Open to all! York stadium will operate at full 8,500-seat capacity for the first time on Saturday
For the first time since it opened, York’s new stadium will operate at full capacity this Saturday (6 November).
It means thousands more fans can cheer on York City and York City Knights.
Following further assessments of match-day arrangements, venue operator York Stadium Management Company was granted an ‘unrestricted’ certificate by the city’s safety at sports advisory group (SAG) yesterday (Tuesday).
That means the LNER Community Stadium can open all 8,500 seats. It comes as a big crowd is expected for York City’s first round FA Cup clash with Buxton this Saturday.
It comes three months into the new football season. YorkMix reported how hundreds of City fans were dismayed after missing out on the first game in August because the capacity was reduced to just 2,000.
This was because the SAG had not received information that the stadium operator had met a list of safety requirements. Management then launched a review into the problems.
More capacity has been released since then, but far short of the full 8,500.
Cllr Darryl Smalley, executive member for culture, leisure and communities, said: “It is fantastic news that even more people can attend matches, and hope it is just the boost York City need ahead of a big cup match.”
Martin Jesper, general manager of the York Stadium Management Company, said: “Over the last couple of months we have invested in, and implemented, a number of initiatives and processes to ensure that this increase in capacity has been possible and also that the infrastructure is in place to embed continual improvements in match day operations, the functionality of the ticketing system and also the quality of the pitch.
“These initiatives have included a restructuring of key management and operating roles, investment in additional training, IT hardware & software and the purchase of lighting to preserve the high quality of the pitch throughout the year.
“Since the stadium opened in May 2021, and with the operational maturity of the stadium continuing to evolve, we have addressed a variety of implementation issues that have been brought to our attention either directly by the clubs using the facilities or their supporters.
“We have greatly valued that ongoing feedback as it has allowed us to improve the way we operate behind the scenes whilst also welcoming more than 28,000 spectators during the three months to September.
“The lifting of the stadium’s capacity to ‘unrestricted’ is a significant milestone in becoming the region’s leading community sports stadium.”