H1987 wrote:There has to be a fairly realistic future prospect that 4G pitches will be allowed in the lower leagues of the football league fairly soon... and i don't think we'll be troubling them 'fairly soon', unfortunately.
I've no desire to go back to the Arena though. I don't think it should be countenanced at all. Not without knocking the majority of it down, and replacing it with something more reasonably sized. I can't go back to watching us in that pink plastic fantastic soulless dump.
1) play at BM forever at NLN/Evo Prem level in front on 1200 fans
2) spend 5-10 years playing in the refurbished arena as part of a wider SV facility in NLN/Evo Prem for 5-10 years then have a fit for purpose ground to move into with the potential for NL/FL
I know which i’d choose
How are we funding that ground in 5-10 years though? Sorry, I don't see it as realistic. We'd still be paying Darlington Rugby club, we'd then need to start paying to play at the Arena as well, the budget is already in complete tatters, and now it's realistic we can fund a purpose built ground on top of that? It would cost millions for even a modest ground to hold 5,000 fans, regardless of if we get a pitch with floodlights. The infrastructure to build even a basic ground is phenomenally expensive. That's why we went in with the Rugby club, because regardless of its many problems, the club house made a huge difference in what we needed to build. Cheap terraces and seating stands are a drop in the water by comparison. My concern if we did go ahead with that plan you have suggested is that we would end up in the Arena forever.
In fact, it'd cost more than building an entire new clubhouse with a stand where the clubhouse is at blackwell, and a terrace at the other end.... whatever the challenges are, it is do-able with money.... and we'd need *more* for this arena plan, and have to play in that pink toilet bowl while it kills the club... and it will. Just like it will kill Mowden Park if we leave them to it. You want to be ruthless about it, we could sit for a few years until it does, and probably move back when the stadium ends up once again without a tenant. But to what end? That place was widely hated, and i don't know why anyone would want us back there.
BM will be fine up to conference national level with moderate investment to build an additional terrace and access path. Beyond that, i agree it is problematic, but we don't look like troubling much above that level with things as they are. It'd be a problem we would have to address if it became one. It isn't exactly holding Harrogate back, for example; who play in a ground that will not be allowed in the football league, and on plastic.
The council and Mowden Park need to get real and pull the fking thing down. Even just keep the main stand and knock the rest down. It's an eyesore, a drain on resources, and will *never* be financially viable. It's not financially viable as a concert venue because no one, with any regularity, has any interest in playing in Darlington - yet this seems to be trumpeted as the reason to keep persisting with the thing. There's been what, two major concerts there since it was built? That is the reality. Everyone needs to get real with it, and knock it down. If we want to be involved with something from its ashes, that's another story, but once again, i have absolutely no idea how we are funding that.