Arsenal Protests Curb On Number Of Concerts Permitted At Emirates Stadium
Arsenal has launched a High Court battle "over a curb on the number of concerts that can be held at the Emirates Stadium," according to John Aston of the London INDEPENDENT. The club argued that there was a "clear error" in the decision-making process. Arsenal has applied to "double the number of concerts from three to six at their north London stadium." Opponents have "voiced concerns over noise and rowdy music fans." Concerts featuring Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay and Muse have generated "hundreds of thousands of pounds extra revenue for the club" (INDEPENDENT, 7/22). The BBC reported Islington council "rejected the club's request to hold more gigs at the stadium and in January a planning inspector rejected Arsenal's appeal." The inspector said that the club "could not plead poverty if it could afford to buy a player" like German midfielder Mesut Özil for £43M from Real Madrid last summer. Highbury West councillor Andy Hull said that the authority "refused Arsenal's application 'because it struck the wrong balance' between the local community and the club's commercial interests." Hull said, "Rather than wasting everyone's time and effort with endless appeals about these gigs, Arsenal should engage constructively with us on a range of pressing local issues, from where to park fans' coaches to how to pay their match-day staff a living wage" (BBC, 7/22).