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Robins stadium development will attract more fans says Lee Kilby
SWINDON ROBINS co-promoter Lee Kilby believes that the approval for the Abbey Stadium redevelopment is a big step towards attracting a larger and more diverse audience to British speedway. Total Sport Swindon’s Ryan Walker spoke to Kilby about the development earlier today.
A redevelopment plan nine years in the making was finally approved at a Swindon Borough Council planning permission meeting last night, with the approval signalling the start of a stadium overhaul for the Swindon Robins and greyhounds.
Speaking following the decision, club promoter Kilby praised the efforts of all involved insisting that it is a step in the right direction for the sport.
“The new development is going to be great for the club,” said Kilby.
“I think it's important because currently, we’re in an outdated stadium that doesn’t befit the club and the status that we have.
“We believe this will take us up a level and will really help kick the sport on in the area,” he added.
“It will hopefully have the Belle Vue effect that they had after opening their new stadium. It will do so much for us and it gives us a venue and stadium we can be proud of.
“Our Abbey has a beauty around her but she is old and needs updating,” said Kilby.
Last night’s meeting was the final hurdle for the stadium owners Gaming International to overcome, with the green light now being given for work to get started.
However, Kilby warned fans not to expect to see diggers arriving in Blunsdon anytime soon, stating that there will be no interruptions to either of the upcoming speedway and greyhound stadiums for construction work to take place.
“As far as we are concerned there is no going back now,” said Kilby.
“All parties have agreed on the development.
“The timeline is up to them [Gaming International] but I would imagine they want to get things moving quickly,” he added.
"There won’t be any interruptions to the speedway or the greyhound season. They talked briefly on timelines and phases of work but we will have to see what happens.
“The back straight stand will get taken down and a new home straight will be put in there with the back straight being moved in the opposite direction,” said Kilby.
Having already confirmed their squad for the upcoming 2020 Premiership season, the Swindon Robins will go into the upcoming campaign looking to retain their league and cup titles.
But when asked about future squad building, Kilby highlighted that the new stadium will play a major role in attracting some of the sports biggest stars to Swindon.
“I think it will definitely help [in attracting bigger names],” Kilby said.
“If you got offered to race for Torun in Poland then you’d jump at the chance because of their facilities and what they offer.
“We’ve got a great reputation for looking after our riders and have always been brilliant at paying riders on time and treating them well.
“The relationship is good between management and riders and that definitely helps in signing new riders as well,” he added.