Bristol Rovers’ 2-0 defeat away to Blackpool on the opening day of the League One season was overshadowed by the team’s owner revealing tentative plans for a new stadium.
Club president Wael Al-Qadi said that Rovers are putting together a planning application to build a new stadium on the site of Bristol Fruit Market in St Philip’s.
Rovers’ plans for a 21,000-seater venue at UWE Bristol fell through in 2017, with Al-Qadi saying that since then the club have “explored several” unnamed venues.
“We have identified one site, along with others, we are very interested in,” Al-Qadi told BBC Radio Bristol.
He said: “One of the sites is the fruit market. We are very interested in that site.
“We have already started the work that goes in to planning permission… It’s a very long process and there’s a lot of technical work that has to be done to get approval.”
Rovers have played at the Memorial Ground since 1996. Their nickname of the Gas comes from the gasworks next to Eastville Stadium where they played from 1897 to 1986, with the time in between spent at Twerton Park in Bath.
At Bloomfield Road, Jay Spearing and Armand Gnanduillet were on target for the hosts as the Gas were defeated on the first weekend of the new season.
Rovers’ first home game of 2019/20 is against Wycombe Wanderers on August 10.
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Main photo by JMP