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How good is Chesterfield's new ground?

Chesterfield
by Paul Fletcher (U1816326) 09 November 2010
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Now then,

My name is Paul Fletcher and I write a Football League blog on the BBC website.

I have been very impressed with Chesterfield's excellent start to the season, their first season since leaving Saltergate for their new ground.

I am very, very interested in finding out what fans think of their new stadium - is it a good experience watching a match there? How important was it for the club to leave Saltergate for a modern facility? And has the move had a positive impact on the team's form or is it just co-incidence the team are doing so well?

Thanks.

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posted Nov 9, 2010

Paul

Its an absolute million miles away from Saltergate. I'm sure the fans will inform you about the beer, seating etc, so from a press point of view, its an absolute dream. The press room is big enough, with foods and drink on offer throughout. The press box has three seats to one desk with plenty of leg room. Its an absolute dream and will hopefully be welcoming League 1 sides there next season.

Cheers

Cal

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posted Nov 9, 2010

People thought that leaving Saltergate would have a detrimental effect on the match day atmosphere.

I think that most Spireites will agree that the atmosphere is every bit as good due to increased attendances and better facilities.

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comment by CSCFC (U14356882)

posted Nov 9, 2010

Saltergate - in town near pubs
B2Net - loads of pubs locally AND beer for sale in ground.

Saltergate - decent pitch
B2Net - outstanding pitch

Saltergate - view ok, if you don't mind weaving your head from side to side around the posts
B2Net - amazing panoramic view

Saltergate - pick the dead spiders off the loo roll
B2Net - clean, warm, comfortable facilities

Saltergate - microwaved pies, expensive crisps, watery bovril
B2Net - Jackson's delicious pies, good selection of snap, beer etc. & all cheaper than Saltergate!!!

Could go on & on. All you need to do is look at the smiling faces of supporters as they approach the B2Net, the increased crowds, the improved atmosphere, more families attending than ever, amazing football.... all round excellent match day experience now - not just going to a match then going home. A real sense of pride that this is OUR ground. Love it.

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posted Nov 9, 2010

It's a bit chicken or egg really isn't it? Would we have played this well at Saltergate though? I doubt it. We wouldn't have got the crowds and the positive atmosphere that the move has generated.

Of course the team getting off to a flyer has helped the most Paul but the location of the ground helps a lot, i think, as much as the brilliant facilities. I don't know if you know the history but the b2net is built on an a brownfield site that became available when a local glass factory closed down. Whilst not quite in the town centre it is anything but shoved on an industrial estate miles out of town. It's a good location and has transformed an area which was previously an eyesore and will hopefully be a catalyst for further regeneration of the area. Everyone at the Football Club, the developers, the builders, the architects, the contractors and, we shouldn't forget, the local council are to be commended on the team effort that got us to where we are. Lord knows, it took long enough, but it was worth it in the end. 20 odd years in the making by my maths!

I travel 40 odd miles to home games and never has it been more of a pleasure to do the travelling than it is at the moment.

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posted Nov 9, 2010

In fact Paul, we're at home this Saturday...have a word with your colleague Mr Williams and get yourself up here for some "research" and experience it first hand.

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posted Nov 9, 2010

The new ground has made a significant difference to the fortunes of the club. Chesterfield FC is now viewed as an aspirational club and that is something I’m still getting used to. Attendances are up and not simply because of our league position so the new ground has certainly appealed to new supporters, retained the hardcore regulars and persuaded the casuals to attend on a more regular basis.

Interestingly, the player budget for this season is lower than the previous one (Chairman’s words) so full credit to John Sheridan and his team for identifying the right type of players and utilisinging them in the way he has. The football on display is as good if not the best I’ve seen in the 20 years I’ve been watching the team.

Chesterfield FC is a club on the up with real ambition and solid foundations. The new ground is appealing and the match day experience (at present) brilliant. Long may it continue!

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posted Nov 10, 2010

I have been a fairly regular attender at Saltergate since 1978, but I wasn't sad to leave the place, even before I'd seen the B2net. Looking back now, Saltergate had become nothing short of an embarrassment as many of the clubs that we may have previously (ie 20 years ago) looked down upon (e.g Doncaster) had long since left us behind.

I understand that season ticket sales are 50% higher, facilities are great and extra revenue must be pouring in. Oh, the football is pretty gripping too.

I have to pinch myself everytime I go now, because I still cannot quite believe that the B2Net is our home. It is simply fantastic, and I for one thank anyone who made the slightest contribution to securing the move.

