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Archived News from November 2002

5th November 2002 22:04

Radio 5 Live will also be covering the game.
Stags face Sky showdown with students
CHAD website
MANSFIELD Town's FA Cup first round tie will definitely go ahead at the University of Bath campus in front of the Sky TV cameras at noon on Saturday, 16th November.
Stags chairman Keith Haslam reluctantly agreed to the Team Bath proposals on Monday and tickets will go on sale later this week.
In an effort to promote the University campus and facilities, Team Bath are looking to erect temporary seating around their Claverton Down campus football pitch to give a capacity of between 5,000-8,000 but also reduce ticket prices to get as many people in as possible.
At the moment, the Sports Village only has seating for around 100 spectators plus standing room on the sidelines and on an overlooking balcony.
Stags expect to take around 800 supporters to the tie and Team Bath's last game attracted more than 1,500 supporters.
"The FA are satisfied on safety grounds and so we will play it there, though I do have my reservations," said Mr Haslam.
"It is not ideal to have to put up all this temporary seating when we could have played at Bath City, though I can well understand their reasons for wanting to play on the campus.
"The ironic thing is that we have to pay half the cost of erecting the seating which is a strange one to me.
"If we had drawn Manchester United at home when we had terracing and we had asked United to contribute towards the cost of extra crash barriers I can well imagine their response."
He added: "Because they want to promote the University and get people in rather than make money, it means that, without the Sky money, we would be making a loss on this tie.
"We are very grateful they are covering it under the circumstances."
The temporary seating is expected to cost £30,000 while both clubs will get £100,000 each from the screeing on Sky Sports 1.
Radio 5 Live will also be covering the game.
Stags boss Stuart Watkiss was philosophical on the decision and said: "It may suit us better at the campus as there is a big running track around the pitch so it it won't be as hostile as playing on a tight non-League ground where the fans are close to the pitch.
"Also, I understand it is probably a better playing surface at the University."
The student side reached the first round proper of the FA Cup following a dramatic fourth round qualifying victory over Horsham on Monday night.
They are the first university side to go this far in the prestigious competition since Oxford University won the trophy in 1874.
Bath and North East Somerset Council, police, university authorities and the FA have all been involved in discussions to determine whether the game could be played at the ground, before giving the venue the go-ahead.
"This is tremendous news," said Ged Roddy, team manager and the University director of sport. "Everyone has really worked hard to help us with this and we are deeply grateful to them all.
"It will be very satisfying to play in front of our home supporters and to create another first for the University of Bath."
Ground improvements will take place over the next 10 days to provide facilities for the anticipated media interest in the tie as well as designated home and away ends to segregate rival fans.


Latest | November 2002