Tuesday, May 12, 2015

News: Millers looking to raise revenue at stadium


As Rotherham United discuss the potential to increase capacity at the New York Stadium and works on a way forward for the regeneration of the Guest & Chrimes site, plans are already being put in place to help raise revenue.

The Championship side moved into the 12,000 seater, £20m AESSEAL New York Stadium on the edge of Rotherham town centre in 2012. Designed to be increased incrementally up to a 20,000 capacity, expansion talk began as soon as the club staved off relegation and secured the extra millions that come with playing in English football's second tier.

The accounts for the year ended December 31 2014 showed turnover increased to £11m, up from £7.1m in the previous year on the back of increased attendances, advertising and sponsorship income, and media receipts from televised games.

Plans for a potential commercial development have stalled since 2013 when English Heritage strongly objected to plans to demolish the former Guest & Chrimes foundry adjacent to the stadium. The Grade II listed buildings have been empty since 1999 and feasibility work has been carried out on a potential 100-bed riverside hotel surrounded by restaurants, bars and shops, to replace the buildings.

As discussion continue over a compromise, plans have been submitted to make use of the empty units within the stadium itself. If approved, the amendments to the approved stadium plans would enable two concession units in the East Stand to sell hot and cold refreshments on matchdays. The entrances would be replaced by serving hatches enabling fans outside the ground, as well as inside the ground, to be served before the game.
Carl Stott, associate at Signet Planning is working on behalf of the football club. He said in the application: "The proposals therefore seek to enhance access to hot and cold refreshments on matchdays and are clearly ancillary to the operation of the stadium and will have no significant impact on the vitality and viability of the adjacent town centre."

The club is also hoping to increase revenues during the off season by hiring out the award-winning pitch and hospitality lounges and by hosting a series of car boot sales on the stadium car park. After securing planning permission, sales will begin on Sunday June 14 and will run each Sunday up until September 20 with opening hours of 6:30am – 12:30pm.

Mark Hitchens, head of commercial at Rotherham United, said: "We've come to an agreement with the Council to hold 12 Car Boot sales and if they go well it's something we'll look to do again in the future. 

"It'll be brilliant for the town itself, we're hoping it will increase footfall in Rotherham town centre on Sundays and benefit the area greatly."

Also hoping to benefit from the success of the club are CF Booth Ltd, the successful metals business owned by the Booth family who also previously owned Rotherham United.

Plans have been submitted by the firm to use an area of land over the railway line at the stadium for car parking. Currently used to store skips, the site off Brinsworth Street could be used for 270 car parking spaces for a temporary period of three years, if plans are approved. An adjacent site with 245 spaces was only approved on appeal.

Rotherham United website

Images: Signet Planning / RUFC


Anonymous,  May 14, 2015 at 9:38 AM  

Excellent ideas, but without doubt the most obvious source of increased revenue would be to move the club shop to a larger unit and improve the stock currently on offer. Other championship shops are so much better.

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