Stadium Expansion - Bushey Hall

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by Stevohorn, Jul 13, 2019.


For or against a new stadium at Bushey (see post #558)

  1. For

    89 vote(s)
  2. Against

    55 vote(s)
  1. Eastcoastorn

    Eastcoastorn First Year Pro

    Thinking back to the Taylor years when we were in a very similar situation the council were the spanner in the works.
    They wouldn’t allow major work on the Vic and didn’t want a new stadium. This time it’s different. Think they will allow any sort of expansion to keep us from moving. The dilemma for the owners is a better offer seems to be on the table.
    It really does seem too good to turn down.
    lutonh8a likes this.
  2. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    This is my reading of the situation also. Too good an opportunity to turn down.

    With VR, you are limited. Sure there is scope to expand the SEJ stand, but the VR end and Rookery are completely boxed in (thanks to that crazy Origin deal we did for key worker housing). The only other viable option is to purchase land from the hospital and to then take off the roof of the GT stand (which needs doing anyway) and expand backwards. I suspect that could be done, but the cost of doing something like that would probably be nearly as much as building a new stadium from scratch. It would almost certainly involve demolishing the GT stand and rebuilding.

    There was talk of twisting the stadium around 90 degrees so the goals would end up facing the direction of the SEJ and GT stands, but again that would mean buying a large plot of land from the hospital and building a brand new stadium as well as taking down the old one. The drawback for this would be where would Watford play in the meantime? Building from new verses demolishing then rebuilding. It seems obvious which would cost more, so the directional change of stadium is pretty much out of the question now.

    Moving to a new site gives you a blank canvass. The infrastructure could be tailored to meet the needs of a club in the 21st century, with better revenue streams from corporate clients and sponsorship deals. The matchday experience would almost certainly be enhanced with the purpose built Fan Zone. Again more money from food and retail outlets.

    The only drawback, from a financial point-of-view, is the purchase of land and cost to build. This can be largely offset by selling Vicarage Road plus sponsorship and stadium naming rights.

    The counter argument is always, do Watford need a 33,000 all-seater stadium? Right now, probably no, but I suspect that is not the driving force behind this. As always, it's going to be a case of will it make Watford more money in the medium to long term....and the answer to that would be an emphatic yes.
  3. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    I think we’d have to do a Spurs and insist on Wembley.
    Witneyellow likes this.
  4. I'm sure our friends up the M1 would help out for a season or so.
  5. LeedsOrn

    LeedsOrn First Year Pro

    My instinct is that the club is feeling out the Bushey Hall site primarily to use as a bargaining chip with the Council to secure land/permission/funding granted to ensure we stay in Watford.
  6. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    There’ll be people on here who are far more in the know on planning matters than me, but political will only gets you so far with getting a major project approved. I don’t think they’d ‘allow any sort of expansion’ to keep us. I just had a quick look at Watford’s draft local plan for 20-2036. While it acknowledges the importance of the hospital and the stadium to that particular part of the town, it commits only to supporting ‘improvements to the hospital’ and doesn’t specifically say the same for the stadium. It also says, “Any future development proposals in this area should positively contribute towards the existing residential character and enhance community facilities.” So it sounds like we’d have to jump those hurdles to do anything, as well as dealing with the usual whining about parking and noise nuisance.

    Plus we’re still constrained at the Vic by our neighbours and the nature of the site being on a massive slope. I don’t think we have to scope to copy Spurs by knocking the whole thing down and starting again.

    That said, I can’t imagine there’s a lot of political will in Hartsmere for us to move onto their turf and Watford will want to keep us.
  7. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    Realistically, parking is quite an inefficient use of land, plus more importantly planning consent is normally heavily involved in determining the type and amount of parking available. Most councils would want to discourage too many people from driving to games and being able to easily park, it’s not environmentally friendly and hence discouraged though planning restrictions. There will be some parking of course, but it certainly won’t be based on accommodating everyone who would want to drive to the game as their first preference.
  8. Halfwayline

    Halfwayline Reservist

    If we get one of those beer pumps that fill from the bottom then I’m all in for the new stadium
  9. neraksarrab

    neraksarrab Making Professor Brian Cox look thick

    Having a large dated stadium in a town centre is an inefficient use of the estate. x19 4 hour blocks plus occasional cup games in prime-real estate doesn't survive contact with alternative more profitable uses of the land, particularly given housing pressures in the south-east, and the sacred cow that is the NHS.

    As many other have said, the future is much less about gate receipts but multiple income streams. These are extremely limited with the current set-up. As much as we're emotionally attached to the vic, I for one wouldn't miss queuing for 10 mins for a drink, or standing in half-an-inch of stale p!ss in the decrepit toilets. Another shout out for the AMEX which is an exemplar of multi-purpose built facility that makes for a genuinely great family day out.

    edited to add: whilst flat-capped, happy clappers with prawn sandwiches and 'the Stone-Island Lads' may provide solid customer foundation, there are many, many more ordinary families to be tapped into as as potential customers, if the offer (facilities, amenities, connections, price etc) is right.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 1:55 PM
    CarlosKickaballs and scummybear like this.
  10. AndrewH63

    AndrewH63 Reservist

    Hertfordshire County Council want to build a massive park and ride car park at Jct 5 of the M1. Primarily to stop commuter driving into Watford during the week. As a net importer of workers every day. That fits perfectly with a weekend and evening use for a sports/leisure complex a stones throw from the A4008 M1 link road.

    Many of us walk miles to away games, having found parking near to the main roads you want to get home. I once made a terrible mistakes parking too close to Leicester and West Brom. Only to sit for hours to get out of the industrial estate parking.

    Four people driving to a match and parking in a 1,500 space park and ride site is quite efficient way to shift a big group.

