Old Trafford - Tired, Worn - Jamie Jackson piece

arthurka

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Such phrases - ditto "soulless bowls" - are just empty clichés trotted out by those who wish to justify having an old, rectangular stadium.

There is nothing intrinsically "bland" about a bowl-shape anymore than there is about a rectangular shape.

And references in other posts to a lack of "soul" are merely disguised references to newness (i.e. insufficient time for much history to have developed). By virtue of being mostly built on the same site as White Hart Lane, does Spurs new stadium have more "soul" than it otherwise would?

It's all very well talking about a stadium's history as a reason to stick with it, but the more time that passes, the longer that history becomes - and with it an even bigger alleged reason to stay - whilst at the same time the stadium becomes ever older and crumblier. When does the latter factor outweigh the former?

And when does the cumulative patching up and improving as best you can within the limitations of an old-fashioned design become more costly than building a new stadium from scratch?
It´s also question of cost refurbishing old buildings is often way more expensive than building a new one. The new building can be build for less or the same money but with all of the needs of a modern football club while the old building comes with sacrifices due to the buildings layout and original buildings needs of the period it was built.

A new modern stadium would benefit most fans and players for years to come but soul and feelings play a huge part in the process, the Glazers will get slaughtered if they even mention building a new stadium and tearing down Old Trafford, tradition, soul ect ect..
 

decorativeed

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What can the owners do though? The club long before the Glazers took over found reasons/excuses for not upgrading the now Sir Bobby Charlton stand because of the Railway Line, and the houses behind it even after purchasing most of said houses saying it would be cheaper to move to a new stadium and it probably would, the fact the club now own most if not all the land surrounding Old Trafford suggests that is more likely of the two options - even if they chose the first option, ie. partially knocking down the SBC stand then build up and across to mirror the Sir Alex Ferguson stand and quadrants completing the bowl affect and putting on a new roof there's not much they could do with the existing built without seriously restricting the Capacity - and i'm not sure spending circa £1bn to upgrade, and only upping the capacity by 10,000 or less makes much sense financially.

In 30 years time, whoever the owners are, we'll probably have a brand new state of the art stadium within a hop, skip and jump distance of Old Trafford, and most of us that are/were most against any move will be long 6 foot under. So there's that to look forward to, we might have sorted the squad out by then as well.
That was never proven to be true anywhere though. I'd say the fact that those houses have been repeatedly bought and sold, as well as new properties built on empty pockets of land there in the past decade disproves it was ever a thing.
 

Class of 63

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That was never proven to be true anywhere though. I'd say the fact that those houses have been repeatedly bought and sold, as well as new properties built on empty pockets of land there in the past decade disproves it was ever a thing.
Dunno how accurate it was, but remember reading an article about it in the Manchester Evening News long before it went to shit and had no reason to not believe it.
 

Precaution

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Watford used to have an incredibly shitty stadium, back in the 90s it was like a building site... bit of investment doesnt actually look half bad anymore, Old Trafford could get bit more than a lick of paint and maybe some damn card readers instead of cash only places with no ATMS anywhere in the place.
 

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I might be in the minority, but while the stadium could do with some issues being addressed (the roof for example) it is still an absolutely magnificent stadium, and the best in the country for me. I love the place.
 

Falcow

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Such phrases - ditto "soulless bowls" - are just empty clichés trotted out by those who wish to justify having an old, rectangular stadium.

There is nothing intrinsically "bland" about a bowl-shape anymore than there is about a rectangular shape.

And references in other posts to a lack of "soul" are merely disguised references to newness (i.e. insufficient time for much history to have developed). By virtue of being mostly built on the same site as White Hart Lane, does Spurs new stadium have more "soul" than it otherwise would?

It's all very well talking about a stadium's history as a reason to stick with it, but the more time that passes, the longer that history becomes - and with it an even bigger alleged reason to stay - whilst at the same time the stadium becomes ever older and crumblier. When does the latter factor outweigh the former?

And when does the cumulative patching up and improving as best you can within the limitations of an old-fashioned design become more costly than building a new stadium from scratch?
No of course not in answer to your question re the new spurs stadium.

It doesnt ever become more costly when building a new stadium costs the best part of a billion (before interest payments on the mortgage are factored in) and when annual upkeep/repairs on the existing stadium come in at about 1m pa. Even if repairs were 10m pa on the existing stadium after 30 years that's still only a 300m.

Building a new stadium only has financial merit when you can significantly increase capacity and when there is demand for said capacity. Not really the case with us and so hard to see how it makes sense financially.

