General Rage Online - Grenoble Road - Holding OUFC back?

willgreen

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I filled in for Paul at Accrington last week and was at the home game on Saturday, so I thought I'd write about the general matchday experience at OUFC from an outsider's perspective.
The title talks about the ground but the general gist of the piece is more about OUFC behind the scenes (hence why it's in this thread instead of the stadium section).

The piece is here:

Once again, feel free to give me any feedback or constructive criticism.
Cheers, Will
 

Malc

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As somebody who has only been to theKa$$am a few times I have to say that I agree 100% Will
 

werthersoriginal

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Yes I’d agree with this. I actually stopped going when we moved to the new ground and only started again when we went down as I felt they really needed the support. I’m more reconciled to the ground now as I have a really good seat in the ssl and live in walking distance, but there’s not much in its favour otherwise. It is really hard to get to for many people and just not visible in the ordinary run of things unless you go to the plasticky leisure park. Reopening the rail line could make a crucial difference, with signage at Oxford station.
 

ZeroTheHero

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I don't think it's much of a secret that the stadium is much less than ideal. To your list of gripes, I would add that the stands are simply too far from the pitch. I suspect it *would* feel better if it were 'ours' (or at least not Kassam's - I'm not convinced this or any other stadium will ever belong to the club), but even then it wouldn't improve matters that much. The loss of the Priory as a pre-match venue is another huge factor.

I'm still not convinced we'll be moving any time soon though, so we may have to make the best of it we can. You are correct though - as some sort of 'destination' it leaves a lot to be desired.
 

Fred

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In what way is it difficult to get to?
Ok by car, ok by bus?
 

werthersoriginal

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Bus takes ages and by car you can’t get out of the car park - which is why you see people leaving just as it’s getting exciting
 

Fred

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Are the stands that far from the pitch?
Could the pitch be bigger?
 

Fred

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Compared to many grounds yes. And the pitch couldn't be made big enough to fill the gap.
Are we close to maximum pitch size?
I still think we are blaming the Kassam stadium wrongly if we had 12 thousand each game the atmosphere would be good. It would not make any sense being back at the manor type stadium with 6 thousand capacity.
 

Fred

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I mean from town or the station.
Surely overall the Stadium being close to the ringroad is best?
Although I can see lots of advantages if the stadium was by the Icerink! When I can't walk from Sandford to the stadium I will park along one of the bus routes.
 

ZeroTheHero

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Are we close to maximum pitch size?
I still think we are blaming the Kassam stadium wrongly if we had 12 thousand each game the atmosphere would be good.
Yes, it would be great. But that wasn't the point made in the article. The question was whether the stadium is in itself an 'attraction' or a positive hindrance in attracting casual (actually hopefully 'new'!) supporters. To get to a string of 12,000 sell out games we would need to attract another 4000-5000 per 'normal' game and to do that you can either a) play lovely football, get promoted and let the crowd numbers sort themselves out or b) somehow attract an ever increasing number of people to come anyway. In these days where there is ever increasing competition for people's money, ever more leisure attractions and wall to wall football on the telly, you have to have a pretty appealing 'product/experience' to bring in the uncommitted. Personally (and I suspect I am not alone) I don't think the Kassam helps in that regard. And the truth is to achieve a) you need more money and b) would very much help that anyway!
 

iambungle

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Most grounds have some form of transport problems one way or another.

Anymore updates on the idea of a science park train station?

Especially 'out of town' ones. I thought i saw an article in the online OM recently about some people protesting about the lack of progress on the Cowley branch line, so I'm guessing no!
 

werthersoriginal

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Especially 'out of town' ones. I thought i saw an article in the online OM recently about some people protesting about the lack of progress on the Cowley branch line, so I'm guessing no!
I think it’s on the cards but not imminent
 

iambungle

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I filled in for Paul at Accrington last week and was at the home game on Saturday, so I thought I'd write about the general matchday experience at OUFC from an outsider's perspective.
The title talks about the ground but the general gist of the piece is more about OUFC behind the scenes (hence why it's in this thread instead of the stadium section).

The piece is here:

Once again, feel free to give me any feedback or constructive criticism.
Cheers, Will

Can't argue with you about the shitness of the stadium.

