A golden goose (at Gamston) or a white elephant?

An artists impression of the proposed Forest-drome..

An artists impression of the proposed Forest-drome..

It had all gone quiet on the new ground front.  The ‘chairman’s message’ at the start of the season skirted around the subject whilst offering the tantalising possibility of redeveloping the City Ground.  That seems to have become redundant in the latest round of PR from the club though, who have hop-skipped-and-jumped from Clifton to Holme Pierrepont and now to Gamston in terms of relocating of Forest as part of England’s 2018 World Cup bid.

Of course, anything like this happening is subject to quite a few ifs and buts.  If Nottingham is successful in beating competition from our fellow East Midland cities, and of course if England are ultimately successful with their bid – and I have no real idea about the likelihood of either of these things.  My own regional biasedness would naturally rank us ahead of Derby and Leicester – but I’m not a FIFA or FA adjudicator and perhaps they might have less parochial selection criteria!

A lot of objections doing the rounds are the usual suspects – one I can empathise with.  For one, we don’t need a bigger ground right now.  This new ground would be a 45,000 all seater which could be reduced back down to 38,000 afterwards.  Of course, no actual designs are forthcoming, but the ulterior motive of creating a veritable ‘Wembley for Women’ is a bit of a PR faux pas in a game which is still really rather masculinised.  Whilst it doesn’t really bother me, a lot of people I have spoken to really have strong feelings about this more than anything else.

Geographically Gamston isn’t all that far from where we are currently – so it wouldn’t be that much of an upheaval in terms of prematch rituals – although it would be a bit of a trek from the many drinkeries around the City Ground.  The FIFA and FA parties are being taken around the place soon – obviously the new ground is just a small part of a bid which needs to include facilities for visiting teams as well as ‘fan parks’ around the region.

Whilst I am supportive of Nottingham hosting World Cup games in 2018 – and why wouldn’t I be? – I still find myself unconvinced by the need for a new stadium.  Emotionally I am completely opposed to it, although I do recognise even the newer stands at the City Ground are looking tired – without even getting into the mess that is the Main Stand.  Rather than being eager about the prospect I suppose I find myself more resigned to it – because whilst our pitch may be a great surface, the rest of our facilities lag significantly behind our rivals.

I’ve envisaged two scenarios that might see us get to stay – either Nottingham loses out to a rival city as a host, or England fails with the overall 2018 bid.  Or possibly Notts County – with their new found fortune and fame – could step in and move into a new purpose-built megadrome to house their multitude of ageing megastars.  Forest could stay at the City Ground and redevelop to suit our own needs rather than those of FIFA or the FA.  Hmm, maybe not!

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27 Responses

  1. Stay at the CG,redevelop the main stand,if we won the bid you might get 4 games ,thats your lot,it will be just another lump of concrete stuck in the middle of some massive car park ,those in charge will want us the punters to help pick up the tab with over inflated ticket prices( even higher than they are now)to be honest i lost intrest in the national team many years ago,my one love is Forest and has been for 34 years sod the new ground stay at the CG……

  2. I am am member of the Irish Branch of the Supporters Club. I started this petition some time ago on the ForestFans.net site.

    If possible, could you publish this link here and perhaps we can get some momentum on this one.

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savethecitygroundnottingham/

    I have tried various other sites but none are too willing – apparently it’s ‘off topic’ for 606 on the BBC !

    Thanks

    Forest75

  3. They say it is not possible to develop the city ground to the standards required to host world cup games. I would be interested to find what the issues are, will other real stadiums have the same problems? I cannot imagine moving from the CG for the sake of a few matches that don’t even involve Forest. I don’t think the 3 new stands look tired at all. Fill in the corner from the Trent End to the Brian Clough stand, build a new main stand that links to the Bridgford and Trent End and you have your self a fantastic, proper stadium.

  4. so… IF we get the stadium, the FA might consider us IF England get the nod from UEFA… IF it gets planning permission

    Lots of IFs

    Looks like a done deal though, places like Stoke and Derby had petitions to stay put but the money men put paid to all that

  5. Why are people going against this idea ?

    For gods sake, look at the future of our club, we need to move forward !

    • I suppose people have a mixture of nostalgia and realism. Without more details I can’t fathom how anybody would be firmly for OR against it.

  6. NO to the World Cup – Our transport networks can’t handle bank holidays and our police can’t handle a night out – just what is going to happen for an event this size?

    NO to moving from the City Ground – Ignoring the matter of selling your heritage for a moment; we struggle for atmosphere as it is and once we’ve been in the prem a couple of seasons we’ll only sell out the current capactiy for the top 4 or so opponants. No amount of posh toilets or nicer interview areas for the Sky sycophants will change that.