As for the shape contributing to the soul, well I think that's a matter of opinion, your view of course not being tainted by your old iconic stadium being replaced by a shiny new bowl. The shape of OT is very much a part of its history and soul and it absaloutely would not be the same if it were replaced by a bowl.

The comfort etc of the new bowl would be a plus obviously.
 

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I might be in the minority, but while the stadium could do with some issues being addressed (the roof for example) it is still an absolutely magnificent stadium, and the best in the country for me. I love the place.
Goodman, it needs investment, a lot of it but not replacing in my view.
 

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The main issue for me is the roof lines. Anybody higher that the second tiers have an awful view. Feck WiFi, if you need that you shouldnt be in the stadium in the first place.
Indeed.

It’s a legacy of the way the ground has been rebuilt piecemeal, particularly since the SAF Stand broke through the 70s/80s roofline in the mid-90s.

A new roof could not only resolve the sight line issues. It could lift the entire appearance of the ground; if designed right it could turn the fact that one side is lower than the other three into a feature rather than a liability. And even not leak...

There’s little wrong with the ground otherwise that a bit of sprucing up wouldn’t sort out. Yes the seats are narrow and legroom is constricted, but there’s no way that moving the seats further apart wouldn’t further damage the atmosphere. And having to work hard to climb up to ones seat keeps us old gits in trim.
 

Tincanalley

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The Glazers, remote, predatory, uncaring about the fans, football, culture; anything but dollars, turn my stomach, as does their errand boy grinning from the directors seats. But what’s worse are those fans who support them.
 

red thru&thru

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It really is no longer the best stadium in the country. This type of mentality is what stops progress.
 

red thru&thru

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And at the end of the season we will no longer be the most successful club in the country either. These past 7 years have been great :)
But apparently, we fans are spoilt brats! Crazy.

Just imagine SAF thinking that? "Guy's, we have won the title a couple of times now. Let's relax. We are spoiling our fans. Football is a cycle."
 
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It´s also question of cost refurbishing old buildings is often way more expensive than building a new one. The new building can be build for less or the same money but with all of the needs of a modern football club while the old building comes with sacrifices due to the buildings layout and original buildings needs of the period it was built.

A new modern stadium would benefit most fans and players for years to come but soul and feelings play a huge part in the process, the Glazers will get slaughtered if they even mention building a new stadium and tearing down Old Trafford, tradition, soul ect ect..
Things like tradition and the soul of the club matter. It's what connects fans and families to the club.

It might not mean much to some fans around the world. But going to the stadium where i have childhood memories with my family from an early age. Knowing that i'm stood in the ground that my grandparents and great grandparents watched United in is special. It's stuff like that that makes it special to so many fans.

And to be at Old Trafford and know it's where all the legends of our club played, it's inspirational to fans and players alike.

People may mock tradition and 'soul' but sentiment and a feeling of home does matter to people. Local fans are so attached to it as a key land mark of our city and our lives. International fans love the magic and the history of United's story, visiting Old Trafford is a big experience for people (that's why they spend so much money travelling from all over to see a game).

The same applies with Anfield too.

The two biggest clubs in England remaining in their proper stadiums is special and very important to English football.

In a time when the game is so corporate and money driven - this aspect of tradition and human emotion is one of the last real attachments I have to the game.

The Glazers are money people - they know the stadium is a huge asset and PR dream. They won't feck that up as they loves their money.
 

arthurka

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Things like tradition and the soul of the club matter. It's what connects fans and families to the club.

It might not mean much to some fans around the world. But going to the stadium where i have childhood memories with my family from an early age. Knowing that i'm stood in the ground that my grandparents and great grandparents watched United in is special. It's stuff like that that makes it special to so many fans.

And to be at Old Trafford and know it's where all the legends of our club played, it's inspirational to fans and players alike.

People may mock tradition and 'soul' but sentiment and a feeling of home does matter to people. Local fans are so attached to it as a key land mark of our city and our lives. International fans love the magic and the history of United's story, visiting Old Trafford is a big experience for people (that's why they spend so much money travelling from all over to see a game).

The same applies with Anfield too.

The two biggest clubs in England remaining in their proper stadiums is special and very important to English football.

In a time when the game is so corporate and money driven - this aspect of tradition and human emotion is one of the last real attachments I have to the game.

The Glazers are money people - they know the stadium is a huge asset and PR dream. They won't feck that up as they loves their money.
Not saying it doesn´t at all, only saying refurbishing old buildings to meet new standards and needs might not make sense for the owners due to cost. It might actually appeal more to them building a new stadium because of cost.
Utd fans in general would like to keep Old Trafford and us who aren´t living in the UK and go more scarcely than Utd fans in Manchester or UK I can only speak for myself here would love if Old Trafford would be modernized and not demolished.
My post was more on the point of cost and how the owners see the need to spend money on the stadium.
 

