Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden Park?

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Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden Park?

Post by Aanvalluh » Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:58 pm

20 years on, there will be fans on here who won't have seen one game @ Burnden.

It was a fine old stadium that turned, like today's finances, into a shambles with a whole shop on half the Embankment. But there was space, and if Normid had been bought out and the land returned, how much would it have cost to redevelop the whole ground into a 25k capacity all-seated stadium?

Was it even thought of at the time? And if it had been done, would the Wanderers be now financially secure, as I'm sure Burnden or Reebok they would have had many years in the Premier?

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by officer_dibble » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:18 pm

How much were Normid selling for?

And are you after a stadium that met all relevant standards and building regulations or just bolting seats onto the open end?

Its not as simple a question as you make out.

Do you know the difference between developing a brownfield plot including demolition and remediation compared to greenfield? How much did we pay for the land at Horwich? What did we make from the retail/ancillary uses?

I was a kid when we finished at Burnden but from what I remember it was not fit to simply convert into a ground that passed the requirements of the taylor report etc. I reckon redevolping it was a none starter.

I think a better question is should we have spent so much on such an innovatively designed stadium or just gone with an identikit a la Boro or maybe a smaller sunderland one (best examples from the time). I like our ground. We dont have much to be proud of but I do feel proud of our ground. There is no mistaking it when you see its picture. Its our home.

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by Harry Genshaw » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:32 pm

We'd owned the land at Middlebrook, or Red Moss as it was known then, for quite some time iirc. Burnden would have had to be demolished and we'd have had to purchase the rows of terraces behind the Lever End to have some credible space to develop in. Prior to the Normid going up we probably could have done it one stand at a time like Burnley, but that horse had bolted by the time of the Taylor report.

Amazing to think when the Reebok was being built, the club were getting pelters from some for not building a ground with a 40000 capacity :lol:
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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by Aanvalluh » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:35 pm

officer_dibble wrote:How much were Normid selling for?

And are you after a stadium that met all relevant standards and building regulations or just bolting seats onto the open end?

Its not as simple a question as you make out.

Do you know the difference between developing a brownfield plot including demolition and remediation compared to greenfield? How much did we pay for the land at Horwich? What did we make from the retail/ancillary uses?

I was a kid when we finished at Burnden but from what I remember it was not fit to simply convert into a ground that passed the requirements of the taylor report etc. I reckon redevolping it was a none starter.

I think a better question is should we have spent so much on such an innovatively designed stadium or just gone with an identikit a la Boro or maybe a smaller sunderland one (best examples from the time). I like our ground. We dont have much to be proud of but I do feel proud of our ground. There is no mistaking it when you see its picture. Its our home.
Was thinking of a complete redevelopment of all four sides, so it's basically a brand new ground but on the same site. Would have taken a few years and as you allude to, the ground wasn't fit for Taylor so the whole lot would have been redeveloped in one go - adding corporate stuff eg Hotel (note there's a relatively new one on the edge of our red-light district...(!) that could have been at Burnden) meaning a couple of seasons ground-sharing (City big games, Bury little games, Moss Bank Park for the Daft Leyland Trophy games) and then you have a central new ground worthy (pun intended) of your "home"!

The big loss would be parking....but with it being so close to the town centre public transport was easy and most had their favourite street parking spot anyway, I certainly did, off Bromwich St!

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by officer_dibble » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:30 pm

I dont know about then. But I know enough about now to suggest that what you are proposing would cost more, almost definitley.

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:31 pm

The club said they investigated the possibility of staying, but the ground was too hemmed-in. Normid closed more or less as soon as we moved to Horwich but at the time we had to make the decision they weren't keen to sell, so we'd presumably have had to pay over the odds.

The whole Burnden side almost certainly didn't have enough access to be passed by planning permission; it was fine(ish) in the 50s but by the 90s everyone had cars so there's no way you'd be allowed to expect, what, 10,000 people on that side without significant parking allowance. As Harry Genshaw says, there was the idea of compulsorily purchasing the terraces behind the Lever End but that might have taken an enormous amount of money and even time – as David Conn has reported, Liverpool are still waiting for residents to die so they can extend Anfield.

The hotel near Shiffnall Street was apparently built in 2011, so I think you might be rather stretching a point there, buddy.

Most of us wanted to stay at Burnden but recognised that there were huge logistical problems, and that there was a great opportunity to start from scratch at a purpose-built ground which would, crucially, be much cheaper than renovating. Remember that when the decision was made, it was closer to the time when Chelsea nearly collapsed under the cost of building their 1973 main stand than to now. We were also trying to get (back) into, and stay in, the Premier League; that might not have been possible if every penny was going toward doing the old place up.

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by Bruce Rioja » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:09 pm

The footprint of the Bok is massive. The footprint of Burnden was tiny. It's all about much more than just having people turn up to the match now. Never viable as far as I can see. I wish that it might have been. I could've continued to get the bus into town and have a couple of pre-match snifters. :)
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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by truewhite15 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:32 pm

Am I right in thinking the area that's now The Valley in Astley Bridge was also considered? Or have I invented that? :conf:

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by Athertonian » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:06 pm

Burnden was my place of worship since the early 60s but sadly time had caught up with the old ground and would have cost far more to re-develop than to move to a brand new stadium like the Reebok was. As it turned out, we got promoted to the prem on the last game there. Great memories and without those there's no conversation.

