Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Renovating Emirates Stadium – what’s happening when?

Arsenal are planning a series of much-needed renovation projects at Emirates Stadium with the club acknowledging during this week’s Fans Forum that 16 years of wear and tear have taken a toll on our home.

It’s understood that an audit of our facilities was undertaken last summer and that a variety of tasks have since been prioritised for the end of the current season. Some other smaller projects have already been actioned.

Here’s a rundown of what’s taken place and what’s planned…

The roof

When it rains, it leaks. And even when it’s not raining, it leaks. Quotes for the repair work were being finalised back in December and we’ve heard it’s not going to be cheap. Work on the 40-week project is due to start soon. To clarify, don’t expect anything particularly different, it’s just going to be made more ‘robust’ in places.

The exterior crests and player wrap

The paint is peeling off the large club crests and the canvas ‘legends’ wrap is badly faded. Both will be fixed. The club was expecting alternative wrap designs to drop in January and a fan consultation group is being created to help make a final decision. Could we go digital? The London Stadium and Wembley both make use of large-scale screens and one imagines the commercial benefits of such an option could offset some of the costs of installing and running them. That said, they probably wouldn’t be needed everywhere given a large section of the stadium overlooks railway tracks. We’ll have to wait and see.

The big screens

At least twice this season the big screens inside the ground have been on the blink on matchdays. Installed when the ground opened in 2006, they fall a long way short of modern HD standards. The aim is for both to be replaced with bigger and better alternatives in time for the 22/23 season.

Draft beer

Over the years, it’s become a running joke about how long it takes to get a beer at halftime, particularly in the upper tier. The installation of draft beer taps to all upper tier concession stands is now complete.

The turnstile ticket readers

With more and more people using their phones to access the ground, there’s a need to upgrade the ticket readers. While the existing readers work, they can be fiddly and the additional time it takes for someone to get in, when multiplied by thousands, leads to frustrating queues and people missing kick-off. Good to hear they are being replaced.

The PA system

It was bad at Highbury and it’s bad at the Emirates. As we understand it, the aim is for a complete overhaul but it sounds like it’s a long-term ambition rather than something that will happen in the next year or so.

Better mobile connectivity

While we don’t advocate people scrolling on their phone during matches, it’s pretty mental that many can’t even check the scores of other games because there’s little to no mobile reception inside Emirates Stadium. The club is aware and improving the situation is on the to-do list. Again, this is likely to be a long-term project.

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There are definitely other areas that need improving. Many parts of the stadium look like they need a lick of paint, the concrete concourse and stonework in Armoury Square is very tired, many of the plaques in the North Bank Terrace gallery are falling apart and the quality of the food remains a notch below atrocious.

There’s not an endless pot of cash, so it’s right that the club focuses on the biggest stuff, however, as supporters of a club that charges some of the highest ticket prices in world football, it’s well within our rights to hold the Board and owners to account on these matters.

This is our home. We should be proud of it.

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GHunner

No mention of the team and coach? 😛

Johnny 4 Hats

I know you’re joking but I still just do not understand this attitude.

We are playing some really great football with a very young group (mostly bought and all trained by Mikel), a good chance of Champions League football, an actual identity as a football club and a really bright future.

I just can’t understand why there’s still this constant negativity surrounding some of the supporters. Did they expect us to be immediately challenging City and Liverpool with the youngest squad in the prem?

Johnny 4 Hats

Look at United – Players leaking stories about how much they hate training and don’t trust Ralf.
Look at Sp*rs – A manager who bad mouths the club every chance he gets.
Look at Chelsea – A £100m striker saying it’s a bit shit playing for Chelsea.

And look at us – A young group of lads working and training in harmony. Not a sniff of a problem coming from our camp. Just humility and hunger.

It is so easy to forget that for about a decade this has not been the case.

A Different George

Conte, a manager notorious for demanding big spending from the owners, always seemed liked a really bad fit for Spurs. The New York Times recently ran a column by an American Spurs supporter that included this line: “while I don’t support the world’s best team, I do support the world’s funniest.” Hard to argue.