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I might be in the minority, but while the stadium could do with some issues being addressed (the roof for example) it is still an absolutely magnificent stadium, and the best in the country for me. I love the place.
I'd be devasted personally to see it demolished, just renovate it please no need for a new-build.
 

Maticmaker

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Weird article, talking about Spurs and LA being more cultural hubs. I would say it is the complete opposite and OT is the one with culture etc.

Football fans go to watch football, not to watch singer songwriters performing in posh bars on the concourse as part of the match day experience.

Maybe I'm getting old.
We all are!

Professional Football will become a three-ringed circus in the not too distant future. Added to your singer songwriters in the various concourse bars, will be:
*Eventually VAR operations will ensure most matches last between 3.5 to 4 hours, adverts will appear during these breaks as we wait for result of VAR when watching live on TV. For the live match at the ground, performing jugglers or maybe scantily dressed cheer leaders will appear around the side of the pitch whilst the crowd waits in the stadium for the result.
*Every match kicked off by a B or C list celeb!
*Half time, Lucky number draw (number printed in your programme)… contact nearest Steward if you are a winner!
*Fun fair rides and candy-floss available in Car Park outside ground, arrive on public transport....get there early (3 hours before KO) with kids to avoid the rush! (NB not advised to wait behind after match because fun fair rides closed for safety reasons)
* Invited to appear on any number of vox-pop video/podcasts on way to, or entering into the ground, if your segment is eventually broadcast you get £300 (better than being on 'You've been framed')

Can't wait, can you?
 

diarm

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A huge part of the history of Old Trafford, of what makes it iconic, is the fact that it was always improving. When other clubs and grounds were resting on their laurels, OT was forging further ahead, ever at the forefront of innovation and prestige.

This idea that "Old Trafford is the best, leave it as it is" defeats the purpose of why it was the best.
 

Revaulx

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A huge part of the history of Old Trafford, of what makes it iconic, is the fact that it was always improving. When other clubs and grounds were resting on their laurels, OT was forging further ahead, ever at the forefront of innovation and prestige.

This idea that "Old Trafford is the best, leave it as it is" defeats the purpose of why it was the best.
I think that the extreme Leave-It-Aloners are being disingenuous in ignoring that fact that between 1965/6 (the Cantilever) and 2005/6 (the Quadrants) the ground was systematically rebuilt; some bits (the current SAF) more than once.

Nevertheless, the ongoing piecemeal nature of the work ensured that whenever you were confronted with a new bit, all the surrounding “old” bits were still there to give a sense of continuity and belonging. This is why I would hate it if a White Hart Lane was done on it, regardless of how super the new Spurs ground may be.
 

diarm

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I think that the extreme Leave-It-Aloners are being disingenuous in ignoring that fact that between 1965/6 (the Cantilever) and 2005/6 (the Quadrants) the ground was systematically rebuilt; some bits (the current SAF) more than once.

Nevertheless, the ongoing piecemeal nature of the work ensured that whenever you were confronted with a new bit, all the surrounding “old” bits were still there to give a sense of continuity and belonging. This is why I would hate it if a White Hart Lane was done on it, regardless of how super the new Spurs ground may be.
I agree with that. I'd like to see the ground kept where it is now. An expanded Sir Bobby Charlton stand, a new (flatter pitched) roof and some general modernisation would leave everyone happy.
 

Revaulx

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I agree with that. I'd like to see the ground kept where it is now. An expanded Sir Bobby Charlton stand, a new (flatter pitched) roof and some general modernisation would leave everyone happy.
Not sure if the cost/benefit of expanding the SBC is ever going to be worth it, Glazers or no Glazers. Building over the railway line is just too hard. A decently designed new roof could make a feature of one side being lower than the other three, and could look interesting.
 

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Still the biggest and best stadium in the league.
Still the biggest but not sure about being the best.
A good friend of mine had has a tour of the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium and he said he was'blown away'
And like me he is a United fan and has been to OT many times.

It had a retractable football pitch and underneath is an American football pitch and underneath that is the car park.

Thank is real investment for the future.
What was the last real improvement to OT.
 

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Still the biggest but not sure about being the best.
A good friend of mine had has a tour of the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium and he said he was'blown away'
And like me he is a United fan and has been to OT many times.

