Bournemouth's 'overly optimistic' stadium plans on hold

Vitality Stadium
New ground had been expected ahead of 2020-21 season but has now been pushed back with an eye toward a 'healthy financial strategy'

AFC Bournemouth have announced that plans to build a new ground to replace the club’s current Vitality Stadium home have been postponed, admitting that the initial proposal was “overly optimistic.”

In 2016, it had been revealed that club officials were working on securing a new venue on land at the nearby King’s Park, currently featuring an athletics stadium, with the aim of any new facility being ready for the start of the 2020-21 season.

In March, the club declared that it was “continuing to work” with the local council regarding the possibility. However, that plan has now been put back with an eye to finances.

A club statement from the shareholders and board of directors explained: ‘We were overly optimistic that a new stadium would be completed by the summer of 2020.

‘Any future developments will be undertaken around a healthy financial strategy.

‘With regard to the developments, when we have a reliable timeframe we will make those facts known.’

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The Cherries’ Dean Court home – known as the Vitality Stadium – has a capacity of just 11,450, making it the smallest venue in the history of the Premier League – close to 2,000 seats smaller than Oldham Athletic’s Boundary Park, which had been the previous smallest prior to the south coast club’s promotion in 2015.

At the end of the 2017-18 season, manager Eddie Howe acknowledged that the club could “never see the benefits of the Premier League era” without moving to a new stadium.

Under the ownership of Maxim Demin, in January 2018 the club has seen plans for a new training ground approved at the site of the former Canford Magna Golf Club.