Home of Bristol City Football and Bristol Bears, Ashton Gate Stadium has recently undergone a £45 million major renovation. It now boasts an impressive 27,000 capacity, and state-of-the-art meeting rooms and conference space. Ashton Gate Stadium is now at the cutting edge of sporting and corporate events.
The team at Ramboll were involved in the demolition of the 86 year-old Wedlock Stand and the construction of the replacement South Stand, the refurbishment and extension of the Dolman Stand, moving the existing field of play by five meters and the replacement of the old Williams Stand with the signature double tier Lansdown Stand.
Delivering a diverse venue
The new Lansdown Stand aesthetically dominates the stadium and features the primary conference facilities, hospitality lounges and corporate boxes. From the outset the client had a desire to create a high-quality corporate venue. The team at Ramboll worked closely with the client and architect (KKA) to challenge the design to provide large column free flexible venue spaces throughout the building. The result provides over 3,500 square meters of exhibition space in a combined concourse, the 1,000-person capacity Lansdown Suite, the 270 square meter Heineken Lounge and 18 executive boxes with an associated business lounge.
The improvements created through the re-development have not only provided an enhanced fan experience on match days but also provided flexible facilities for corporate events, increasing revenue for Bristol Sport. This increase in revenue is channelled back into development for Bristol Sport. The new design has allowed for an increase in non-pitch related activities at the stadium, creating a 365 day a year venue.
Allowing the teams to play on
To minimise the impact on the supporting and visiting crowd and given the highly constrained boundaries and location of the site, it was critical to have an extremely well and meticulously planned phased construction. As a consequence, an extremely tight programme for construction was followed, with the completion of Phases 1 and 2 during the 2014/15 season and Phase 3 during the 2015/16 season.
The success of Bristol Rugby posed another constraint for the construction, as it meant that additional play off fixtures were added, which thus pro-longed the season. Furthermore, Bristol City were Champions of League 1, resulting in capacity attendances towards the end of the season. Work was planned around season ticket sales, meaning that the seating layout design of each phase had to be frozen at key milestones to allow the club to start the sales of season tickets, which is often well before the end of the preceding season.
The permanent control room is located in the West Stand and consequently the original control room was given temporary support during Phase 1 and 2 works and then a temporary facility was provided within the new South Stand during the Phase 3 works.
Providing safe access and egress to the building was a key consideration during the redevelopment process, resulting in the establishment of a Safety Advisory Group. This ensured that safe access and egress was provided at all stages of the development, thereby mitigating the level of risk posed by construction.