Bournemouth have delayed their redevelopement plans for the Vitality Stadium ahead of their second Premier League season, according to a report by the BBC.
The Cherries enjoyed a successful first season in the English top flight, avoiding relegation by finishing 16th in the standings. They won 42 points over the course of the season, despite losing top players Max Gradel and Callum Wilson for a long period of time due to injuries.
However, Bournemouth survived and are ready to cash in on the new TV deal that is about to kick in from next season. In 2015, the club already unveiled international online gaming business Mansion Group as their official shirt sponsor, which owns the gaming site Casino.com and also sponsors Crystal Palace.
Last summer, the club talked about adding extra capacity to its ground but eventually decided against it. The Cherries had looked into increasing their 11,700 capacity again before the 2016/2017 season. However, following a meeting of the board, Bournemouth will once again delay their redevelopement plans for the Vitality Stadium.
The Cherries’ home ground was by the smallest one in the Premier League this season. According to Sky Sports, the second smallest stadium was Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium, which has a capacity of 20.909 seats. Next up are Watford’s Vicarage Road, Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park, and West Bromwich Albion’s The Hawthorns.
In fact, Bournemouth would even play in front of the smallest home crowd if you count all the current teams in The Championship, with Premier League newcomers Burnley, Middlesbrough and Hull City or Sheffield Wednesday all playing in bigger stadiums.
However, Bournemouth’s small capacity also has a big advantage. According to Transfermarkt, the club enjoyed an average attendance rate of 97.5 per cent this season, ranking 11th in the Premier League and outperforming clubs like Everton, Southampton, and Liverpool.
Still, according to the club the demand for tickets is far bigger than the current capacity, which doesn’t allow Bournemouth to fully exploit the financial benefits that come from playing Premier League football.
With their TV income already bigger than the one of European giants AC Milan, according to The Daily Mail, The Cherries should push for their redevelopement plans to continue, as it’s their only way to become a fixed name in the English top flight.