Feedback from the Farewell to Griffin Park Focus Group

The ‘Farewell Griffin Park’ focus group meeting was held on 11th March. This topic, which covers the full season rather than just the final match, was largely seen at the moment as a ‘blank piece of paper’. So the Club is open to ideas, some of which will be funded, some facilitated but not funded, and some rejected. Some would require a business case in order to be realised.

GP has to be handed to the developers in July 2020.

What should we do to say Farewell to Griffin Park?

The following were discussed:-

  • The Club is investigating selling parts of GP, such as seats, turnstiles etc, and is discussing with various providers. There needs to be a risk & reward evaluation.
  • The Club will request that the final regular league match of 2019-20 is at GP rather than away, and are wondering whether there would be demand for the final match at GP to be shown on big screens at Lionel Road. Regardless of the play-offs, the last regular league game would be the one recognised for celebration.
  • The only way for supporters to guarantee a ticket for the final match at GP is to be a Season Ticket holder. Members will have a chance. The Club will not close membership for next season.
  • It is hoped that the B team can be a part of the season farewell, as they play at GP and are part of the future of BFC.
  • There could be an evening event at GP after the last match, maybe the players awards the following day, or something else.
  • There may be commercial events, and a charity match with supporters playing is an option.
  • Stadium tours could be offered in conjunction with the latter.
  • It would be a good idea to have actual tickets printed for the final match, as a souvenir (ST holders would normally use their season cards for entry, so thought would need to be given as to whether the final match would be ticket entry only).

What do fans want to organise?

A walk from Griffin Park to Lionel Road, or a “chain” was discussed. This idea had also come up in the discussions around New Stadium Events at Lionel Road.

How do we say goodbye and remember Griffin Park but also ensure that the legacy lives on at the New Stadium?

Points made in discussion were as follows:-

  • Recognising Brentford’s 100% home league record of 21 wins in 1929-30, in some way, was considered a good idea.
  • Moving the centre circle from GP to LR was probably a ‘no-go’ as LR will have a Deso pitch.
  • A suggestion was made that material from GP could be used to create a memorial at the new ground e.g. a bell.
  • The Club are looking at ideas for who could ‘turn the lights off’ at our final night match.
  • A big screen may be brought in for the final match, to show key/best goals at GP. There is the opportunity for other ideas in this area. One idea that could be linked to this is a recreation of moments from our first game at GP in 1904.
  • The Club is in the process of trying to obtain historical footage with a view to showing them on the current screens at GP as soon as possible. The intention would be for the footage to be shown over the course of the final season.
  • They are looking at doing ‘something different’ with the matchday programmes next season, but there are no specifics yet.
  • The Club are looking a retail range – clothing, mugs etc.
  • There is an opportunity to work with the iconic four pubs next season.
  • There are also some discussions with Fullers Brewery, to see if they would like to get involved in some way, given that the site of the old Oxford & Cambridge pub where the club was founded is close to the One over the Ait. One suggestion is a suitable plaque, located in a suitable position that cannot easily be defaced.
  • A model of GP is under consideration – finance and location play a part here. Smaller individual models can be considered too. The risk could be passed externally through licensing.
  • A memorial service could be held, to recognise figures lost during our time at GP, possibly a week after the last match. On a similar theme, an online memorial book could be opened – this would also be an opportunity for supporters to express their feelings for GP itself.