December 12 – Premier League AFC Bournemouth is looking for a site to build a new stadium that the club could move to as early as the 2020/21 season. Locked into the smallest stadium in the Premier League – Dean Court, named the Vitality Stadium under a sponsorship deal – capacity would raise from the current 11,464 to 25,000, according to local reports.
It had been expected the club would redevelop at its current Kings Park location and has a planning application about to be heard for the development of the South stand to a 3,000-seat capacity.
However, the club appear to have given up on the Vitality Stadium as a long term option as they continue to solidify their presence in the middle of the Premier League.
AFC Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake said in a statement on the club’s website: “We are not going to develop a stadium we do not own and will not be held to ransom over a price to purchase the existing site… we feel we have no other option but to find a new site and are working closely with Bournemouth Borough Council to identify a suitable location.”
It appears the club, who in the recent past have come close to liquidation before their remarkable surge to the Premier League under the guidance of brilliant young manager Eddie Howe, have lost patience locally in their bid to upgrade their stadium and commercial opportunities to compete on the Premier League big stage.
“Earlier this year, the club submitted an application to redevelop the South Stand, which is due to go before planners later this month for approval,” said Blake.
“It has always been the board of directors’ preferred option to buy the stadium back from Structadene and develop a Premier League-standard stadium on the current site at Kings Park.
“However, following discussions over a number of months with both Structadene (owner of the stadium and site) and Bournemouth Borough Council’s planning department, it has become apparent that this will not be possible.”
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