    The one good thing is that these issues have been resolved elsewhere and wont be a deal breaker in terms of planning.
    lutonh8a and WillisWasTheWorst like this.
  11. neraksarrab

    neraksarrab Making Professor Brian Cox look thick

    Given they're bordering boroughs I expect their will be financial trade-offs, and gains either way. Both are in Herts so Bushey is not an unreasonable alternative to the Vic.
    lutonh8a likes this.
  12. neraksarrab

    neraksarrab Making Professor Brian Cox look thick

    I see your West Brom and Leicester (although I don't remember Leicester being too much of a problem) and raise you, Stoke. On 2 occasions spent t least 40 mins to an hour to try to break clear of the ring road. I recall Wolves was pretty gash too. I do my best to take the train to away games.
  13. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

    Norwich have support throughout Suffolk? You 'avin' a larf? Diss maybe, but no further south. There's another team down there for Suffolk folk to support.

    When Norwich went down to League One their gates held up much better than Newcastle's, whose fanbase was at that time famously loyal.
  14. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

  15. Eastcoastorn

    Eastcoastorn First Year Pro

    I’ve lived in Suffolk now for 15years and obviously most support Ipswich. They have a massive catchment of large towns
    like Felixstowe and Bury SE that extends as far as Lowestoft and the A12 corridor towards Chelmsford. Unfortunately these sleeping giants have new owners so could be a force again soon. Btw it was always interesting to see all the big PL London club fans at Ipswich station on a Saturday morning (the same problem as at Watford Junction), I think Arsenal fans had the most. I’ve met a few Watford fans there tho. There are plenty of rosey cheeked Norwich fans that change at Ipswich station from Lowestoft.
  16. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    I think park and ride might be the way to go. I remember a really efficient one at The Stadium of Light when we drew Sunderland in the Cup years ago.
  17. Clive_ofthe_Kremlin

    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin Squad Player

    I'm against because of nostalgia reasons. I think with how football has changed so much and my severe disenchantment with how it is now, if one of the last threads connecting me with past Hornet days was permanently severed, it might well be the last straw that sees me move to watching local non-league instead.
  18. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

    If you really want to be nostalgic, what about Old Etonians, Clive?
  19. BigRossLittleRoss

    BigRossLittleRoss First Team

    The only new stadium Ive been to that has a better atmos than the old one is the new White Hart Lane.
  20. Eastcoastorn

    Eastcoastorn First Year Pro

    I’d add Brighton and Hull but that’s not many
  21. AndrewH63

    AndrewH63 Reservist

    Norwich supporters I know all live in Lowestoft. If Norwich spent as many years in the lower divisions as Exeter, I expect most kids in Norwich would be wearing Ajax shirts.

    I think the atmosphere at Leicester is decent.
  22. AndrewH63

    AndrewH63 Reservist

    You realise that a new stadium is a classic transitional demand? You should embrace it on the road to socialism
  23. Hogg-DEENEY!!!

    Hogg-DEENEY!!! Reservist

    Would take a sea change for Norwich to suddenly become Exeter City since they've spent one season in the bottom two tiers in over 60 years!
  24. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    It absolutely doesn’t, unless your only experience of WHL is in the PL era. Back in the 70s and 80s the atmosphere was fierce. The new stadium is beautiful, particularly compared with other recently built ones, but great atmosphere, no.
  25. BigRossLittleRoss

    BigRossLittleRoss First Team

    Yeah Hull is good . I thought Brighton was a bit soul less . Nice from the outside
  26. Since63

    Since63 Reservist

    How about near halfway?
    Halfwayline likes this.
  27. Knight GT

    Knight GT Predictor extraordinaire 2013/14

    I like Brighton but it's probably more to do with the whole day out rather than just the ground. I thought the atmosphere at Spurs was pretty poor. Quite like Stokes ground for a decent atmosphere
  28. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

  29. AndrewH63

    AndrewH63 Reservist

    That’s my point really. You can a football club in a regional capital, with the cultural weight that both Exeter and Norwich have in their regions. Does not mean you become a football club with a large support. Clubs with 30,000plus stadia, have had long histories of sporting success.

    The comment was within the context of Watford able to fill a 30,000 stadium. Some comments suggest we never could do it. I think we can. A successful team, Premier league longevity, and a stadium that matches the rest of the division.
  30. Dennis_Booth

    Dennis_Booth Reservist

    I envisage that the parking arrangements for the majority will not change. For some it will mean a longer walk. Apart from on site, I'm not sure where you could put any large parking facility.
  31. Willie Ekaslike

    Willie Ekaslike Academy Graduate

    Especially when Water Lane is closed due to flooding.
  32. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    AndrewH63 suggested a “massive park and ride” at M1 J5.
  33. Halfwayline

    Halfwayline Reservist

    my gf lives round the corner. Will be selling parking on her driveway for a tenner a car. Won’t tell her though...
    EB Hornet likes this.
  34. Dennis_Booth

    Dennis_Booth Reservist

    That could work. There is land on the Radlett Road next to Aldenham Golf Club which may fit the bill.
    You could easily walk from there too if a footbridge was installed over the A41.
    The Voice of Reason likes this.
  35. WeveGotSteviePalmerNo1

    WeveGotSteviePalmerNo1 Academy Graduate

    Mention of Brighton and park and ride in thsi thread... i found the park and ride at Brighton really annoying. Took ages to get to park , ended up on a side road as main parking place was full. Then arrive at souless bowl. After the match take an age to get back to car and the battle traffic.

    it almost certainly influenced my impression of the day that it was unbelievably cold and we drew 0-0 in the most boring match ever seen. If i’d managed to get to the sun filled promotion day i might view it all differently. But... i dont like park and ride for football. I want pubs, parking and train stations on site / v near please.

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