Date: 4th June 2016 at 12:00pm
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Should we have closed the upper tiers?

Earlier this week Bolton Wanderers had decided they would not be closing the upper tiers of the Macron Stadium.

The club said in their statement they would remain open for season ticket holders to sit or remain there if they so wished, while their tactic for matchday ticket sales would be to sell the lower tiers first.

It’s an issue which some people have really taken to heart on social media, perhaps a bit too much. There have been two camps, but who have had a fair point.

On one hand, you have the ‘shut the tier’ camp. There have been two key themes in their argument. The first being the pragmatic one. If you open a tier, you have to pay for staff to operate it and clean it. With the attendance levels we may have next season, it makes financial sense to pack us all together in a smaller number of sections.

Which led to the other theme – the atmosphere at games. I didn’t go to the Legends match myself, but fans were mainly sat in the lower tiers for that and many speak of a great atmosphere that afternoon.

That, however, could have been down to what was happening on the pitch. If the class of 2016/17 serve up a similar amount of mediocrity to what we’ve become accustomed to, we could have a crowd of 20,000 and it would still feel like being in a morgue.

On the other hand, there are those who want to keep the tiers open. Their’s is an emotive argument, but one that is fair. They’ve sat there for whatever amount of years, and they want to stay there. I get this. I’m in the North Stand Lower and relocated there when I once again became a season ticket holder in 2012. While a closure wouldn’t have affected me, I have got to know the people around me. I might even get to call them friends. And sometimes that is as much part of going to the football as the actual match.

If the upper tiers had been shut, I would have hoped the club would have looked at what Aston Villa have done when the announced the closure of the Trinity Road Upper, offering fans who had sat there for ages to relocate with friends they had sat next to.

What are your opinions on this? Feel free to comment

 

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