Bristol Sport: New arena planned for Bristol Flyers, netball, badminton and boxing

Ashton Gate
Bristol City's home, Ashton Gate, is near to Ashton Vale - the proposed site of a new training ground

There are plans to build a new indoor sports arena adjacent to Ashton Gate to house the Bristol Flyers basketball team's games, the BBC has learned.

Bristol Sport's proposed 3,000-capacity venue may also host netball, badminton, boxing and live entertainment events.

The umbrella organisation that runs Bristol City also has plans for a new training ground at nearby Ashton Vale.

The plans will be subject to a period of public consultation, having received initial backing from the city council.

As well as the Flyers and the Robins, Bristol Rugby, Bristol Ladies Rugby, Bristol City Women FC and the Bristol Jets Badminton team are all part of Steve Lansdown's Bristol Sport brand.

A triple-court basketball hall would also be built alongside the new arena, inspired by the National Basketball Performance Centre in Manchester, while the training ground at Ashton Vale would include an indoor 3G pitch.

Bristol does not currently have a franchise in the Netball Superleague - Britain's elite netball competition - but the proposals state Superleague matches could be played in the new indoor venue.

Meanwhile, long-running plans for an entertainments arena near Temple Meads railway station, which is in doubt after a "value-for-money" review by the council, has suffered numerous lengthy delays since initial approval in 2014.

A new Bristol City Council consultation document, outlining a five-year strategy to 2022, also puts forward other major sports facilities, including a new or enhanced swimming pool in the east of the city and multi-court sports halls across Bristol.


BBC Radio Bristol political reporter Pete Simson

Recent history tells us building an arena in Bristol is a frustrating task. However, this is a project being led by Ashton Gate Ltd, not the city council.

The company's founder, Steve Lansdown, has made no secret of his desire for a 'Barcelona-style' sports hub in south Bristol, which could also in future include a rail and metrobus stop on its doorstep.

The arena would be the biggest indoor sports facility in Bristol and a worthy base for the Bristol Flyers basketball team, who regularly sell-out at their current home near Filton.

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