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Harrogate to play home games at another ground if they win EFL promotion

Harrogate Town could be set to play their home games at another ground on a temporary basis if they win EFL promotion later this weekend.

The Sulphurites will battle it out with Notts County at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon with the winner gaining promotion to the League Two.

The club have said they will begin work on replacing the pitch with grass “immediately” should they go on to get that win.

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The pre-existing stand held 350 seats, however that has now been replaced with a new structure of 880 seats all under cover will be put in it’s place, taking the stadium capacity to over 5,000.

It will come with a concourse, food outlet and bar area as well as male and female toilet blocks.

Chairman Irving Weaver said: “Apart from meeting future EFL criteria the new stand will provide significantly more seating so that we can accommodate more families and supporters that would prefer to sit than stand to watch their football.

We are focused on continuing to improve the match day experience for supporters.”

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The club website asked first team manager Simon Weaver for his reaction to the development.

“Hopefully it shows supporters and everyone in Harrogate that whilst we are striving to achieve promotion, we are continuing to improve our stadium, receiving EFL approval for ground capacity.

We already have a great atmosphere on match days and the new family stand will allow more families to enjoy watching exciting football in a comfortable, safe environment.”

Because of this, it means that Simon Weaver’s side will have no choice but to play the first few home games of the 2020/21 campaign outside of the town if they gain promotion.

This is so that they can meet regulations set by the English Football League, which requires clubs to replace their existing artificial 3G pitch – should they have one – with grass.

The work will take around 10 weeks to complete, which would take them into next season, however the first fixture of the season is set to be played on the 12th of September.

The club have not revealed who they could potentially ground share with.

Harrogate installed the 3G pitch in 2016 after struggling for years with multiple drainage issues on their previous grass pitch.

This had forced the club to play a few home matches at Doncaster Rovers, which is around 45 miles away.

Supporter Rob Nixon told The Stray Ferret that he hopes it would be somewhere closer to home.

He said: “The more local the better. When we shared with Doncaster we only had 50 people attending. Having to do that again would be tough.”

The club have been busy this summer making preparations in and around their CNG Stadium in case they are promoted.

Work has almost been completed on a much needed new Family Stand so they can meet EFL’s requirement of every stadium being able to hold 5,000 people with 1,000 seats.

Writing in Saturday’s programme, club chairman Irving Weaver said he hopes the new all-seater stand will attract more fans to the club.

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Harrogate Town AFC has frozen ticket prices for the 2020/21 season, irrespective of the league they compete in.

Simon Weaver, Harrogate Town AFC Manager, said: “It has been a very difficult time for everyone and the frustration of the season being brought to a premature end when we were in the chase for a top spot finish pulled the rug from under everyone, players, supporters and staff.

“Over the last 12 weeks club business has continued and that has involved preparations for the new campaign. Part of that work involved ticket pricing. I am really pleased that, together with the Directors, we decided to freeze the prices for next season whether we are playing our football in the National League or the EFL.

“The players and I wanted supporters to know how much we count on your following, we wanted to say thank you at this difficult time. We look forward to seeing you all at the ground in the near future.”

Ticket prices for the 2020/21 campaign are:

Online Advance Prices

Adult Standing £16
Adult Seated £17
Concession Standing £12
Concession Seated £13
U18 Standing £5
U18 Seated £6
U5 Standing Free
U5 Seated Free (on parents lap)

  • Tickets can also be purchased on a match day at the turnstiles at an additional £2 per ticket (excluding U18 tickets which remain at £5 and £6). For example an adult standing ticket purchased on the day would cost £18.
  • Online advance tickets can be purchased at our reduced rate up until midnight on the day before the match, after which they will remain available online, but revert to match day prices.
  • Please note a concession is classed as 65 and over, any supporter carrying a valid Student Card or any supporter registered as disabled. Carers will continue to be admitted free of charge when accompanying a disabled supporter.

The CNG Stadium has been home to Harrogate Town AFC since the formation of the club.

Over the decades the ground has evolved under the stewardship of hard working and dedicated directors, supporters and volunteers. In 2012 a new custodian and current Chairman, Irving Weaver set out ambitious plans to develop the ground to a standard that President, George Dunnington, could only describe as “a dream”.

The dream started to become a reality in 2013, with the construction of two new stands at the stadium. The Envirovent Stand and The AON Stand now proudly overlook a world-class 3G playing surface.

The club house now re-named The 1919 Venue is a smashing function room, bar and pre-match facility for supporters. The Corporate Hospitality Suite provides excellent pre-match corporate entertainment for sponsors and guests.

After promotion to The National League in 2018 and the required ground developments that go with it, three new stands were built during the 2018/19 season, taking the capacity to over 4,000.

A standing terrace in front of The 1919 Venue and changing room end and a separate standing terrace next to the Family Stand were both opened on Monday 22nd April as Gateshead visited The CNG Stadium, with a seated stand next to the Envirovent Stand completed in the Summer of 2019.

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