However, I'm not sure many oxford fans used to drink or generally mill about the City Centre even when we are at the Manor, although that was probably because Headington had plenty of pubs etc. Probably because the city centre itself is difficult to get in to and then out of again!

I was up in Leeds city centre a few weeks back accompanying my daughter who was having a look round the uni. I didn't see anyone wearing a Leeds shirt (fair enough, they were playing away) and didn't see any signs etc to Elland Road (even from the motorway into the City, so is the lack of branding in Ox City Centre really that odd? To counter that, I work in Reading and I see people wandering around Reading town centre wearing branded merchandise all the time. They've got an out of town ground so they must be doing something right, though it pains me to say it.

For those that don't drive, buses to BBL are very frequent and the journey on the few times i've done it takes 20-30mins. Is that really "ages"?
 

christenedinjericho

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24 Dec 2017
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I filled in for Paul at Accrington last week and was at the home game on Saturday, so I thought I'd write about the general matchday experience at OUFC from an outsider's perspective.
The title talks about the ground but the general gist of the piece is more about OUFC behind the scenes (hence why it's in this thread instead of the stadium section).

The piece is here:

Once again, feel free to give me any feedback or constructive criticism.
Cheers, Will
Read your article with interest but found your findings slightly skewed. I totally agree that there is a lot to improve but hey have you been to many away games (stadium's) as the experience I and many others experience fortnightly I can tell you isn't too beautiful either.

Let me tell you the ozone is completely plastic but there is somewhere /some places to lay ones stomach unlike some grounds you visit where you couldn't lay a house brick.

Firstly who the heck would be happy with the fill me up before you go go stadium? Circa 6k capacity, open ended, nothing around it, a walk to the toilet's which are positioned not underneath a stand for any comfort in cold weather and of the parking in side roads which isn't my ideal match day experience but it's what it is. Now take Pompey. Stadium atmosphere is granted ok but luxurious it certainly isn't. Bolt on seats to a somewhat windswept terrace, tiny portakabin toilet's, nothing too close in the vicinity to add to the big match feel. Also, if you ask many other away day trippers to Pompey most will say it's not the best in facilities and comfort, and the view from the shallow seating is poor, something you say apart from the ssu the rest of the kassam is which to me is again skewed, as most visitors to the kassam actually say this is one of the better aspect's of our ground if they are truthful.

Rochdale? Fleetwood? Brizzle Rovers? Gillingham? Southend? AFC Wimbledon? Peterborough (side seating etc) all have loads of facility issues and all need massive shake ups to attract new punter's etc etc. I'm not in the camp saying the kassam is anything special but it is definitely not as bleak a day out as some and I really do believe you perhaps haven't been to some of these away grounds on a regular basis.

Take Millwall, nothing of anything around it apart from a few miles back at London bridge but do we when we go there harp on about how far things are from the ground? No you take what's on offer and stay away from the toast in the Millwall cafe. The ground is a near cheap carbon copy of the kassam albeit with another stand. Do they moan in the Barry Kitchener stand about the ground...you bet they do but they work the system and get on with it. Atmosphere wise it can be as bad as ours at times so l've been told...but when there is over 10k in the den it can work to there advantage...just like our ground can do when the crowds rise.

Of the others left untouched is: Bolton, Sunderland, Rotherham, Ipswich etc etc the grounds are a mix some old school some new builds in the last 10/20 years but have an albeit probable better experience than ours at the moment but with a regular group of real across the board oufc fans apparently meeting with oufc representatives other than getting a forth stand built I'm hoping whilst we are there the whole shebang improves in time for this potentially great team to pull in bigger crowds.

Our city centre is a great location for away fans who have a little more time on their hands before a match and yes there should be a real concerted effort from our marketing team to get more brand exposure in the city centre immediately.

Most of the away fans like PB seem to find many alternatives than drinking right bang on any away grounds doorsteps! This can happen at oufc believe me -ask our Sunderland friends as many really enjoyed the city centre with ease and still got into the game on time.

In wrapping up... there is plenty to improve on and yes the breeze block is in need but believe me there are lots of shockers out there and anyone reading your assessment could be forgiven if they give up coming back or coming for the first time.

