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Improved Bolton Wanderers ‘fanzone’ promises ‘more than just the football’

The club says it will become a ‘cornerstone of the stadium’s offering’
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Bolton Wanderers' fanzone

A new and improved Bolton Wanderers ‘fanzone’ could include a stage, mini-football pitch, food and drink stalls and a games area.

Proposals have been submitted for the attraction, outside the Toughsheet Stadium, ahead of the new season. The club says it will become a ‘cornerstone of the stadium’s offering’.

The fanzone is to the west of the stadium, near the main entrance and family stand. It is on a 0.5 acre of hardstanding close to Burnden Way. A statement from the club in support of the plans, said: “It is a sustainable and beneficial addition offered by the football club and indicative of the aspirations of the club owners, portraying their dedication towards a consistent and ever-growing relationship between the club and fans.”

Wanderers play their first competitive home game of the 2024/25 season against Mansfield in the EFL Cup first round on 13 August followed by a visit from Wrexham on 18 August, who are expected to bring thousands of travelling fans. The supporting statement said there will be a central stage for live music, interaction with fans, interviews and other performances and diverse food and drink stalls from local vendors and popular chains.

Booths will sell official club merchandise and memorabilia and ‘interactive zones’ will provide games, photo opportunities and other fan engagement activities. There will be safe standing and rest areas for fans to relax, including a covered gazebo area for rainy match days.

The supporting statement, on behalf of club owners FVWL Football Ltd added: “Supporter engagement and ‘the match day experience’ is becoming more and more of a priority in the modern-day era of elite professional football.

“Like with other comparative sporting events, club, arena and event organisers are determined to ensure that the attendance of a sporting event has much
more to it than just the event itself.

“There is now opportunity to provide a family day out for local residents and supporters who can not only participate in the leisure and sport activities on view but also have a meal, enjoy the outdoors and capture the entertainment on offer.

“In addition to the abundance of facilities provided by the Middlebrook Retail Leisure Park, this facility provides an easily accessible and additional football-related venue for supports to use within immediate proximity to the stadium itself.”

Planners at Bolton Council will consider the application in the next few weeks.

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