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Report - - Coventry Stadium 07/01/2020 | Leisure Sites | Page 2 | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Coventry Stadium 07/01/2020


Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
QUOTE="Rgfx486, post: 1261354, member: 133454"]
Just thought I would Add this one with history attached thanks to @Calamity Jane for providing the link to relevant history

Brandon Stadium's first speedway meeting took place on 29 September 1928. The track was owned by Midland Sports Stadiums (who also owned Leicester Speedway) and Charles Ochiltree promoted the Speedway and Stock Car Racing until his death in 1998. His son Martin then carried on promoting duties until the stadium was sold to Avtar Sandhu in 2003. The stadium's capacity is approximately 12.500. The record attendance for Brandon stands at 24,000, and was set during a speedway meeting, the Brandonapolis of 1954 on a Thursday night, where they locked the gates are were turning away buses.
The shale speedway track, which is inside the dog track is 301 metres (329 yards) in length while the greyhound track is 409 metres (447 yards) in length.
Brandon Stadium has been a popular stop for many high-profile speedway events in its lifetime. Under the old format of the Speedway World Championship events including the British Speedway Championship, the Commonwealth and Overseas Finals as well as hosting the 1998, 1999 and 2000 Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain. The 'Brandonapolis' is an annual event at Brandon which features some of the world's best speedway riders. It was postponed in 2011 due to the BSPA dispute of the 2011 Elite League Season.
In 1991, Brandon Stadium staged the Under-21 World Championship Final which was won by Denmark's Brian Andersen who defeated fellow Dane Morten Andersen in a runoff after both finished on 14 points. Australia's Jason Lyons finished third, while the leading British rider Joe Screen finished in 5th place with 10 points.
The speedway also hosted the last ever Speedway World Team Cup Final in 2000 (won by Sweden) after having previously held the Final in 1993 won by the United States.

Thank you, but I only requested it as im nosey and love it, @westernsultan found the link, very good at that :D but thanks for shoutout :thumb
 

bloodklaat

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
It's heart-wrenching to see this report as I used to work there some 15 years ago. It used to be full of people. Speedway, greyhounds, banger cars. So many memories, so many characters I met there. It hurts to see it like that. I didn't even know it closed down.
 

Rgfx486

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
It's heart-wrenching to see this report as I used to work there some 15 years ago. It used to be full of people. Speedway, greyhounds, banger cars. So many memories, so many characters I met there. It hurts to see it like that. I didn't even know it closed down.
I am sorry to hear that it makes you feel this way, it is a shame these places are forced to shut down for whatever reason.
 

16vDeak

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Looking even more trashed as the weeks pass, you did better than me, I set the alarm off :banghead
I also did this lol, i'm pretty sure they're just a deterent and not actually linked to anything, hard not to trip them off!
 

16vDeak

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I live not even 3 miles from here, last time i went the viewing room was still fairly untouched and easy to get into! It's clearly gotten far worse since i last went
 

Rgfx486

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I live not even 3 miles from here, last time i went the viewing room was still fairly untouched and easy to get into! It's clearly gotten far worse since i last went
It was proper boarded to be fair
 

joezapp

28DL Member
28DL Member
Came across this post after the photos (which are great by the way... but not great to look at) were shared on a stock car forum.

I felt compelled to give some insight as I know there were a few posts asking for more details - and given the affinity I, and many others, have for the once great stadium.

In November 2016, I remember watching Paul Hines cross the start/finish line to bring the curtain down on the 2016 season. With spectators making the usual beeline for the exits to beat the car park rush, the stadium announcer, as they had for countless years, thanked everyone for their support, and they left with the statement of 'we look forward to welcoming you back next year...' ringing in there's and also my ears.

As someone noted on that forum - How wrong they were...

Whilst the stadium had been sold to a developer, the original plans had guaranteed racing at Brandon for a further three years - so it came like a bolt out of the blue when the former owner handed over control of the stadium to Brandon Estates at the end of November 2016, but not before removing about £200,000 of fixtures and fittings he claimed he owned.

This them degenerated into a long-running dispute with Brandon Estates, the previous owner and the speedway promoter, where no agreement was reached and the gates were padlocked shut.

Hopes were raised and dashed throughout 2017 that a deal could be agreed and racing could return...