Barrie Hubbard is no oil painting, but I love him. I rang the ticket line last week and he answered the 'phone and sold me the ticket. How many chairmen do that?

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posted Nov 10, 2010

Mr Hubbard was manning the ticket office the other day when i went down for my Accrington tickets. Didnt serve me but went straight away to fetch someone to do it.

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posted Nov 10, 2010

Of course it was extremely sad to leave the worlds oldest league ground. Many of us grew up watching football (or many times an approximation thereof) there but we all knew it had to be done for the future of the club. For me the biggest worry was what sort of "soul" the new ground would have. We could already see last year that we have a manager and a squad who both had potential and nice new facilities plus a “match day experience” are all well and good but if they were to be situated in a breeze block shed like Glanford park (no disrespect to Scunny fans) then I was seriously worried.

I need not have feared. The people responsible for the design of the new Rec (OK OK B2something) deserve an award, as do Mr Hubbard and the board. The pitch is superb, the layout of all areas is magnificent, the way the curve on the main stand roof breaks up the lines works beautifully to create a stadium with a neat design and not just a shed plus the access all around the ground, all are magnificent despite being next to a supermarket. In addition somehow for such an open design the acoustics are loud and magnificent and though I don’t like drums normally, the stand our chap is allowed to use at the back of the kop is a great idea and really contributes… besides that the tannoy is just at the right level, I have to concentrate if I want to listen rather than leave with my ears bleeding. Little things like that have added nicely as have a major upgrade on the pie front and strangely enough having tellies on the concourse so when your kids want to loo 20 minutes in you can still stay in touch!! Maybe its the bigger crowds and the football we are playing but the ground seems 100% livelier than Saltergate ever was and does have a real soul already. In short I absolutely and totally love it.

So which came first, the good football or the soul? Difficult to say but on the playing side we are still run very tight budget and so the football this season has been a revelation so far, well done again Mr Sheridan. Of course that must have made a big contribution to the feel of the place but I have to say, the design of the ground and all the new little things mentioned have all contributed aswell…all we need now is a clock for us all to count down the minutes on as we concede or need another late goal!!

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posted Nov 10, 2010

I`ve read all of the above with interest and would like to contribute my 'twopenneth', if I may. Although I now live 60 miles away on the Leicestershire / Warwickshire border and try to get to any Spireite games locally, I have only been to one game at the new ground (v. Accrington). However, I was a regular at Saltergate for nearly half a century - my first match there was in 1958, as an 8 year old, when my grandfather took me! - and I suffered a severe attack of nostalgia when I said goodbye to the old girl after the Bournemeouth game last season; so pleased that I was there.

I too wondered long and hard whether the new ground would feel like 'home' - but I have to say that the atmosphere last Tuesday was fantastic. I was amazed and proud in equal measure that this superb stadium was now our home. The move has been a positive in every way and I am convinced that the performance of the team this season is no coincidence.

I remember John Duncan being quoted as saying -quite a few years ago now - how difficult he found it to attract quality players to the club once they saw the state of the facilities on offer; I am sure that, until this season, that has continued to be the case. Would some of the players John Sheridan has been able to bring to the club - Craig Davies springs to mind as a prime example - have been interested in coming to play at a delapidated old ground that gave every indication of a club happy just to survive at their existing level? I suspect not.

I have no doubt that budgets are still as restricted as ever - and so they should be if the club is to be properly managed - but the ground now gives the impression that CFC is a club prepared to invest in its future and wants to move forward, not just survive. That, in turn, will surely attract ambitious players.

In addition, I have to say that the facilities are superb - I say with tongue only slightly in cheek that the service I saw at the stadium bars was better than I have experienced at Wembley a few times - and I agree wholeheartedly with some of the comments already made, to the effect that everyone involved shpuld be proud of what they have achieved. I just hope that the improved revenue stream means that we can keep the existing management and squad together, given that results to date are inevitably going to attract attection from bigger clubs, and to develop the club further.

As an aside, I must add that in all my years of watching Fourth Division (OK, I`m old-fashioned!) football, on the basis of the few highlights, live and televised games I have been able to see, I have rarely if ever seen at this level a striker of the class of Craig Davies with his coolness and clinical finishing in a one-on-one situation. I am sure that he wants to get back to playing at a higher level and hope that he gets the chance to do so with CFC.

Famous last words, I know, but the future looks pretty damn good to me!

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