    I have a fairly strong opinion on these topics but if someone thinks they can change my mind than please explain why I’m wrong – I want to look forward to these things rather than dread them!

  7. it just looks horrible though doesn’t it? i don’t understand why we need a flatpack wysiwyg bowl. it’d be shit for a world cup ground and shit for a home ground.

    we don’t even need a bigger ground. let derby and leicester have the games (i’ll admit my bias here, even as a forest fan i’m a leicester boy) – leicester is already getting games in the rugby world cup in welford road round the corner, so they could probably hitch in for the redevelopment there.

    hooking on the the world cup bid for a month (and let’s be honest – we’ll only get group stage matches) when we could lumber ourselves with an empty white elephant is stupid.

    (lets be honest, it’s the decision of the council in the end, not the football club and certainly not the fans)

  8. we only wanna build this ground so that we can be a ground for the world cup they not even thinking bout din it fo forest its aload of crap keep the city ground and redevelop the mainstand and possibly bridgeford.

  9. Who actually designed the proposed new stadiun. looks like it’s a half cock drawing that somone has rattled off in an afternoon for a press release! . . And oh yes, what’s Nottingham famous for, Robin hood, so lets colour it green. Laughable.
    I’m all for properly considering a new proper football stadium, designed with the same thought as the Emirates, or redeveloping the City Ground with a new main stand and a completed Bridgford End, but this current effort is clearly a publicity driven excercise, probably pushed through by the council in an effort to build up Nottingham’s falling profile

  10. If it were Notts County that were planning this how would we all feel about it? We wouldnt want them in a big shiny new stadium with all that money behind them would we? If our fans protests scupper this idea, might the loaded Magpies nick in and steal the idea?

    I think you have to be open minded, despite whatever memories and emotional ties you have of the CG. One experience that makes me lean more toward the new stadium is from going to watch a game in Germany last year.

    Fortuna Dusseldorf play in a big out of town arena which was built for the world cup in 2006. So it’s a comparable situation to Forest as they are something of a sleeping giant. A big club but getting crowds of around 20k in the 3rd division (they have since been promoted to the 2nd).

    The arena is fantastic. It is out of town so for those without cars it is a tram journey from the centre to get there, although this actually adds to the experience! It must hold approx 50k but it was still a good atmosphere with it only being half full. It has a roof so nice and warm inside even in the middle of winter! They have concerts there which obviously adds greatly to the revenue.

    Perhaps the fact that in Germany you can sit in your seat and watch the match while drinking your beer has clouded my judgement! But I sat there thinking if the new Forest stadium was like this, I’d be quite happy.

  11. I don’t get it. Seems like Nigels business sense is going down the drain again. To build a new stadium for a few world cup games that we might not even get seems a waste.

    Wheres all the money coming from?

    Our gaffer is worth 200 million at best if he cashes in his portfolio. A new stadium will probably cost quarter of that.

    To have any hope of filling the new stadium we would have to be at the top end of the premiership for a couple of years and I can’t see that happening soon.

    I reckon it would take another 50 million to invest in the squad to achieve that.

    There are only 2 situations I can think of. Either Nigel has got lots of rich mates that want to invest in the club. Or Nigel is planning to build the new stadium and then sell out.

    I am also annoyed that Marthur said that they have been working tirelessly for the past few weeks to come up with this plan.

    What about the squad?

    9 signings are good and well but we are still a small squad and struggling to reach the top half the Championship let alone the Premiership.

    It does not fill me with great confidence that plans are being announced for development in one spot then it all goes quiet only then to reveal that new plans have for development elsewhere. 4 different locations!

    Anyway the new stadium loks like a green birthday cake.
    Where are all the Forest colours?!!

  12. I too am apprehensive about a move.
    We certainly don´t want a pride park concrete bunker !
    We have a fantastic pitch and certainly need the city ground renovating so lets do that ! After we have the rest of our team in place !!!!

  13. city ground redevelopment options are a bit limited by the houses near the shop. I understand that their ‘right to light’is the reason that their is no 2nd tier in the Bridgford End in that corner, and we’ve ended up with the ridiculous sloping roof. I don’t get to matches all that often, but the highlight for me is walking across trent bridge and seeing the lights through the mist- I don’t want another reebok stadium, but think it’s pretty inevitable- maybe the new one is green as then we could share it with our neighbours from across the river…!