Pete Strong

What great football? Only scored 2 goals in last 6 games. Although the defence has improved it’s come at a cost and performances are generally atrocious to watch. Not seen football this bad since the end of Graham’s era.

Johnny 4 Hats

Wow. So Bruce Rioch was better than Arteta then. Were it not for red cards (which we can argue whether are the coaches fault) we have put in some impressive performances in 2022. Wolves was comfortable until the double yellow. And this is a team that beat both Sp*rs and United recently at their home grounds. Man City was 50/50 until Gabriel’s red card. And we still almost took a point. Liverpool away was an incredible team effort, again with 10 men. And December was an great month with some simply mouth watering football. And plenty of goals. We all… Read more »

Guns Up

Spot on. Only 2 in 6 is poor… but three of them were against two of the best teams in the world. I’m actually proud of the overall performances in three of those as well (Wolves, first leg against Liverpool and City). You can also say we only conceded 5 in 6, playing down a man for a significant portion of three of those. Context matters.

Joe

this comment hasn’t aged well, eh?

James

So Pete we’ve picked up 30 PTS out of a possible 36. in our lat six picked up 15 out of 16pts but only managing to win 5 of the last 6 but only managed to score 2 goals great logic there son

GHunner

I’m glad you at least saw the (poorly received) humor in there.
As for the select fan base negativity, I’ve come to a point where I just accept it as a part of being a supporter. Not ideal, but you live longer that way.
Enjoy the good times, recover from the bad and occasionally laugh at/with yourself.

ParteyPants

Good to hear. I’d actually prefer they didn’t improve connectivity. I was sat behind a guy at the Burnley game answering work emails.

Want to know the other scores? Bring a radio.

FMT

🤣🤣🤣🤣

TeeCee

If someone is daft enough to pay that much just to have different place to sit and do their email, why is that a problem?

ParteyPants

Because someone who actually gave a shit and might make some noise could’ve had their seat instead.

Teryima Adi

Over to you, Stan. Just cough out the cash and let the renovations begin in earnest.

Karl

A roof that didn’t even last 20 years. That’s quite poor.

Johnny 4 Hats

Well Arteta said all along he wanted to raise the ceiling of the club.

DaDude

Wanted to say the same. That’s quite a poor effort by whoever made that. In other parts of the stadium one could say it’s wear and tear caused partly by fans, but the roof? When you read that, you’d think the stadium is 80+ years old.

Karl

I wonder if Highbury needed new roofing every 16 years?

Crash Fistfight

Highbury was built at a time where things were built to last, though. I’m not even saying that as a “things were better in the past” way. If you were to build things the same way as they were 100 years ago, they’d cost a fortune nowadays.

Cliff Bastin

That’s the typical lifespan of waterproofing membranes though.

(First time in my life I am able to use work experience to comment in an arseblog post)

Eric

When they designed the roof, they forgot about the mental rain we have in England and the front few rows will always get it.

Alex

I’d argue that the section facing the railway tracks makes it even more valuable to have screens facing it.

I always get photos of le Bob from mates on their way to London on the train, so the option to broadcast ads to thousands of commuters a day is quite an opportunity.

Alex

Good lord, I sound like a Ferengi…

Greg

The Grand Nagus would be very proud of your commercial endeavours, this will generate much gold-pressed latinum

paulo

Came here to say this, can see it’s been handled

paulo

I get the train past the Emirates (Drayton Park) every day, and could recite every graffer’s tag visible from the tracks. If there were commercial messages to look at instead I would probably buy every one of the featured products on display, pon the daily

Gabigol

That should be a priority. If only the owners came out and said they were tightwads then the commercial team would know they need to create money to spend money. Then they wouldn’t keep sending requests for roof upkeep every year only to see it not appear in the annual budget. I bet they are as in the dark about the reasons why stuff doesn’t get done as much as the rest of us

Old Bloke.

Good news! I have noticed leaks in the roof but have been lucky enough not to sit under one yet. Last game i attended one of the big screens wasn’t working so i got a stiff neck turning round to view the one behind and the PA system is just rubbish even allowing for my dodgy hearing.

