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OVF feature: Could Port Vale make the Hamil End a permanent home stand?


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I've only been in the Hamil once (against Southampton) and that was a long time ago. 

I honestly cannot remember how good the facilities are.  Are they Lorne street standard?

From an atmosphere perspective I'm not sure what it gives us.  We used to generate a fantastic atmosphere in the Bycars, when we got a few bodies in there (pre Lorne Street stand).  I think that we just need more bodies in one of the stands behind the goal to do this.  Comparing a full Hamil with an empty Bycars is not an apples/apples comparison.

I'm also not clear on what would prevent using the Bycars side of the Lorne Street as a family area, if proximity to away fans is a concern.

Bury me under the Hamil, just doesn't feel right.

I'd be interested to know the cost of upgrading the Bycars facilities vs the cost required to change ends.

 

Full disclosure, I was raised on the Bycars, and have many happy memories of being there with my Dad, who is sadly no longer with us. 

While I am an exile, and only get to VP a few  times a season, I still sit on the Bycars, as close as possible to where I used to have a season ticket when I do make the trip to my spiritual home. 

 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Quebec_Valiant said:

Bury me under the Hamil, just doesn't feel right.

No it doesn't, but wherever you're buried it sounds like your "duty to Vale is done".

 

 

Edited by smithie

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10 hours ago, Quebec_Valiant said:

I've only been in the Hamil once (against Southampton) and that was a long time ago. 

I honestly cannot remember how good the facilities are.  Are they Lorne street standard?

From an atmosphere perspective I'm not sure what it gives us.  We used to generate a fantastic atmosphere in the Bycars, when we got a few bodies in there (pre Lorne Street stand).  I think that we just need more bodies in one of the stands behind the goal to do this.  Comparing a full Hamil with an empty Bycars is not an apples/apples comparison.

I'm also not clear on what would prevent using the Bycars side of the Lorne Street as a family area, if proximity to away fans is a concern.

Bury me under the Hamil, just doesn't feel right.

I'd be interested to know the cost of upgrading the Bycars facilities vs the cost required to change ends.

 

Full disclosure, I was raised on the Bycars, and have many happy memories of being there with my Dad, who is sadly no longer with us. 

While I am an exile, and only get to VP a few  times a season, I still sit on the Bycars, as close as possible to where I used to have a season ticket when I do make the trip to my spiritual home. 

 

I'm glad the feature prompted a debate and I get your point of view @Quebec_Valiant

I think (and I may be wrong here)) that the cost of bringing the Bycars up to the same is going to be a lot as is the actual ability to do so. The advantage of that land behind the stand means the Hamil has a covered concourse behind the stand and as it's not in view of the pitch the bars can serve beer. To do the same at Bycars you're either going to have to build a concourse on the path at the back (and not sure the club owns that land) or build it at the back of the stand and cut the seating capacity (unless of course someone else has a cleverer plan). 

I think there's pluses and minuses for both viewpoints (hence the article) but I must admit I think that if it has better facilities and those facilities are encouraging fans to go in there, I'd be in the Hamil camp - but then again I generally tend to go in the Lorne or Railway so I haven't got the history and memories that some of the fans who've been in the Bycars for years have got. 

I'm interested in seeing both sides of the argument though so thanks for responding to the feature. I'm interested to hear what other fans think of the possible move.

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Posted (edited)

It makes sense from a business point to change to hamil as shop and ticket office are on that side.Hopefully revenue could go up as fans who would normally go straight in bycars and home after, may pop into shop to buy things. 

 

Edited by newchapel valiant

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13 minutes ago, newchapel valiant said:

It makes sense from a business point to change to hamil as shop and ticket office are on that side.Hopefully revenue could go up as fans who would normally go straight in bycars and home after, may pop into shop to buy things. 

 

Yep, it makes that whole area a "home zone" allowing things like a possible expansion of the popular fanzone, the use of Tommy Cheadles as a home pub plus easy access to the shop. 

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It really does make sense Rob. 

I get that some people don't want to change, but if we are to stay at Vale Park then we have to prioritise the better facilities to home fans and not the 50 Stevenage / Crawley fans. 

We have to move forward and utilise the better parts of the stadium to generate more revenue for the club. 

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Any major re-building of the  Railway would entail people moving, as happened with the Bycars and Lorne St in the past.  Should we have safe standing, where should it go?

