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An Embankment football stadium: The case for

A group set up to argue the need for a new stadium for Posh on the Embankment has also grown rapidly in popularity - just like one putting forward the opposite view.
Chris Turner statue
Chris Turner statue at Posh ground

Earlier today Peterborough Matters covered the creation of the Save Peterborough Embankment Facebook group, set up to put forward concerns that the proposed location of Posh's new ground will be the death of another green space in the city

However over the weekend another group has also been set up by Posh fans - Peterborough Embankment Stadium - with almost a thousand having already joined in a couple of days.

Likely to be a 20,000 seater and capable of holding more than 200 events a year, the new stadium may take its inspiration from the Groupama Arena in Budapest, the home of Ferencváros.

One member of the group is Stewart 'Randy' Thompson, a co-owner of the club and therefore a driving force in establishing the new £50 million ground, which could be in place by 2023.

Mr Thompson, who like Darragh MacAnthony never shies away from interacting with fans, said that had the pandemic not struck "public hearings and permits would have been done and we would have picked the construction company already.. Might have already been at first shovel, but let's be honest, nothing in commercial construction goes to plan."

One of those supporting the group is long-time Posh fan Adi Mowles, who said of the benefits of an Embankment plan: "Ease of access for all supporters home or away, the numerous pubs and restaurants enjoying the support of fans which generates millions of pounds each season as it is - just imagine if the numbers double at the stadium. 

"Lastly, no out-of-town stadium has proved to be a success in England. Football is, and always will be for the people of the city and surrounding area and the city itself should always be where the stadia are located."

Key discussion points and issues raised in the group include:

  • The support for local businesses and the economy that a new stadium would bring, as part of the overall masterplan incorporating the university and Fletton Quays. The 200+ events would likely include everything from open air concerts and large conferences to small group meetings and weddings, and could act as a community hub  
  • New entertainment venues in the city centre, with ideas including Oakham Ales Pub, a casino and some quality food outlets.
  • The importance of a city centre location, which has been shown in comparison to other cities where the ground is on the outskirts of cities - member Richards Betts-Masters said: "Football grounds should only ever be in the centre of towns and cities. Anyone who has been to the countless soulless bowls on the outskirts of towns will understand why. If we are moving from London Road it should be to the Embankment or we should stay and redevelop London Road."
  • The chance for a new ground to mark the careers of several Posh legends; ideas put forward include the "Tommy Robson Memorial Stand" in the "Chris Turner Stadium"
  • The opinion that, for such a well-regarded space, the Embankment is underused - and in any event a new stadium would not preclude current activities. Jeanne Venters said: "It’s not like the stadium is going to take all the 'green' away... Some of the inner parts are not the best parts to go with families hence drug taking and drinking problems happening around there I believe. Regarding the other groups worries re: Beer Festival/Willow Festival surely these could be incorporated with/near the football stadium still. We have Ferry Meadows that has more than enough 'green stuff'"
  • Proximity to the railway station, negating the need for a taxi/public transport for visiting fans, and the fact that parking would already be in place from the university development.

The group can be found here.