Paul Douglas was asked if Rotherham United plan to extend AESSEAL New York Stadium. Here's what the chief operating officer had to say

AESSEAL New York StadiumAESSEAL New York Stadium
AESSEAL New York Stadium
ROTHERHAM United are resisting the temptation to increase the size of AESSEAL New York Stadium.

The Millers’ Championship games at their home of the last ten years are attracting crowds close to sell-outs this season and the club are aware they could increase their income by making room for bigger away followings.

It is something they may contemplate in the future but there are no immediate plans to take the capacity beyond its present level of 12,000.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We’ve done brilliantly since New York was built,” chief operating officer Paul Douglas said. “This year in particular has been a fabulous year from the supporters.

“We’ve had fantastic take-up of season tickets and the atmosphere in the stadium week in, week out has been really, really positive and supportive.

“However, we still need to keep pushing if we’re genuinely going to justify the expense of making the ground bigger.”

The stadium was erected in such a way that it is possible to enlarge the present stands by constructing extra space on top of them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I still believe that we made the right decision in building it as a 12,000-seater stadium,” Douglas said.

“It was built future-proofed to be made bigger and if we see pressure building on attendances — and we’re moving in that direction, there’s no doubt — it’s something that we can do and hopefully it would pay the club back over the years.”

Paul Douglas

New York’s away end is regularly full when Rotherham are competing in the second tier and some of the division’s larger clubs could bring many more fans than the South Stand’s limit of around 2,600.

More sizeable opposition followings would obviously have financial benefits for the Millers but the club are wary of handing visiting sides any kind of matchday advantage.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I’m not sure how many more away fans we want in the ground, if I’m honest,” Douglas said. “I always think they make enough noise as it is.”

The Millers don’t want to go down the route of some other teams that have extended their stadia and then found they have been unable to fill them

“I think there are clubs that have made their grounds too big.” Douglas said. “You go to the grounds sometimes and it lacks that bit of atmosphere because of the reality of what those clubs’ attendances are.

“It’s very rare at New York that you don’t get a great atmosphere.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The COO stressed that a capacity increase at some stage isn’t being ruled out.

“It’s not a pipe dream, it’s something we can definitely achieve,” he said. “But at the moment I don’t think we’ve got that level of demand to make it a realistic thing to go to Tony (chairman Tony Stewart) with and start considering what would be a major investment.”