It had a retractable football pitch and underneath is an American football pitch and underneath that is the car park.

Thank is real investment for the future.
What was the last real improvement to OT.
American style soulless arena. No thanks. Give me OT.
 

Buster15

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American style soulless arena. No thanks. Give me OT.
But does the soul come from the stadium or from the fans.
And why are they trying to engineer a fans singing area at OT if it has so much soul.

Look. I am not in favour of leaving OT. Far from it.
But I am absolutely in favour of OT being modernised and brought into the 21st century.
 

sillwuka

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I would love it if they redesigned the roof, they should look at the main stand at St James Park to see how airy the stadium feels.

The problem though is, why would they feel the need to redevelop? They wont bring in extra revenue unless they build a new stand to increase capacity.
 

stubie

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American style soulless arena. No thanks. Give me OT.
Roy Keane Identified a problem with OT 20 years ago

A soulless arena with people who are more interested in the prawn sandwiches than what’s going on outside on the pitch.
 

Rado_N

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American style soulless arena. No thanks. Give me OT.
This is such a ridiculous myth that is constantly peddled in these discussions.

We all love Old Trafford for the memories and the nostalgia but it’s so ludicrously dated and run down it’s laughable and the idea that a new built stadium would be “lifeless” just by virtue of being new is silly.

Life in these places is created by the people occupying them.
 

OnlyTwoDaSilvas

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But does the soul come from the stadium or from the fans.
And why are they trying to engineer a fans singing area at OT if it has so much soul.

Look. I am not in favour of leaving OT. Far from it.
But I am absolutely in favour of OT being modernised and brought into the 21st century.
I agree. For all the accusations of new stadiums lacking soul, Old Trafford is a morgue a lot of the time. Just about every set of away fans at OT sings a variation of "Is this a library?" / "we'll sing on our own" / "Fergie's right, your fans are shite" and quite rightly. The place has zero atmosphere most of the time, and the fact that it is tatty and worn just exacerbates the problem. It's not exactly overflowing with "soul".

Like you, I'd rather see it refurbished than moving to a brand new place in another location, but I wouldn't be completely against a White Hart Lane-style new build next door. I think we definitely need one or the other, but neither seem likely in the next 5 years.
 

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I agree. For all the accusations of new stadiums lacking soul, Old Trafford is a morgue a lot of the time. Just about every set of away fans at OT sings a variation of "Is this a library?" / "we'll sing on our own" / "Fergie's right, your fans are shite" and quite rightly. The place has zero atmosphere most of the time, and the fact that it is tatty and worn just exacerbates the problem. It's not exactly overflowing with "soul".

Like you, I'd rather see it refurbished than moving to a brand new place in another location, but I wouldn't be completely against a White Hart Lane-style new build next door. I think we definitely need one or the other, but neither seem likely in the next 5 years.
And that is an example of the complete lack of ambition and complete lack of progress.
If you are not moving forward then you are going backwards.

Manchester United are certainly not moving forward and not even staying still.
We are stagnating and in very grave danger of becoming irrelevant.

And if nothing changes, then that is exactly what will happen.
 

Offside

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This is such a ridiculous myth that is constantly peddled in these discussions.

We all love Old Trafford for the memories and the nostalgia but it’s so ludicrously dated and run down it’s laughable and the idea that a new built stadium would be “lifeless” just by virtue of being new is silly.

Life in these places is created by the people occupying them.
Utter rubbish. It’s not ludicrously dated at all. The hospitality is still the best out there and what else do you need to be modern really? What exactly needs to be modern? It’s a proper English stadium.
 

Rado_N

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Utter rubbish. It’s not ludicrously dated at all. The hospitality is still the best out there and what else do you need to be modern really? What exactly needs to be modern? It’s a proper English stadium.
I mean, that’s just clearly not true at all.
 

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There are still people who defend the Glazers and think they invest in the club, just because they bought Pogba and Lukaku for big money. “But Jose was backed”, give me a break. Fecking parasites.
 

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A good refurbishment is needed on Old Trafford and it will still be the finest stadium in England. The Glazers won't spend the money on it, so I do hope they sell sooner rather than later.
 

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Whilst I like going to OT, the seats and legroom for me are terrible, anybody over 6'1" (I am 6' 4"), there is nowhere to put your legs, it's just way too small. Having been to some of the new stadiums in the Premier League and below, ours is a bl--dy disgrace. The new Spuds stadium is especially nice. When the Ricoh is better then OT, you have to worry.

I would be happy to see a new stadium, it won't happen as the Glazers won't spend the cash, instead we'll get some half job refurb.
 

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