League One side Oldham Athletic will be operating with a three-sided ground during the 2008-09 season. They are currently in the process of demolishing the Broadway Stand, which is situated on the north side of the ground running the side of the pitch opposite the Main Stand. For those who have visited the ground before, this is the stand situated to your right as you look out from the Rochdale Road Away End.
At present Oldham have cleared the land behind the stand, and are now in the process of ripping out seating and other moveable items before the bulldozers move in on the stand. The objective is to entirely clear that side of the ground before the season starts, with construction beginning on a replacement stand in early 2009. The construction project is expected to last 16 months and therefore be ready for the start of the 2010-11 season.
Current plans are for a 5,200 capacity replacement stand that will ultimately become Oldham's new Main Stand. Facilities built into the plans include a new club shop, dressing rooms, conferencing and banqueting facilities and lettable office space. The wider plan is for Oldham to eventually demolish and rebuild three sides of the ground to produce a 16,000 capacity stadium that will be redubbed the 'Oldham Arena' although the current thinking is that this is merely the precursor to allow the Boundary Park land to take on corporate stadium sponsorship. Only the Rochdale Road End will survive from the current ground.
Oldham's expectation is that the main demolition of the Broadway Stand, which was built in 1971, will be complete by next week, with the site fully cleared by the time matches start to be played at Boundary Park.
For the away supporter, this is likely to mean some new arrangements to cope with the reduced capacity of 10,638 which will be in operation for next season. The Rochdale Road End holds 4,609 spectators, but is able to be split into one section of 1,620 spectators and another section holding 2,989. Thus this stand is likely to be a little more crowded than usual, with home fans allocated significant space in the stand. Oldham anticipate that for the majority of league matches, away fans will be allocated the smaller section, but provisions have been made for the allocation to be swapped around where an away side is expected to bring a significant following.
Yeovil Town travel to play Oldham Athletic on November 1st 2008, and therefore should see a fully cleared site where the Broadway Stand is currently (but not for much longer) situated.