With everybody's input chipping in whilst we are here try for FFS to big the place up more than run it down as there are a lot of people I believe all trying to pull in the right direction to get the club to where it should and could be. Remember folks any new ground could be light years away and moaning about stuff for the next few years is so bloody negative to all concerned.

Fan numbers will improve I'm sure and as I've said to many others we have still yet to play the so called bigger away followers so yes fan engagement will snowball with a successful side and it is total b*llocks that we haven't got more than a 6.5k fan base. If we ever got another (West) stand seating aka copy of the East stand we would with success and giving away followings at least 2.5k have easily at the middle to back end of this season many 10 to 12k crowds plus. And even without a stand this season crowds could still reach a few 10 k's. Then if the championship beckoned then 10 to 14k plus crowds would probably be the norm for a few seasons given the big championship clubs visiting.That's if of course a temporary stand was in place and was big enough and that plans for a permanent stand was fully supported to follow.Titillation to the ground would not work if somebody/whoever purchased the gaff...proper classic football stadium remedial work only.

I'm not a kassam disciple by any means- I'm a person who believes that the ground if bought is actually in a position with the real world in terms of the populus of the area. If you can't build in the city centre then B/Leys is ok for me. Real people to build another young generation to support the club in the future years moving forward. Once the building of new homes engulf the other side of the road the ground would become hedged in giving the ground a not so out in the sticks feel. At this point I must also state I'm not a Leezer disciple either. Moving would/could probably dismantle things again. Also reallocating to another out of city location could see the club lurch sideways in terms of support again as the building of any entertainment around the ground would still be regarded as somewhat plastic again. However, with the overground train line (Cowley) being properly mooted at the moment transportation from the city centre to matches could be more than a one trick pony. Home and away fans could use the city centre spending £££s and then take the train to the game and before people smell trouble I and lots of others took the train to the Ricoh with Coventry fans from Coventry station without too much fuss...so it could/would work especially with stewardship from the police and others.

Obviously if the gang at the top pulled out the large rabbit and moved and it was just what the doctor ordered then great I'll wait (although I'm getting older and impatient to get at the tramps in the next division) and support whatever...but for me the infastructure and ground is already here with potential, potential for the right team (management) and at the moment we have the right team on the pitch with the right manager and to me the right area as well.

Feel free to slaughter me.

Coyy's.

Oh I forgot to mention Wycombe's sort of ground. Forgotten already.
 

LowerSouth

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2,644
Read your article with interest but found your findings slightly skewed. I totally agree that there is a lot to improve but hey have you been to many away games (stadium's) as the experience I and many others experience fortnightly I can tell you isn't too beautiful either.

Let me tell you the ozone is completely plastic but there is somewhere /some places to lay ones stomach unlike some grounds you visit where you couldn't lay a house brick.

Firstly who the heck would be happy with the fill me up before you go go stadium? Circa 6k capacity, open ended, nothing around it, a walk to the toilet's which are positioned not underneath a stand for any comfort in cold weather and of the parking in side roads which isn't my ideal match day experience but it's what it is. Now take Pompey. Stadium atmosphere is granted ok but luxurious it certainly isn't. Bolt on seats to a somewhat windswept terrace, tiny portakabin toilet's, nothing too close in the vicinity to add to the big match feel. Also, if you ask many other away day trippers to Pompey most will say it's not the best in facilities and comfort, and the view from the shallow seating is poor, something you say apart from the ssu the rest of the kassam is which to me is again skewed, as most visitors to the kassam actually say this is one of the better aspect's of our ground if they are truthful.

Rochdale? Fleetwood? Brizzle Rovers? Gillingham? Southend? AFC Wimbledon? Peterborough (side seating etc) all have loads of facility issues and all need massive shake ups to attract new punter's etc etc. I'm not in the camp saying the kassam is anything special but it is definitely not as bleak a day out as some and I really do believe you perhaps haven't been to some of these away grounds on a regular basis.

Take Millwall, nothing of anything around it apart from a few miles back at London bridge but do we when we go there harp on about how far things are from the ground? No you take what's on offer and stay away from the toast in the Millwall cafe. The ground is a near cheap carbon copy of the kassam albeit with another stand. Do they moan in the Barry Kitchener stand about the ground...you bet they do but they work the system and get on with it. Atmosphere wise it can be as bad as ours at times so l've been told...but when there is over 10k in the den it can work to there advantage...just like our ground can do when the crowds rise.

