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Club News

Alan Walsh updates on Griffin Park improvements

8 June 2015

Work ongoing ahead of 2015/16 season

Brentford supporters will be able to see the improvements at Griffin Park being made this summer, according to Operations Manager Alan Walsh.
There will be upgrades to a number of areas at Griffin Park this summer, including floodlighting, the pitch and CCTV.
Alan told Bees Player there will be new drainage installed as the playing surface is renovated during the close season.
He said the Club wanted to make Griffin Park as welcoming as possible for fans.
“There is a lot of work to be done and it is a busy time,” said Alan.
“There are renovations on the pitch.
“The top is being taken off and we are putting a new drainage system in.
“That should give us a similar surface, hopefully better, for the new season.
“We also have a floodlight upgrade, we are going up from 590 lux to 1,000 lux for the new season.
“Supporters should be able to see huge improvements.”
Alan said Brentford sometimes had problems with surface water if there was heavy rain at Griffin Park, particularly given its location in a residential area and close to the River Thames.
He said the new drainage should prevent that.
“We are doing more than the normal pitch renovations,” said Alan.
“We had an issue with the pitch that if it rained heavily, we would have surface water.
“It didn’t drain through.
“We are close to the Thames and with it being a residential area, it didn’t soak away.
“We knew we couldn’t lose a game if we were in the Premier League so we went for new drainage.
“We wanted to invest now so we had one of the best pitches in the Championship.”
Alan added: “We have upgraded the CCTV system.
“That will ensure we can investigate any incident and keep people safe.
“If anyone steps out of line, we will have them on camera.
“It is good to have those systems in place.”
Alan updated on the project to build a new stadium at Lionel Road South.
He said the Club hoped to break ground before the end of 2015 and, if all went to plan, could move in towards the end of 2017.
Alan said the new ground would be fantastic but work was ongoing at Griffin Park to ensure that was as good as it could be to host Sky Bet Championship football.
“The new stadium will be fantastic for the Club and the community,” he said.
“But we have to bring our supporters on the journey.
“We have an old ground, the match day experience needs to be as good as it can.
“This is not just a game of football, we want an atmosphere you can feel.
“The idea is to bring the fans to the new stadium.
“We want to make every improvement we can within the space and budget we have.
“We have more space in the Family Stand, we have upgraded the kiosks to reduce queues.
“Some fans will have seen temporary toilets.
“The average attendance has doubled since I came here, the facilities are limited, we are trying to enhance it.
“We want to get the best facilities we can to make sure everyone feels welcome.
“We are excited by what is happening.”
Brentford came close to winning promotion to the Premier League in 2014/15, losing in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs to Middlesbrough.
Alan confirmed that Premier League football could be played at Griffin Park and some work was being done to ensure a summer upgrade would be achievable if needed.
“If we get promoted prior to the new stadium, there is no reason we can’t play here in the Premier League, we have had numerous meetings about it,” he said.
“We would need undersoil heating, the floodlights would need to be reviewed again as well.
“The terraces would be seating and we would have to change the dressing rooms.
“We can do it.
“There would be a lot of work in a short period but there is no reason not to have Premier League football here if the team is good enough.
“We would need a 65m TV gantry, that would take 12 weeks to install.
“We would do an application to ensure it is there if we need it.”
Bees Player subscribers can see a full interview with Alan Walsh here.
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