Lionel Road Fans Forum feedback part 2

These additional are notes from the forum which focussed on Brentford FC’s plans for a new stadium at Lionel Road – many thanks to Adam Hobbs for providing these..

This is the tightest of all sites that architects AFL have worked on and is very unique.

Funding:
The stadium costs will be funded from the sale of Griffin Park and the three corner plots at Lionel Road. Each corner plot could go to a different developer to maximize profit. The club has also identified two other sites which it is in negotiation with to either purchase or partner with, these are in Lionel Road on the west side of Lionel Road South and in between the eastern railway line and Capital Interchange Way.

Differences with this plan and the Barratt plan:
Barratt’s proposal had a plan for car parking under the pitch this required huge construction costs as the weight of a pitch is considerable. It would have required a large initial cash flow and probably would have delayed development, the Police were not too keen on this for security reasons, it would have also caused access issues. They have spoken to a lot of experts and agreed that putting parking elsewhere is the better option. Barratt were taking on the whole development and trying to recoup the cost by selling all residential units, which given the market was no longer viable, Barratt were aiming for a 20% profit on the entire development.

Facilities:
Number of Bars/Kiosks in the concourse is recommended to be between 30% and 50% occupancy at any given time, we are nearer 50%. It is hard to recreate the four pubs theme as it is very tight and we have to allow for escape stairs.

Toilet gender split is 70%/30% Gents:Ladies, this is to cater for Rugby where more women attend.

The 1st floor on the West Stand is a future fit out area, potentially for a hotel or other facilities, there is also another fit out area on the 1st floors of the East and South Stand, the latter could used as the offices for the Rugby club.
Non sporting uses (eg Music events):
Acoustics and dynamic frequencies would need to be looked at for music concerts as these are different to those that are required for a football crowd. There is an access point onto the pitch to allow for stage construction etc. The crowd would still be limited to 20,000 for safety reasons.

Premium seating:
Opinion is that people do not want to be cooped up in a box but would prefer a premium seating option (padded seats & arm rests). Payment for this would probably require a five year term with an up front fee and then an ongoing monthly payment. The customer could then choose to partake in a either 3 course meal, a buffet, use the bar or nothing.

The ticket would be transferable to friends or clients and there could potentially be dual tickets for Rugby and Football. An outside marketing agency was used to sell 2,800 premium seats at Brighton and we are talking to them.
Hotel on the West Stand:
There is potential for a hotel to be attached to the west stand, this is sized at 140 rooms over 12 floors. Hotel financing is poor at the moment, so it is more likely to be 5-10 years before we could realistically sell the plot for this. Lack of car parking will be a problem but this is the only plan with potential as the commercial market is dead and there is no market for retail, except perhaps a Tesco Express at the bottom.
Parking:
It was discussed about parking for the club shop and this will be looked at. There is very little parking, the land that would normally be used for parking we are selling for development. Disabled car parking will be looked at.

Acoustics:
Aim is to make the stadium as noisy as possible by directing sound correctly so it can be heard from all stands

Floodlighting:
The North Stand is too low for flood lights to be installed along the roof, therefore Pylon or single pole based flood lights are the preferred approach. Griffin Park currently has lighting at 400lx, the plan for the new stadium is at least 800lx. Sky TV now require 1700lx for HD and 3D coverage!

Access:
There will 24/25 rows with approximately 48-50 steps to the top of the stand. Concerns were raised about the number of steps and the positioning of the entrance to the concourse, however it was pointed out that the same number of steps will have to be walked up whether it is to the seats pitch side or within the concourse. The terrace depth will be 760mm, the UEFA idealistic depth is 800mm, however this is still much deeper than what is at GP.

We have maximised the rake of the seats as much as possible, this will make it a fantastic viewing point as it will be quite steep.

Access to the East Stand will be via a new footbridge over the railway line and into Capital Interchange Way. There is also tunnel owned by Network Rail which goes from Capital Interchange Way direct onto the London Bound platform at Kew Bridge. In an emergency all fans must be in a safe area (usually the concourse) within eight minutes.

There is a choice of disabled viewing platforms either at pitch level or at the back of the Upper Tier in all areas of the ground. AFL would like to talk to a disabled supporters group of representatives if we have one. There will be lifts on all four sides of the stadium.

Sustainability:
The stadium will have the maximum sustainability rating and will be classed as ‘BREEAM Excellent’ we could potentially install solar panels but that takes up valuable advertising space.

Undersoil heating:
Undersoil heating will be installed and operational from day one

Cost:
Approximate cost is £2,000 per seat, however treat these figures with caution as the likely total cost is expected to be nearer £50m, other stadiums builds may exclude some costs when quoting their per seat cost.

Sponsorship:
There is a potential shortfall for financing and this could be raised via sponsorship. Saracens sold their stadium naming rights for £8m. Aim is to get the club operating at break even, we have a highly visible site from the air and the M4 and in general we would expect to sell more perimeter boards, raise more from match sponsorship etc. Even in League One we would double our income.

Traffic &Transport:
The club are in consultation with local residents to help mitigate their concerns, lack of car parking should mean less traffic than usual for a new stadium. The club will attempt to solve the existing problems at Kew Bridge Station and also the traffic coming over Kew Bridge, we want to give them something that is better than what they already have.

On average fans arrive at the ground over a two hour spread before kick-off but all try to leave within 30 minutes. There will be a transport survey being carried out at one game this month, please assist the club by taking part if asked.

Ideally we would like to keep away fans away from the Chiswick area, coaches will be parked in Capital Interchange Way. Away fans will exit on the A4 or over the new footbridge into Capital Interchange Way.

The club would like more people to travel by bicycle or tube, there is plenty of capacity on the trains and the tube particularly for Saturday games where the peak demand would not be any greater than normal peak evening travel.

The junction at Kew Bridge Road and Lionel Road South will be redesigned, this was something that Hounslow council have already been looking at as there will be a new Cycle Super Highway running down Brentford High Street towards the Chiswick Roundabout.

South West Trains are introducing 10 carriage trains soon and there have been platform extension works being carried out across the network. The 235 bus will be extended to the new Barratt development (Great West Quarter), possibly some investigation into whether changes could be made for the E2 and E8 that currently terminate at Commerce Way.

BIAS survey
Please complete the BIAS survey which ALL Brentford fans are being encouraged to complete to provide input into Lionel Road.

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