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SBD Global/January 18, 2013/Facilities

League Two Bristol Rovers To Build New Stadium After Local Council Approves Stadium Sale

League Two side Bristol Rovers have been given the go ahead to build a new stadium. Local councillors voted on Tuesday to approve a proposal by supermarket chain Sainsbury's to redevelop the Memorial Stadium site. This allows Rovers to press ahead with building the UWE Stadium in the village of Frenchay (Bristol Rovers). The BBC reported Rovers Chair Nick Higgs said that "the approval of the sale of the Memorial Stadium is the biggest day in the Pirates' history." Higgs said, "It's like winning the Champions League." The construction of the new £40M ($64M) stadium "is expected to start in the summer to be ready in time for the start" of the '15 season (BBC, 1/17). The BRISTOL POST reported most people "accept the club needs the money from the sale of the current ground to the supermarket chain in order to help fund the cost of the new stadium." However, campaigners against the store said that "it was too big, would hit independent traders in nearby Gloucester Road and cause traffic problems." Both Liberal Democrat Bishopston ward councillors David Willingham and Bev Knott said that "they supported Bristol Rovers getting a new stadium but believed the cost on the local community was too great." Knott said: "It is so obviously good for Rovers to be able to move to their new stadium. But the application before us is for a supermarket that is far too big" (BRISTOL POST, 1/17).
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