Nothing came of it and then around September 2017 travellers set up camp (illegally) on the site and proceeded to wreck/strip/destroy the facilities, which brought about the level of deterioration you see today! Fires and all sorts have occurred - the developers were hardly steadfast in their attempts to prevent this and this has led to suspicion that they effectively 'allowed' the trespassers to ruin the site in an attempt to influence the council's decision on granting a planning application to build houses on the site - effectively ensuring that racing couldn't return and then all that is left is an abandoned site plagued by criminal behaviour...

So here we are, nothing much has changed in the intervening time that has passed and the historic home of the Coventry Bees speedway team and the stock car operation, which has hosted speedway events since 1928 and stock cars since 1954, has sat 'empty' and decaying.

Unfortunately life hasn't quite been the same since - first Saturday's between April-November have been Coventry for decades - for me I've been a regular since the mid-90s. It was a staple on the fixture list and crowds would come in their 0000s each month from all over the country. Pretty much the 'glue' which held stockcars together, given the car numbers and its historical significance as a World Championship venue and central location.

I must have been there over 250+ times - had good times there, also some sad times but countless memories nonetheless - I've basically grown up with it and then suddenly it was gone...

Other venues such as Stoke, Wimbledon and Arena Essex have gone in the meantime (in the name of progress...) but no where has it been felt more widely than Coventry and there's still a notable hole in the fixture lists to this day.

I do believe that its loss has hastened the demise of what was once a great sport, it's no coincidence that since 2016 things have started to fall apart. It's demise has been profound for both stock cars and speedway.

For a lot of people it was that there was no goodbye that makes it 100x worse - the old girl deserved better after her years of service!

Thank you for sharing the photographs - the attached was taken at the September meeting, just two months prior to the last one.
 

Attachments

Rgfx486

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Came across this post after the photos (which are great by the way... but not great to look at) were shared on a stock car forum.

I felt compelled to give some insight as I know there were a few posts asking for more details - and given the affinity I, and many others, have for the once great stadium.

In November 2016, I remember watching Paul Hines cross the start/finish line to bring the curtain down on the 2016 season. With spectators making the usual beeline for the exits to beat the car park rush, the stadium announcer, as they had for countless years, thanked everyone for their support, and they left with the statement of 'we look forward to welcoming you back next year...' ringing in there's and also my ears.

As someone noted on that forum - How wrong they were...

Whilst the stadium had been sold to a developer, the original plans had guaranteed racing at Brandon for a further three years - so it came like a bolt out of the blue when the former owner handed over control of the stadium to Brandon Estates at the end of November 2016, but not before removing about £200,000 of fixtures and fittings he claimed he owned.

This them degenerated into a long-running dispute with Brandon Estates, the previous owner and the speedway promoter, where no agreement was reached and the gates were padlocked shut.

Hopes were raised and dashed throughout 2017 that a deal could be agreed and racing could return...

Nothing came of it and then around September 2017 travellers set up camp (illegally) on the site and proceeded to wreck/strip/destroy the facilities, which brought about the level of deterioration you see today! Fires and all sorts have occurred - the developers were hardly steadfast in their attempts to prevent this and this has led to suspicion that they effectively 'allowed' the trespassers to ruin the site in an attempt to influence the council's decision on granting a planning application to build houses on the site - effectively ensuring that racing couldn't return and then all that is left is an abandoned site plagued by criminal behaviour...

So here we are, nothing much has changed in the intervening time that has passed and the historic home of the Coventry Bees speedway team and the stock car operation, which has hosted speedway events since 1928 and stock cars since 1954, has sat 'empty' and decaying.

Unfortunately life hasn't quite been the same since - first Saturday's between April-November have been Coventry for decades - for me I've been a regular since the mid-90s. It was a staple on the fixture list and crowds would come in their 0000s each month from all over the country. Pretty much the 'glue' which held stockcars together, given the car numbers and its historical significance as a World Championship venue and central location.

I must have been there over 250+ times - had good times there, also some sad times but countless memories nonetheless - I've basically grown up with it and then suddenly it was gone...

Other venues such as Stoke, Wimbledon and Arena Essex have gone in the meantime (in the name of progress...) but no where has it been felt more widely than Coventry and there's still a notable hole in the fixture lists to this day.

I do believe that its loss has hastened the demise of what was once a great sport, it's no coincidence that since 2016 things have started to fall apart. It's demise has been profound for both stock cars and speedway.

