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Last Updated: Monday, 13 August 2007, 23:01 GMT 00:01 UK
New stadia 'deliver income boost'
Sunderland in action at the Stadium of Light
Sunderland have one of the Premier League's bigger stadiums
English football clubs that move to a new stadium see turnover increase by an average 66% in their first season at the new ground, a study has suggested.

Higher attendances and greater income from corporate hospitality are the main drivers boosting revenue, the report by accountancy firm Deloitte said.

But it warned that without a good performance on the pitch the "new stadium effect" often wore off quickly.

English clubs have spent 2.2bn on new grounds since 1992/3, Deloitte said.

"The club's performance on the pitch has to measure up to the quality of the new facilities to maintain attendance at the new, higher, levels particularly among the recent converts to following the club live," said Mark Roberts, senior consultant at Deloitte's Sports Business Group.

Increased attendances
More room for corporate hospitality
Better experience for fans
More areas for retail and catering
Non-match day facilities including hotels, conference facilities, fitness centres
Giving club positive momentum - creating a "feel good factor"
*Source: Deloitte

The two thirds increase in earnings does not take into account income clubs make from their share of media broadcast rights.

Deloitte said that average attendances increased by an average of 51% when teams moved to a new ground.

Middlesbrough made the most of its switch to the Riverside Stadium with crowds surging by 146% when it first moved.

Arsenal and Manchester City are among the teams that have recently moved to new grounds, while clubs including Sunderland and Wigan Athletic have also uprooted in the past 10 years.

The catalyst for building new all-seater grounds came from the Taylor Report, commissioned in the aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

'White elephant risk'

But while this had provided the impetus, the levels of revenue growth "illustrate the fact that stadium investment can deliver significant element of a successful club business strategy," Mr Roberts said.

Unfortunately, we have seen some clubs press ahead with stadium development plans without the evidence to substantiate the proposed development
Mark Roberts

About 500m of the 2.2bn spent on new grounds was invested by clubs outside the Premier League - including Hull City and Stoke City - Deloitte found.

Mr Roberts warned it was important for clubs to research proposed developments fully to ensure that there was a genuine need for a new stadium, and that the move would generate a financial return.

"Unfortunately, we have seen some clubs press ahead with stadium development plans without the evidence to substantiate the proposed development," he said.

"In these cases development plans often tend to come unstuck when funding for the plans is sought, or, worse still, a white elephant is born."

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