Arbroath have invested a significant five-figure sum in stadium upgrades as they aim to welcome up to 1,000 fans back to Gayfield next season.
The Angus club have replaced two enclosure roofs, renewed crowd barriers and are extending hospitality facilities ahead of the new term.
Arbroath have clinched Championship football for a third successive year, prompting a ‘fantastic response’ to season ticket sales.
In the space of just six days, they have almost match last year’s tally.
And chairman Mike Caird can’t wait to see fans back in the ground for the Premier Sports Cup opener with East Fife on July 14th.
“We want to be the best not just on the park but off it too,” said Caird.
“We want the ground to be as tidy, safe and comfortable as possible for supporters.
“You can see that we are replacing the stadium enclosure roofs and doing up the steel.
“We took this opportunity do the works while fans aren’t here. We did the enclosure at the far side last year as the condition of the roofs aren’t great with the North Sea air.
“They’ve been up there for 20-odd years and we are replacing them.
We are always trying to improve and upgrade the facilities at Gayfield for our supporters and following the roof replacement of the sea-side enclosure last summer the work continues this year with both the Pleasureland and Harbour roofs being replaced. pic.twitter.com/uaHUpOxHm3
— Arbroath FC (@ArbroathFC) May 31, 2021
“We are also replacing some crowd barriers and generally doing a tidy up of the whole ground.
“We want it done before the season starts and we can welcome fans back in.
“The rules currently look like they will allow us to get 1000 fans back in. That could change, of course, but there are positive signs that we are going to get people back in.
“We are starting to sell season tickets again.
“There has been a fantastic response so far and I would urge everyone ‘if you want to come and see us next year then buy a season ticket.’
Fans can give Arbroath an ‘extra boost’ at Gayfield
“If they do that then you can be almost guaranteed to get back in.
“As I’ve said before, the fans give us an extra boost at home.
“We had decent home form last year but sometimes it’s the last 15 or 20 minutes that they can really help us.
“They might urge us on to get an extra goal to get a result we need.
“We miss the fans. It’s a cliche but we are all about fans. Like every club in Scotland we need them back in.”
Work by local contractors Cameron Blacksmiths to replace the roof at the Arbroath Harbour and Pleasureland ends of Gayfield will take place at the weekend.
Ongoing work by Moir Construction to extend the hospitality will be undertaken over the next few weeks.
Hospitality space could increase by up to 40 places, when restrictions ease.
Arbroath are continuing to invest on the park
On the park Arbroath have made three new signings – keeper Calum Antell, defender Liam Henderson and midfielder Nicky Low – and are looking for four additional players.
“Dick is looking for a pool of 21 but we are not rushing into it,” added Caird.
“He wants to make quality signings. We used the loan market well last year and hopefully this season we can get a couple of good loans to make the difference.
“We have the nucleus of a good squad and want to move things up with the next two or three signings.
“It’s important that we, as a club, look after loan players. I’m sure Rangers and Livingston – with the two signings we had last year – have seen that they left us as better players.
“That will hopefully stand them in good stead for the future.
“That means when we ask Rangers or Livingston for another player, they will know how well we look after them to allow the player to step up to the next level.”