Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Monday, 29 December 2008

Football arena may be down-sized

Reynolds Arena
The stadium was first built in 2003 by former club chairman George Reynolds

A £20m football stadium may be reduced in size just five years after it was first built.

The 25,000-seater Darlington FC Arena, on the town's Neasham Road, could lose its West stand, according to a spokesman for the club.

The League Two team is attracting an average of just 3,000 spectators per game, leaving the stadium lacking atmosphere and revenue.

Part of it could be used for office suites or student accommodation.

The club's chairman, George Houghton has said fans will be consulted before any move is made.

Spiralling costs

A spokesman said: "He is looking to get best value for the stadium and bring money into the club for future investment.

"We need to fill the arena and at the moment we are nowhere near that target.

"The West stand is closed at the moment anyway, so by revamping it into office space or a hostel for foreign students or even a nursery, it would being in much needed cash."

Former chairman, George Reynolds, built the arena in 2003, but within four months the club was placed into administration as it struggled to cope with the spiralling costs.

A consortium of local business leaders and supporters were among those who helped raise the money to bail the club out.

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