This month will see the ‘new’ Ashton Gate Stadium fully open. The two-year redevelopment project, which has cost £45m, has transformed Bristol City and Bristol Rugby’s home ground. Now a state-of-the-art venue, seating 27,000 for sporting events and over 30,000 for concerts its also created the largest conference and events venue in the South West of England.
With 36 purpose built meeting rooms and 5,500 square metres of exhibition space Ashton Gate is certainly making its mark on the business sector.
Mark Kelly, chief of stadium operations said: “It’s been very reassuring to attract some extremely large national and international events in our first year of operation. Next year promises to be even bigger with the opening of the double-tiered West Stand and the additional space this offers.
“Bristol has historically struggled to host large events with company’s going elsewhere, like Birmingham and Manchester. The fact that we now have a thousand-seater restaurant, 18 corporate boxes along with the Directors Box and Players Lounge all available for private hire means that we can, not only cater for the largescale events but also the more intimate, smaller company events, that traditionally have been hosted by local hotels.”
Indeed, the stadium design has taken a big influence from the hospitality industry. Thanks to Bristol Sport chairman, Martin Griffiths who has huge experience in the hotel sector and has brought this to bear in the design of the stadium.
Griffiths commented: “Each step of the build has been guided by trying to maximise the use of every square inch of space, just as architects would when designing a new hotel. One small detail, which illustrates this is every pillar spaced along the concourse has been deliberately placed so that it fits exhibition stand sizes perfectly. They simply slot in with no space either side.
“The fact that most of the Ashton Gate senior operations team come from the hospitality-industry is no accident. I want delegates and customers to have the same high-quality customer experience that they get from a five-star hotel.”
The look and feel of the popular coffee shop also echoes the hotel-feel. With no sports branding in sight, it very much feels like one of the buzzing coffee shops of Clifton, it just happens to be located in the stadium. Next to it the Sports Bar & Grill, which opened last October for the Rugby World Cup, has firmly established itself as the venue to watch live sport from. Ashton Gate was packed throughout June as football fans enjoyed the Euros on ‘the biggest indoor screen’ in the country and this month promises to be just as busy with the football season resuming and the Olympics getting underway in Rio. It seems Bristol finally has a gold medal standard venue that we can all be proud of.
- Largest venue in South West England
- 36 meeting rooms (purpose built)
- Rooms with pitch facing views
- Seat 1,000 theatre style or 850 banquet style
- 18 executive boxes & Directors Box & Players Lounge privately
- 5,500 square meters of exhibition space
- Complimentary car parking
- Complimentary wi-fi
- Competitive Day Delegate R rates available
- 1.5 miles from Bristol City Centre
- 6 miles from Bristol airport/great transport links
- Civil wedding licence
- Sports Bar & Grill featuring largest indoor pub screen in UK
- Coffee shop