League One side Bristol Rovers have announced that they now do not plan to relocate from the Memorial Stadium during the redevelopment of their ground. Rovers were due to be groundsharing at Whaddon Road this season, but pulled out of a deal with Cheltenham Town over the summer after their plans had to be put on hold due to one of their backers pulling out of the project.
Rovers now believe that they can complete the work, which will require the redevelopment of all four sides of the Memorial Stadium, whilst still staging both football and rugby matches at the ground. They claim that a minimum 8,500 capacity will be maintained at all times, with capacity rising above 10,000 during other periods of the building programme.
Their revised plans are still provisional. In order to stage matches at the ground whilst stadium construction is underway, they still have to gain permission from the Football League, Football Foundation, Football Licencing Authority, Bristol City Council, Statutory Services and the Safety Advisory Group. However they have already informed Cheltenham Town and Bristol Rugby Club of their revised plans.
The last known date was for work at the Memorial Stadium to begin during May 2009. However, the club admit that "due to the current turmoil in the financial markets, it is not certain that we will be able to achieve the necessary funding in the manner we first planned, and the board are now exploring alternative proposals with various other parties". Rovers claim that they will able to make an announcement regarding the funding of the project by January 2009.
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