Fairly cryptic messages circulated in the last few days from the usual Kuwaiti sources about the fact that change is coming to the City Ground, and after a bit of a reveal from Dr Tarek, it appears this is likely to be a bit more razzmatazz at the City Ground.
For one it will be Big Screens. No club worth its salt doesn’t have these. The rumour goes that they will be in the corner of the Trent End and Brian Clough Stand, and the opposite corner, perhaps above the Bridgford End, which sounds dodgy at best to me.
Between a corner of the Trent End makes sense, and the corner between the Main Stand at the Trent End is fairly well used by the Ground Staff on a match day so I can’t see them blocking that totally off. Also as a Trent Ender either corner by itself would be horrendous, immediately missing off half the ground should this rumour be right.
As a traditionalist I am not a fan. To be honest I don’t think we need them. Admittedly I have missed goals in the past, by looking away or suchlike, when it seems nothing is happening, notably way back when Gary Crosby headed the ball out of Andy Dibbles hand is maybe the most memorable.
It’s not even that much a drama when you know that within 3-4 hours you’ll be able to see a repeat of the goal anyway, but because everyone else has them, it seems we will follow suit and embrace the 21st Century. They say it enhances the experience for Fans to have clearer screens and replays. In reality it’s a revenue maker.
The fact you have more potential advertising space between the replays, or half time rolling adverts would bring in cash. The worry there is you get to the ridiculous levels where every facet of a match day experience is “bought to you by...” somebody who wanted to pay for it.
A capability for electronic advertising for televised games has also been mentioned, again increasing revenue streams, which is all well and good and does bring in money but I find them annoying to appoint of distraction when on TV. I guess with premier League aspirations it is a must these days, but still, it makes us like every other ground. A gradual move to a further sanitising of the match day experience.
I would rather we invested by sprucing the ground up in its exterior appearance, the moss on the Trent End, a lick of paint on the Brian Clough stand, general efforts to make it a more appealing environment, as there are dated areas and corners around the site. And in the ground, we could look to improve Concourses (admittedly hard in a number of ageing stands) Lowering food prices would also be welcome as the Meal “Deals” are hardly deals, but scams or rip offs, vastly inflating prices for substandard products.
A decent PA system too would be nice, but maybe thats included. Too often it’s inaudible. And substitutions aren’t made clear, whether this is the PA or a mumbling announcer though I’m not sure.
This will all be peanuts in essence. Hardly likely to chip into Transfer budgets which I guess many a fan would moan about if they became disgruntled. I can see it now if we missed Promotion or playoffs by a slim margin people would claim the money spent on a Jumbotron should have been spent on a new defender or suchlike.