Since the injection of half a million pounds into the club by the board last week there’s been increased talk of moving away from Sincil Bank, not least from Chicken Bob himself. I’m broadly in support of the idea, but here’s some conditions any move would have to fulfil:
1. We must get a decent price for Sincil Bank.
I’m not an estate agent, but I can’t imagine the Sincil Bank site being worth that much to a potential buyer. It’s not in a great area of town, has poor access and there isn’t an immediately obvious post-football use for the land except housing. And as we know, the housing market isn’t doing very well at the moment.
2. Any new stadium must generate revenue on non-matchdays.
Now, unlike this bloke from Sheffield Hallam University, I don’t think Bob’s likely to build a 20,000 seat alienation-dome like Darlington’s appalling Reynold’s Arena or whatever it’s called. It’s clear the board want to follow Chesterfield’s example. The b2net stadium has space for all kinds of events, conferences, parties, wedding receptions etc, guaranteeing the club revenue year round and lessening their reliance on the numbers coming through the gates.
It’s not quite as clear cut as that though. Speaking to the BBC last season the Spireites chairman Barrie Hubbard said:
Hubbard would not be drawn on the difference in match-day revenue since the move, at least not in terms of actual figures, but he did concede that it had at least doubled. He was also at pains to point out that outgoings had also increased by more than 100%.
3. A new stadium must be in Lincoln, within walking distance of the city centre.
Whenever we used to have this discussion, the words “Lincolnshire Showground” used to come up. Moving outside Lincoln would be the death of the club. As a community club, LCFC must be in the community it represents. That leaves few potential sites, maybe this brownfield land on Beevor Road behind B&Q might fit the bill. Otherwise we’re looking at somewhere like this brownfield site near Hykeham, for instance. Not so good.
4. The new stadium must include a ‘Stacey West Stand’.