Sincil Bank move – is it becoming less likely?

I’ve been planning to sit down and write this little piece for a week or two now, specifically from around the time of the fan’s forum. 

Ever since the change of chairman, I get the feeling that a move away from Sincil Bank is less likely. The rhetoric about it being crucial to our development has certainly faded a little, with the problems faced by Chesterfield an example of what can go wrong. In the past, their stadium move had been put forward as an example of what happens when things go right.

I’ve always been behind a move from the Bank, not because I want to leave our home, the place which I have spent so much of my life, but because I believed it was a necessity. I thought in order for the club to progress, a move from the Bank was more than overdue.

With the noises dying down recently, I have to wonder if perhaps the eagerness to get away was part of a Bob’s dream, but not so much something than Clive is keen on. Bob, an old school Imps fan, would have seen a stadium move as part of his legacy, part of him ushering in the new future at the Bank. it wouldn’t be his only legacy, the Cowley’s and National League promotion will certainly stand the test of time, but a move to a spanking new stadium?

Sincil Bank all lit up for a night match. a thing of sheer beauty

Then there’s Clive, a softly spoken man of few words in the media. When he does speak, people listen. He was obviously a catalyst for attracting Danny and Nicky and other investment which has allowed us to push on. I wonder if perhaps Clive isn’t as committed to a move? He’s always said he would never do anything to put the club at financial risk, is the outlay on bricks and mortar beginning to look risky?

Lincoln is on the up, but retail is not and part of any plan is to have retail outlets and the like at the new ground. Is there enough uncertainty to scupper the move?

Or, is Clive so in tune with the fans and tradition, that he simply wants to make sure every possible way of staying put is explored?

What would we need to stay put? More seats is absolutely certain, we sell around 9,000 tickets at the moment to home and away fans and any increase is likely to come through promotion and increased away following. My feeling is we’re at our ceiling now, we could maybe shift 10,000 for certain games, but we’re not going to do that for Bury on a Tuesday night, as things stand. It might be that day-trippers are being put off coming because of seat availability, but that is a variable we can’t understand at present.

Could this be the side where the development really kicks in?

There’s space to build, that much is true. The St Andrews stand was always intended to be expandable should we need it and it could be extended towards the Stacey West. I’d think it unlikely that we knock the whole thing down and start again, but would building on to it be pushing a square peg into a round hole?

Then there’s the issue of access, both for vehicles and fans. We’re squeezed into a corner, pushed between the astroturf and the Sincil Drain, can we really get more cars into the area? I suppose the pitches could be ripped up, especially now they’re not used for training, but would we build car parks or extend that whole side of the ground and make it more accessible?

What about getting into and out of the ground? The whole area around Sincil Bank grinds to a halt on a match day, would we need to negotiate with the council about better access? Could anything be done alongside the drain heading to South Park?

What about toilets and refreshments too? The queues are big already and even once the caterers get things sorted, there’s still too few pouring points for the number of fans coming into the ground. There’s no rear concourse either, making half time a bit of a scramble despite the club’s best efforts.

Once upon a time

There’s an awful lot of questions to be answered, but I suspect they are now being asked, rather than simply being filed under ‘unanswerable’ and filed away. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure whether it is a good thing or not. I would love nothing more than to stay put, to remain at the ground I’ve visited every weekend or so since I was needing help wiping my arse, but it has to be workable. It has to be more than simple tradition and emotion. It has to work as a viable source of income, not just on match day but every day.

Most of all, it has to be prepared to host League One football for the foreseeable future. At least.

 

6 Comments

  1. A very good blog Garry . My own views are as yours i think that extension to S/B along the line you suggested would be most welcome. Im sure that given good will by all concerned it would be possible The main concern would as always be parking,but it now seems that this is not a worry for the club with the use of the common. The club have made i suspect a reduced number in the S/W Car park to facilitate extra catering but seem to have got around the problem (abiet with a rise from
    EIGHTY POUNDS TO A HUNDRED AND TWENTY THIS SEASON.)But i feel that the prospect to stay at the bank may be more in the minds of the powers that be?

  2. Alot of fans walk to the stadium either from the bus station or from bus stops on the High Street,fans also have a short walk to the ground from the pubs in the High Street.For an evening match I travel from Grantham by car and have no trouble finding a street to park in.On a Saturday I travel by bus into Lincoln and again it’s a short walk to the ground.I am all in favour in extending the what was Echo Stand and staying put.

  3. A Successful season in League two ie promotion does not translate into a successful season in League 1. It may be the dream but realistically over time we are a League 2 oblique League 1 team in the foreseeable future. Scampton is too far out as far as most fans would be concerned. I think Sincil Bank remains the most practicable option for the foreseeable future. We are not dispite the success selling out the current allocation. If Cowleys move on in next two to three years back down south as I suspect that they will… lets just enjoy what we have right now!!

  4. Stay and develop Sincil Bank. Everything is going so well, we don’t need the burden/distraction of a stadium move a la Arsenal and now Tottenham.

  5. Has anyone ever explored the option of expanding over the artificial pitches as you suggest but turning the ground and pitch around 90 degrees? on Google maps it looks like it would fit better and options to expand stands and facilities would be greater.

  6. Love the bank it’s big enough for our city you go to big you lose the atmosphere for sure
    It needs to be developed to to cater for more fans up 12/15 could be done easily. Keep the bank

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