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by TANGODANCER » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:47 pm

Thinking about Burnden is pleasant dreaming and wishful thinking. Would that it could be so, when a ten minute bus ride from most parts of Bolton got you down to the King Bill or Sweet Green for a drop of cheer em on fluid before the match. Time waits for no man and everything moves on even for those most unrealistic dreamers amongst us. Just couldn't be. Would our financial situation actually be any different even if we were still on the Manny Road? Somehow, I doubt it. Back then football was a sport for the masses, now it's business first and sport a by-product. Bonus is we have a top rate stadium at the Macron that hopefully someday will see us back in the big time. Burnden is for the scrap books and memories. It will never be forgotten but realistically, it's yesterday.
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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by jetsetwilly » Fri Feb 10, 2017 6:45 am

There were rumours a few years back, that we were going to sell the Reebok and build a smaller, cheaper stadium near to town. Would this be a realistic option?

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by officer_dibble » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:19 am

Who would buy the football ground? Bit big for Horwich RMI or Athy Colls.

As is alluded to elsewhere the only option would be sell and lease back.

Its not cheap business demolishing world class football stadia. I cant see the Council playing ball on redevelopment whilst there is a club still in existence.
Oh and to answer the question - there is nothing cheaper about buying more land at todays prices and building new. Unless the running costs of the macron are ridiculously high. And without backing of the Council zoning some higher value uses (dont think low density housing would cut it) on the site It doesnt add up.

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by Hoboh » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:52 am

Burnden has its place in the clubs history and many older peoples hearts.
The building has gone the memories live on, time takes no prisoners, tomorrow will mean today is yesterday.

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by BWFC_Insane » Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:57 am

officer_dibble wrote:Who would buy the football ground? Bit big for Horwich RMI or Athy Colls.

As is alluded to elsewhere the only option would be sell and lease back.

Its not cheap business demolishing world class football stadia. I cant see the Council playing ball on redevelopment whilst there is a club still in existence.
Oh and to answer the question - there is nothing cheaper about buying more land at todays prices and building new. Unless the running costs of the macron are ridiculously high. And without backing of the Council zoning some higher value uses (dont think low density housing would cut it) on the site It doesnt add up.
Whether true or not I'm told there would be no shortage of people desperate to get a hold of the land.

Clearly though it would be suicide for the club to try and do this.

To answer the original question it would have been far more costly to try to redevelop Burnden. And as explained probably very very difficult if not impossible.

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by Aanvalluh » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:09 pm

It's interesting reading the thoughts that there is a remote possibility of selling/leasing the Middlebrook site and going back into town! Can't think that the land is so valuable that a multi-million stadium can be demolished after just 20 years. That would be mindless...?

However, the ground should be used for much more than football and the occasional concert. Wonder if ever the new 3g will be allowed? Think both football and rugby can be played on that, but I'm informed (and a tad surprised) that hockey can't - would be nice to host a rugby or hockey world cup game! Can any hockey players comment on the (un)suitability of 3g?

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by TANGODANCER » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:18 pm

Aanvalluh wrote:It's interesting reading the thoughts that there is a remote possibility of selling/leasing the Middlebrook site and going back into town! Can't think that the land is so valuable that a multi-million stadium can be demolished after just 20 years. That would be mindless...?
They managed it with Rio's Maracana Stadium in six months. :wink:
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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by Aanvalluh » Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:45 pm

TANGODANCER wrote:
Aanvalluh wrote:It's interesting reading the thoughts that there is a remote possibility of selling/leasing the Middlebrook site and going back into town! Can't think that the land is so valuable that a multi-million stadium can be demolished after just 20 years. That would be mindless...?
They managed it with Rio's Maracana Stadium in six months. :wink:
Very true!

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by SmokinFrazier » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:14 pm

How many more fans do you think we'd get if we still played near the town centre? Transport to the Macron is awful and I don't think people can be bothered with the trek there each week whereas town is easy and quick to get to. Surely we'd average at least 1,000 or so more each week? That's a huge amount of money over a couple of decades.

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by BWFC_Insane » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:54 am

SmokinFrazier wrote:How many more fans do you think we'd get if we still played near the town centre? Transport to the Macron is awful and I don't think people can be bothered with the trek there each week whereas town is easy and quick to get to. Surely we'd average at least 1,000 or so more each week? That's a huge amount of money over a couple of decades.
I'm not sure evidence backs that attendance argument up.

Also surely the Macron is easier for some and harder for others to get to than Burnden was?

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Re: Would it have been better/cheaper to redevelop Burnden P

Post by Worthy4England » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:14 am

BWFC_Insane wrote:
SmokinFrazier wrote:How many more fans do you think we'd get if we still played near the town centre? Transport to the Macron is awful and I don't think people can be bothered with the trek there each week whereas town is easy and quick to get to. Surely we'd average at least 1,000 or so more each week? That's a huge amount of money over a couple of decades.
I'm not sure evidence backs that attendance argument up.

Also surely the Macron is easier for some and harder for others to get to than Burnden was?
I'm fairly sure the last time we were in the "third" division, our attendances were generally in the range of 5-7,000 (Think we were higher the year we went up but still shy of 10,000) - At the moment, I think we're averaging 14,000 - 15,000. Different time, different place, but that's still a significant difference.

Much as I used to love Burnden, there wasn't really a case to keep it there then, and certainly not much of one now.

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