In September 2018, plans to develop a new £100 million sports and convention centre at Bristol City have been unveiled by the owners of Ashton Gate Stadium. The proposed sporting and entertainment centre will be built next to the Bristol City ground in South Bristol.
This 4,000-capacity venue is anticipated to become a ‘sporting quarter’ as well as a place for entertainment and conferences. The new facility will also provide a permanent home for the Bristol Flyers Basketball club who sold out every home game of the 2017/18 season.
Andrea Kapoulas, head coach of the Bristol Flyers, stated that the development of the stadium will not only provide housing support to the team which currently play at Filton in SGS College but will also secure the long-term future of the club and their ambitions of domestic and European success.
The proposed Ashton Gate expansion will also include the development of two hotels, office spaces, additional housing, and a multi-storey car park. It will stand adjacent to Ashton Gate and is hoped to host world-class exhibitions, conferences and live events apart from sports events.
Here’s what we know so far about the soon-to-rise largest indoor arena in the city:
When and Where
Bristol’s proposed new sport and convention quarter will be built as an extension to Ashton Gate stadium. It will be constructed on the land currently being used by Wicks. The development of the arena will require no public funding as it will be privately funded by Ashton Gate Ltd sister company of Bristol Sport.
Ashton Gate chairman Martin Griffiths said that the full application for the centre will be submitted to Bristol City Council in late summer 2019 and will undergo an extensive consultation process with all stakeholders.
Mr Griffiths said that Phase II of Ashton Gate’s redevelopment to produce a city quarter that focuses on sports and entertainment took two years in the planning to ensure that it is viable, sustainable and most importantly, achievable.
Developers hope to start the centre’s construction by 2020 and aims to open the facility in 2022.
What can we Expect
Ashton Gates have big plans for their proposed South Bristol’s sports and convention centre.
As part of the £100 million development, two new hotels will be constructed and will comprise of a four-star facility with 200 beds and another 100-bed standard venue.
The star of the centre will be the 4,000-capacity venue which is expected to host a variety of community-based sports including boxing, wheelchair rugby and badminton and will be run by Ashton Gate-based charities.
Mr Griffiths also said that they aspire to develop the facility further to give The Flyers, Bristol’s Basketball team, a secure and permanent playing home that will be the pathway to their sustainability.
There will be also options to put on commercial conventions and exhibitions at the centre. Moreover, the company have plans to place a 30,000 square foot of A-Grade office space and multi-storey car park with a capacity of 750-850.
Ashton Gate is also looking at building a total of 750 houses that will be split across two sites. The first 250 units will be placed at the proposed Ashton Gate while up to 500 homes will be on land at Ashton Vale.
A significant number of these units will be sold at an affordable price point. He emphasised how the proposed development plan took into consideration the current housing crisis that the city faces.
What’s more, the company is persuading Bristol City Council and Network Rail to reopen the former Ashton Gate railway station at the end of Barons Close and put up a Metrobus stop at the stadium. Ashton Gate hopes that through this proposed development, they can invest into an integrated transport hub that will connect the Metrobus, the railway line, cycle routes and crossing sections over the Winterstoke Road; and crucially improve the transport flow in the area.
As one of Bristol City’s largest employers, Ashton Gate also aims to deliver its promise of building a stadium in the heart of the city, with local suppliers and a local workforce. They hope to provide a significant economic impact on the fortunes of many local residents and businesses.
Through committing to the next phase of the development of South Bristol’s largest indoor arena, Ashton Gate intends that the whole of Bristol will reap great benefits. We’re very excited about the prospect of Sport City, which is just one of several exciting new developments in the south of Bristol in the coming years.