For a lot of people it was that there was no goodbye that makes it 100x worse - the old girl deserved better after her years of service!

Thank you for sharing the photographs - the attached was taken at the September meeting, just two months prior to the last one.
Thank you so much for taking the time to write the above. The stadium clearly has strong positive memories for you and it is sad to see such a place lie in ruin. It is silly to think someone has this lying there and has money to waste!
I dont see why they couldn't revive the stadium and make a business out of it. Maybe it's too far gone now, either way it's a complete waste. I still drive past it a lot and I am pleased that I managed to view it even if it's far from it's best.
The place has history and you can feel it when your in there!! You can imagion and get a sense!

Thanks for your compliments on the pictures, I did try my best.

All the best

Rich
 

trikey

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Came across this post after the photos (which are great by the way... but not great to look at) were shared on a stock car forum.

I felt compelled to give some insight as I know there were a few posts asking for more details - and given the affinity I, and many others, have for the once great stadium.

In November 2016, I remember watching Paul Hines cross the start/finish line to bring the curtain down on the 2016 season. With spectators making the usual beeline for the exits to beat the car park rush, the stadium announcer, as they had for countless years, thanked everyone for their support, and they left with the statement of 'we look forward to welcoming you back next year...' ringing in there's and also my ears.

As someone noted on that forum - How wrong they were...

Whilst the stadium had been sold to a developer, the original plans had guaranteed racing at Brandon for a further three years - so it came like a bolt out of the blue when the former owner handed over control of the stadium to Brandon Estates at the end of November 2016, but not before removing about £200,000 of fixtures and fittings he claimed he owned.

This them degenerated into a long-running dispute with Brandon Estates, the previous owner and the speedway promoter, where no agreement was reached and the gates were padlocked shut.

Hopes were raised and dashed throughout 2017 that a deal could be agreed and racing could return...

Nothing came of it and then around September 2017 travellers set up camp (illegally) on the site and proceeded to wreck/strip/destroy the facilities, which brought about the level of deterioration you see today! Fires and all sorts have occurred - the developers were hardly steadfast in their attempts to prevent this and this has led to suspicion that they effectively 'allowed' the trespassers to ruin the site in an attempt to influence the council's decision on granting a planning application to build houses on the site - effectively ensuring that racing couldn't return and then all that is left is an abandoned site plagued by criminal behaviour...

So here we are, nothing much has changed in the intervening time that has passed and the historic home of the Coventry Bees speedway team and the stock car operation, which has hosted speedway events since 1928 and stock cars since 1954, has sat 'empty' and decaying.

Unfortunately life hasn't quite been the same since - first Saturday's between April-November have been Coventry for decades - for me I've been a regular since the mid-90s. It was a staple on the fixture list and crowds would come in their 0000s each month from all over the country. Pretty much the 'glue' which held stockcars together, given the car numbers and its historical significance as a World Championship venue and central location.

I must have been there over 250+ times - had good times there, also some sad times but countless memories nonetheless - I've basically grown up with it and then suddenly it was gone...

Other venues such as Stoke, Wimbledon and Arena Essex have gone in the meantime (in the name of progress...) but no where has it been felt more widely than Coventry and there's still a notable hole in the fixture lists to this day.

I do believe that its loss has hastened the demise of what was once a great sport, it's no coincidence that since 2016 things have started to fall apart. It's demise has been profound for both stock cars and speedway.

For a lot of people it was that there was no goodbye that makes it 100x worse - the old girl deserved better after her years of service!

Thank you for sharing the photographs - the attached was taken at the September meeting, just two months prior to the last one.

A good write up, like you I feel the same way from a speedway supporters point of view, its sad that there was no final farewell. I shall be heading back here at some point (And hopefully not set those noisy alarms off again)
 

mookster

grumpy sod
Regular User
Other venues such as Stoke, Wimbledon and Arena Essex have gone in the meantime (in the name of progress...) but no where has it been felt more widely than Coventry and there's still a notable hole in the fixture lists to this day.
Can add Swaffham to the list now too after the news today that they are closing too, it'll remain as a practice track but not run any meetings due to a scandalous series of events.
 

westernsultan

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The site was offered for £2m in 2016. However the ground lease held by Rugby Council says Motor Sport only and the Council have said the local infrastructure cannot support Housing. If planning was gained site would be worth c£6m. No doubt as it becomes an even bigger eyesore it will ultimately be sold for housing
 

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