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September Development Blog

Latest from Head of Stadium Redevelopment, Jon Back

7 September 2019

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IF I have counted the months correctly, we have just entered the last month of the third quarter of 2019. That means that next month sees us enter the final quarter of the year and I am certain that I had something in the diary for then.

I will check and come back to you.

In other news, the redevelopment of the south side of Home Park is looking magnificent.

We are at that stage now where we’re seeing milestones being reached – and passed – on a daily basis.

Since I last wrote, we have seen the glorious new Supporters’ Bar open for business. With the club using the ground floor of the Green Taverners’ Suite and the GTs the upper, the old Far Post corner of the ground has come back to life with a bang on match-days.

We have had loads of feedback as to how well received this new facility has been - whether it is fans experiencing the club’s wonderful new corporate hospitality (and if you want to book your place in history and be amongst the first to experience the all-new Mayflower, check out our great new packages, including Gold Membership of Club Argyle here or whether its revelers enjoying the famed FanFest upstairs, every single person has waxed lyrical about how good the two bars are. Take a bow, Gary, Liam, Steve et al.

I am sure that you will all have seen the seats in the upper tier of the grandstand by now. Look handsome, do they not? Once all of the heavy work is finished, we will start installing on the lower terrace in the next few weeks.

Other mini milestones have seen the completion of the glass curtain walling, which is just one of the details that will make the new club reception feel quite special; the installation of ‘Plymouth Limestone’ around the entrance will be the next.

Deep inside the Mayflower, we have seen doors going up and skirting going in. Oh, and there has been the first lick of paint on the ground floor, too.

I thought I would tidy up a few loose ends from previous blogs. I mentioned before that I was in discussion with GLe on the whiteness of the white, and that they had gone with a slightly off-white colour for longevity. Well, let us be honest, they just did not look right, did they? So we have gone for a more brilliant white that, while potentially not quite so long-lived, look spot on. Could not have my legacy being the Cream and White Army, could I?

I have also talked about the new floodlights before, too. Since then, we have had the experts in, who have adjusted and realigned - this has given us excellent pitch coverage which now exceeds EFL standards. However, I am aware that a couple of the lamps are still causing some glare issues, which we will work on further.

Then there is the PA system. Hands up – I have not covered myself in glory on this one. That said, we have actually done quite a lot of work on it around the horseshoe but somehow managed to make it worse for the Salford game.

We think that we have a solution to the problems now, and I am confident that it will sound significantly better within the next few weeks. Please bear with us a little longer.

That said, I just want to reassure you that the critical safety system PA - separate to the match-day entertainment system - works near-perfectly. And no, we cannot route the music through the speakers of that system. We tried.

So where were we? Ah yes, the final quarter of 2019, I remember now.

Over the last few weeks, we have been working on, not just the construction and the post-handover fit-out of bars and TVs, etc., but the legal and regulatory sign-offs that are required, too.

As part of the sports stadia-specific regulations, we have been working closely with our local Safety Advisory Group on a testing and opening schedule and I am very happy to say that, not only have we now agreed this, we received warm praise for our plans from the safety authorities.

Whilst I work on fine-tuning some of the details before we publish, I was just casually musing how amazingly appropriate it would be if we completed our Test and Restricted Capacity events across December, with January 1, 2020 – Mayflower 400 year, of course – seeing the first sailing of our very own fully redeveloped and full-to-the-rafters Mayflower: 18,000 to watch a top-of-the-table Argyle on New Year’s Day – anyone would think it was fate.

As if, eh? As I say, just musing.

Keep it Green.

JB


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