Of the others left untouched is: Bolton, Sunderland, Rotherham, Ipswich etc etc the grounds are a mix some old school some new builds in the last 10/20 years but have an albeit probable better experience than ours at the moment but with a regular group of real across the board oufc fans apparently meeting with oufc representatives other than getting a forth stand built I'm hoping whilst we are there the whole shebang improves in time for this potentially great team to pull in bigger crowds.

Our city centre is a great location for away fans who have a little more time on their hands before a match and yes there should be a real concerted effort from our marketing team to get more brand exposure in the city centre immediately.

Most of the away fans like PB seem to find many alternatives than drinking right bang on any away grounds doorsteps! This can happen at oufc believe me -ask our Sunderland friends as many really enjoyed the city centre with ease and still got into the game on time.

In wrapping up... there is plenty to improve on and yes the breeze block is in need but believe me there are lots of shockers out there and anyone reading your assessment could be forgiven if they give up coming back or coming for the first time.

With everybody's input chipping in whilst we are here try for FFS to big the place up more than run it down as there are a lot of people I believe all trying to pull in the right direction to get the club to where it should and could be. Remember folks any new ground could be light years away and moaning about stuff for the next few years is so bloody negative to all concerned.

Fan numbers will improve I'm sure and as I've said to many others we have still yet to play the so called bigger away followers so yes fan engagement will snowball with a successful side and it is total b*llocks that we haven't got more than a 6.5k fan base. If we ever got another (West) stand seating aka copy of the East stand we would with success and giving away followings at least 2.5k have easily at the middle to back end of this season many 10 to 12k crowds plus. And even without a stand this season crowds could still reach a few 10 k's. Then if the championship beckoned then 10 to 14k plus crowds would probably be the norm for a few seasons given the big championship clubs visiting.That's if of course a temporary stand was in place and was big enough and that plans for a permanent stand was fully supported to follow.Titillation to the ground would not work if somebody/whoever purchased the gaff...proper classic football stadium remedial work only.

I'm not a kassam disciple by any means- I'm a person who believes that the ground if bought is actually in a position with the real world in terms of the populus of the area. If you can't build in the city centre then B/Leys is ok for me. Real people to build another young generation to support the club in the future years moving forward. Once the building of new homes engulf the other side of the road the ground would become hedged in giving the ground a not so out in the sticks feel. At this point I must also state I'm not a Leezer disciple either. Moving would/could probably dismantle things again. Also reallocating to another out of city location could see the club lurch sideways in terms of support again as the building of any entertainment around the ground would still be regarded as somewhat plastic again. However, with the overground train line (Cowley) being properly mooted at the moment transportation from the city centre to matches could be more than a one trick pony. Home and away fans could use the city centre spending £££s and then take the train to the game and before people smell trouble I and lots of others took the train to the Ricoh with Coventry fans from Coventry station without too much fuss...so it could/would work especially with stewardship from the police and others.

Obviously if the gang at the top pulled out the large rabbit and moved and it was just what the doctor ordered then great I'll wait (although I'm getting older and impatient to get at the tramps in the next division) and support whatever...but for me the infastructure and ground is already here with potential, potential for the right team (management) and at the moment we have the right team on the pitch with the right manager and to me the right area as well.

Feel free to slaughter me.

Coyy's.

Oh I forgot to mention Wycombe's sort of ground. Forgotten already.
This.
 

willgreen

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Lot said in here that makes sense, but - the fact that other clubs have rubbish grounds doesn't mean we should accept ours being rubbish. It is rubbish. It harms the club. I personally think our stadium is worse than all of the aforementioned except Bristol Rovers and Gillingham, but even so, if we want to progress we need to build a stadium better than the one we currently have. I appreciate your point that our ground is not terrible - perhaps I was laying it on a bit thick - but I do disagree in that we should accept the Ka$$am purely because other clubs have grounds as bad as it. If we adopt that mentality our club will never get anywhere.
As you said, though, COYY
 
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