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To me as someone who goes in the Bycars the permanent move to the Hamil makes all the sense in the world. While I totally respect the views of those who have gone in there for decades the truth is as a stand with the limited facilities it is never going to attract new people into it and just looks a sad sight with the odd person dotted around it. Moving to the Hamil still gives a behind the goal view and a proper home end as well as other stuff like really developing the fanzone around there.

Then when the Hamil side of Lorne Street is finished that can be the family stand and not have the issue of being right next to away fans.

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18 minutes ago, Rory said:

I'm more nervous about finding out if we get to keep the Hamil end than I am about the final next Sunday.

I thought it was something to help keep your minds off Saturday's game 😉

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Behind the Bycars between the top and bottom turnstiles there is srub land inside the boundary wall up to the stand put pilings in rsj/girders on top for the floor then build a tea bar with toilet blocks  the toilet blocks could be link to the excisting ones for drainage  you could then use the doors at the back of bycars onto the metal walk way at the back to enter the tea bar and toilets and if closed off from the pitch to sell beer as well.

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5 hours ago, rsb said:

Behind the Bycars between the top and bottom turnstiles there is srub land inside the boundary wall up to the stand put pilings in rsj/girders on top for the floor then build a tea bar with toilet blocks  the toilet blocks could be link to the excisting ones for drainage  you could then use the doors at the back of bycars onto the metal walk way at the back to enter the tea bar and toilets and if closed off from the pitch to sell beer as well.

I believe that it would be possible to improve facilities in the Bycars, using that space inside the boundary.  The question would really be at what cost (Vs any cost associated with changing ends).

Is there sufficient space in the Bycars/Lorne Street turnstile area to close off the area from the pitch to allow sale of alcohol?  The area might be bigger in my mind than in reality.  It's not really somewhere that I spend a lot of time. 

Genuine question, do people think that providing better facilities will increase crowds?

The opening of the Lorne street  didn't seem to, more people migrated from the Bycars to the Lorne street.

If the Hamil end of the Lorne street is opened would we expect bigger crowds or will people move from the Railway to enjoy improved facilities, or would designating it as a family area prevent that happening. 

Where are families currently sitting?  I suspect that most are in the Lorne Street, as the Bycars is largely empty and the Railway Stand/Paddock is where the "hardcore" is located.  

If the Hamil becomes the home end do the "hardcore" move to the Bycars/Lorne street, to enjoy better facilities and engage in banter with away fans, with families moving to the Hamil/Lorne Street.  Would it be good to have the accessability stand between these 2 sets of supporters.

If there is to be a change then I hope that it is part of a long term strategy for Vale Park.  At the moment I suspect that, although the Railway and Bycars are somewhat antiquated, they are probably not bad enough to be considered a priority for upgrade.  They are certainly better than facilities at most league 2 grounds (and league 1 for that matter).

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Quebec_Valiant said:

Genuine question, do people think that providing better facilities will increase crowds?

I think the bottom line is the football will increase crowds. 

However, better facilities may improve matchday revenue (as people may be encouraged to come earlier and/or spend more) and that in turn may help to improve the team. 

I also think in a world where there are so many alternatives (there's our neighbours down the road or simply buying a Sky Sports subscription) you must have decent facilities to compete.

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Agreed that football, and success on the pitch, will drive crowds.

Just feel that outside of that we are just moving people around the ground.  The truth is that both the Bycars and the Hamil have been largely empty for most of this season.

To that extent if you switch the Hamil to a home end I think that it will probably "transfer" more from the Railway than the Bycars, as there is nobody in the Bycars to transfer.

Perhaps  that is fine as, at least, they would have a choice to stay in the Railway or enjoy better facilities in the Hamil.

If the authorities are ok with either end being the away end, any decision doesn't need to be forever.  If it doesn't work we can always change back.  The authorities have been the main constraint when this idea has been raised previously. 

I'd be interested to know if there is a stadium strategy, detailing  stadium development as the football club progresses.  I don't need to know the details, just that there is one.  Perhaps switching ends would allow the Bycars to be put at the bottom of the pecking order for development, as it is fine for away fans. 

Personally I'd be building a 3 tier stand to replace the Railway and the Bycars.  The stand would incorporate a business center, hotel, the Port Vale museum and a gift shop.  Upon completion the capacity of Vale Park would be circa 65,000, in preparation for Champions League football in the 2029/30 season.😎  

Full disclosure, I have no money to pay for this stand.

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