Monday, 16 September 2013

Monday Musings

As if by magic, to reinforce yesterday's post regarding the ambition of those in charge at Derbyshire County Cricket Club, comes news today that the club are considering moving from the County Ground. Potential sites in Chesterfield and South Derbyshire have been identified and the club, quite rightly in my opinion, is keeping its options open.

Derby City Council has put an estimated £27.5 million into the development of a velodrome at Pride Park, which will doubtless be a fine facility when it opens next October, as currently planned. I have no doubt that cycling is a popular pastime for many people, though how many of them would swap the countryside for a velodrome is a moot point. The planned new facility has a number of sports halls too and is being touted for potential use as a concert venue, though the acoustics would seem problematic from that perspective. Nor would the traditional layout of a velodrome lend itself to concerts in my humble opinion (I've probably organised a few dozen over the years, so have a good idea of what is involved).

Much less money would be required to develop the County Ground - probably a single figure sum in the millions - and the potential uses of that development, were it to become a miniature stadium, would earn the local authority a greater return on their investment.

It would also be of greater value to the city's ethnic populations, with the latest figures that I have seen suggesting that 8.6% of the city was now made up of people of Asian origin, with a further 2.2% of black origin. At the risk of this digressing into a sociological study, I'd suggest that more of these groups are interested in cricket than cycling, especially with most of those from Asia being of Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi descent.

It would be understandable to expect the potential sites in Chesterfield and South Derbyshire to be at Queens Park and Burton, but I don't think that should be a given. Creating a stadium within the confines of tree-lined Queens Park would likely cause a few problems, while my recollection of the boundaries of the latter authority is that it touches on Derby anyway.

I am sure that the club's preference would be to stay at their home for so many years, but it is right and understandable that they are keeping all options open. As is pointed out in the Derby Telegraph this morning, we need to reduce our ground costs which would contribute to creating a more substantial playing budget, putting us in a position of greater parity with others on the county circuit.

The work that has gone into this confirms the quality of people at the helm of the club. These are professionals who know their jobs inside out. There will be a long way to go before anything is confirmed, one way or another, but I have total confidence in the people working on our behalf and know that in the medium to long term the club will benefit from their labours.

Finally tonight, Warwickshire are beset by injury woes and are pretty much fielding their last men standing for tomorrow's game against Surrey. Even at that, some are playing because they are less injured than others, while the club has confirmed that neither Jonathan Trott nor Ian Bell are likely to play against Derbyshire next week.

Bad news for them, better for us. It doesn't alter the odds on our survival, but we must keep working until we're down mathematically.

As we will, of course.


Paul said...

Whilst I, like most supporters, am not privy to the inner most thoughts of Messrs Grant and Storey I am still willing to bet that we will remain at the County Ground after all the toing and froing.

I see the latest annnoucenent ( timing is interesting given our near certain relegation- best push out some positive news to keep interest ?) as Derbyshire playing hard ball to get a better deal with Derby City Council. Quite right to as we have turned a desolate area of land into something worthwhile with little help from the council.

Given the hysterical reactions from locals in Chesterfield ( see Derbyshire Times letters page in July every year) when we dare to take over Queens Park for a week I cannot see Chesterfield BC having the balls to agree anything more than an extra outside loo!

As for South Derbyshire that would be a geographical disaster and finally kill off the support north of Derby.

I see the outcome bring a better deal for TCG which I suspect is what the committee really want anyway.

The velodrome on Pride Park will be fantastic for Britains fastest growing sport and should attract international competition given the lack of facilities apart from Msnchester and London ( still closed at present).

Not sure about the 8% Asians comment being attracted to cricket in Derby because of a better ground? At moment I don't think they make up 1% of our usual attendance ?

Hopefully Warwickshire weak team won't lose to Surrey as weather dodgy for Tuesday and Thursday and Surrey will be gone. One less thing to worry about!

Durham weather better hopefully so they thrash Notts to keep them in the melting pot.

Better weather next week ?

Peakfan said...

Fair comments Paul. Of course the velodrome will be of value to the city and should be with that cost. It will bring people to the city and will support local businesses too.
My point is that so will a developed cricket ground. Add the value of four nights in a Derby B and B/hotel to the money spent on food, drink, evening entertainment, fuel etc and the club will be bringing millions to the local economy.
The ethnic population is a largely untapped source of cricket talent and if we can get a couple of lads through the Academy from these groups it will help make the club more accesible and attractive.
Of course their preferred option will be to stay put, but the club is right to look at options - they wouldn't be doing their jobs otherwise.

Marc said...

I don,t regard this as anything more than a smokescreen to nudge DCC in what DCCC sees as the right direction. It,s never a bad thing to have a bit of extra bargaining power but I really can,t see a move away from Derby ever coming to fruition.

If it did happen then Chesterfield would be the logical choice,though I think it would mean a brand new ground new ground and would not involve the Queens park. I can,t see any other location proving to be a viable option either from a geographical or population density point of view. I,m taking this story with a large lorry load of salt.