played before each home game!

    You should write the sweary piece anyway 🙂

  7. Ahhh Progress.

    To me progress (in this case) would be to harness the unique attributes that the City Ground has and develop them. This will require probably a lot more clever thought than dumping a generic bowl at Holme Pierpont or wherever the new site is going to be. I can see why they would want to change location. Clean slate=easier design and construction/parking facilities/scope for residential or commercial development etc but If you really want to add all that on to the city then start redeveloping the city itself where it needs it most. Have you seen the state of the city coming down Huntingdon Street round the back of the Vic Centre and as you get towards the Ice stadium. Its a flocking mess. Sort that area out rather than adding another area that will fall into decay after 3-6 years after the world cup.

    Stop messing around and get some Architects like Herzog & de Meuron in and let them get on with it WITH the existing site. I’m convinced a logical, sympathetic and unique design can be achieved with what we’ve got. As for 50k capacity, well thats just greedy. Villa don’t get that! You’ve got be more realistic. 42-46k is about right, definitely no more and that would be big enough for a World cup venue plus allow Forest and their fans to grow into it with hopefully some success. This is a real opportunity for the City of Nottingham and its people to have something to be proud of for years to come not just a couple of weeks in June and then forget about it because its out the way.

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