  14. when i first read nffc’s latest ramblings last night,my first thoughts echoed his own regarding the heritage and the great memories of our beloved city ground and how i’d be loathed to move to as some have put a faceless concrete bowl with a massive car park round it !!…….. just to put a little curved ball into this debate has anybody thought how much the city ground itself and all its surrounding car parks,buildings,club shop and with its frontage onto the river trent,all flattened and ready for some rich developer to stick the most expensive properties in nottingham on ??????? well i think there you have an answer on how a new stadium could be funded plus the council would also have there dirty little fingers in the pie which never looks good on the planning front does it ?………. to make things worse they could actually mirror the development across the trent and get us to share the proposed new stadium with the magpies !!!!!

  15. As I understand it, the City Council would love to get rid of both football grounds and develop Trentside. This has been at the back of their minds for a while. They have a vision of a Canary Wharf style project. Just look at all the new development creeping down London Road.

    Furthermore, access to Gamston from the City is pretty limited, the A453 is a pain to negotiate at the best of times, unless of course they want us to travel through the leafy villages of East Leake and Normanton.

    The other main question we need to ask ourselves is do 4 matches between the likes of north Korea and New Zealand (no disrespect) justify the investment.
    Additionally, how many people from Nottingham will actually end up with tickets for these matches?

    I’m not fussed whether England gets the World Cup or not. I’ll still be watching most of it on the TV.

    It’s another exercise for big companies to make loads of money at our expense.

  16. A couple of points on the new ground front.

    Neither D**by or Leicester were able to fill thier previous grounds which had lower capacities than thier new grounds. On moving both clubs average attendances rose considerably. This was explained by the fact that both of the previous grounds had areas of poor viewing that fans did not want to sit in. In the new stadiums the bowl shape lessened this problem.

    As we know certain areas of the CG are poor for visibility and explained as the last areas to sell out when we have an important game. Also certain access points when leaving the CG are difficult to say the least. Getting out of the Trent End after a big game is a nightmare!!

    If we moved to a new stadium I belive attendances would rise based on the these points.

  17. Personally, I would wholeheartedly support a move to a new stadium that we shared with our (currently) less illustrious neighbours.

    Move on people.

  18. An event like the WC in Nottingham would be fantastic, even if it is only a few games between crappy teams.

    The amount of money generated in bars and cafes in and around squares and plazas would be tremendous. I know someone who was in Austria last summer for the Euro Championships and they said they had a much better time in the city than at the game they went to.

    Regarding the stadium move, a couple of things spring to mind… firstly, if Liverpool can consider leaving what is probably the most iconic ground in the country then anyone can. And secondly, if they can overcome all the obstacles, regulations and bylaws they have to secure the Stanley Park site then Forest can overcome whatever barriers are preventing developing the City Ground.

  19. Good point about Liverpool Radgie. And how many Arsenal fans would swap the Emirates now to go back to their beloved Highbury?

    Yes I know it’s now a housing development but you know what I mean!

    If we build it, they will come…

  20. The new proposed stadium is all about money ,no other reason.I for one am not at all happy about losing our spiritual home for a plastic bowl set in surroundings more suitable for arable farming.Mr Marthur is a self seeking person and doesnt care where forest play football as long as the world cup minnows come and play in the plastic bowl .Can you picture a tuesday night game against grimsby in the cup you would have nigh on 40000 empty seats, what a piss take.Lets stay put and keep our rich history for the next generation of forest fans.

  21. Keep the City Ground. Sod the World Cup, it isn’t worth leaving our home for the sake of 2 or 3 games, and that’s even if we win the bid.

    Yeah we want to be moving forward, but we can do so right on Trentside.

    Look at it this way, if we left, would you EVER be able to call the new ground our home? I will not be able to. Call it cheesy, call it overly-sentimental, but nothing will ever compare to the City Ground, no matter how big, shiny or modern the new Stadium is.

  22. Forgive me for the off-topic posting but:

    Just came back from the Greece v England U21 game in Tripoli (160 km from Athens). Ended 1-1 with Greece missing three great chances to win (and I mean great!!!). Scott “I-almost-killed-McGugan-by-mistake” Loach was a real guardian angel in the English goal. Got my “Psycho” book signed by U-Know-Whom and I’m all excited!

    Also showed my Forest T-shirt to Miles Addison after congratulating him on his game (Stuart played him out of position as a defensive midfielder when he came in as a sub bit he did quite well I must confess) and told him: “Rivalry is great, but it’s only a game. Peace.”

    He smiled, and looked quite a nice guy to me (even though he still features in the Derby pack going after Tyson on my desktop!)

    Now you can love or hate it, but that’s the way I see it.

    Goodnight!

  23. Citing the cack-handed boardroom “leadership” at Anfield as some kind of example only fills me with further trepidation over the whole idea.

  24. So… it seems that they didn’t actually think to ask the landowners of the green belt land at Gamston – the county council – whether they were willing to sell…

    Quite a special class of planning cock-up, nesspa?

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