Alan L

Just making the seat numbers visible would help no- regulars

James T

Modern stadia have a strong emphasis on digital atmosphere. Whether that be lighting shows, video reels, pyro, digital content and music. The emirates is atrocious at all of these. Take a look at the Rams new stadium (albeit with a huge cost) but that’s the gold standard. We’re far, far below even a bronze standard nowadays.

Graeb

The cost of all the works probably is less than we’d pay for a second-string full back . Paying fans deserve the same luxuries as sponsors – don’t go all advertising on us please.

Gabigol

Is Josh and Stan the two people downvoting every comment?

215Arse

The meat pies are absolutely awful.

Torterrier

All the food is grim and over-priced. Big improvements needed.

Dimma

The pizzas are frozen goodfelllas ones, so seems a bit of a con paying £5 for a quarter slice. For a relatively new stadium it is becoming slightly outdated. Hopefully the improvements get done asap, it wouldnt take much to bring it back up to scratch

Graeb

Lower areas feel like the worst rail stations ( or even prison blocks?) and are not conducive to attracting fans – all very utilitarian. Standards seem to be set for the worst of visitors who may make a mess; maybe making them attractive would bring out the best in people. At least upstairs fans have views over London.

Goonerink

Exec level is nice enough if you ever get the chance

JB1

Curious — can we ever get the front row seats moved closer to the pitch ? I know there was an ambulance / safety issue. But other new grounds seem to have their goal-end seats starting much closer to the pitch.
Would it help improve atmosphere 🤷🏻‍♂️

mjc1892

I think the atmosphere has been markedly better this season than any of the others I’ve had my season ticket.
I just think the better the team, the more corporate/ tourist attendees you get. As such, we haven’t had as many lately..
None of the big teams have great atmosphere for regular games particularly. Just comes with the territory unfortunately.

PatRicesGlasses

It’s interesting reading about all this following the superb-owl-spotlight on Stan’s other ($6 Billion?) stadium in the US. Wonder if he’s starting to notice the difference?!

Anders Limpar

What is this owl spotlight you speak off? Superb or not I only get pictures of various owls (who’d of thunk it) when I did a quick google.

Brady’s bunch

While they’re at it they might do something to honor the man whose back they built it off.

Mesut ÖNeill

Yes about time David Dein got recognition!!

Brady’s bunch

😂

Tommmy

At least it doesn’t look like a toilet bowl

TeeCee

It also doesn’t have sp*rs playing in it. That’s a big plus.

Tommmy

I don’t mind them playing in it once a year for a hiding

Okester

The mobile service improvement would be great. Finding out what a VAR check is for is the only way for those in the ground to have any clue what fuckery is occurring. I don’t mind the leaky roof as it’s funny watching people getting soaked on a sunny day.
I’m sure my opinion isn’t n this would change if said leaks ever make it to my section!

Badaab

kse have spent a considerable amount of time and money on concession upgrades here for rapids and avs/nuggets games, so thats at least a sign they will invest in these areas- but likely because they know any costs are immediately offset by the customer.

A. Williams

Errmm, maybe a new stadium while you’re at it

Qwaliteee

I’ve been thinking for some time that the seats need replacing too. They’re badly weathered and faded. Our colours are red and white, not salmon pink and cream.

Crash Fistfight

I’ve seen videos on YouTube of people renovating plastic stadium seating by taking a (I think it’s called) roofing torch to them. Unfortunately, seeing as how the Emirates seats have that padded bit I think they’d need to be completely replaced.

Pete Plum

Anything to reduce half time queues. More cannons. Don’t mind a bit of peeling paint

PJK

More cannons – agree that will fix everything .. 🙂

Rezatron

Statue of Wenger. Get it done.

Crash Fistfight

I know it doesn’t really affect the fan experience, but it would look nicer if the roof-mounted speakers weren’t covered in rust, too.

Ben

Regarding the player wrap replacement, the club should definitely be exploring digital screens.

It will help to make the stadium feel more modern, build atmosphere, and provide revenue through advertising.

It’s a no brainer.

Are there any details of this fan consultation group?

How can we ensure that a digital option is being seriously assessed/considered?

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