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Warriors make improvements to supporters match-day experience
WORCESTER Warriors fans should go into the new season in high spirits after a summer of sweeping changes both on and off the pitch.
Plenty has been said about the arrival of Dean Ryan, his new-look coaching team and the annual turnover of players and the new director of rugby’s level-headed approach seems to have won favour with the Sixways supporters so far.
However, the club have also responded well to a number of off-field gripes that have often hindered fans’ enjoyment of the much vaunted ‘matchday experience’.
So, credit where it is due, the Warriors powers-that-be must be applauded for addressing a number of high-profile grievances during the off season.
For many season, Worcester supporters have regularly bemoaned many of the club’s perceived failings, the chief among them being poor floodlighting, the mis-firing public address system and the park-and-walk pathway along the canal into the ground.
Therefore, the fans blighted by these issues in recent seasons will be delighted to hear action has been taken to fix the issues, as well as several others.
Warriors’ head of operations Brian Ryan said: "It has been a busy pre-season with regards to all of the projects that have been undertaken and I hope all of the enhancements we have made will help make every supporter's visit to Sixways even better.
"We are committed to making Sixways the leading club rugby stadium in the country and will continue to take on board our supporters' constructive comments on ways to improve."
The pitch has undergone the largest amount of post-season maintenance work ever undertaken and a completely new drainage system was installed by Pershore-based company, Phil Day Sports.
South Stand spectators often complained about the floodlights at the opposite end of the ground being too low so they were dazzled during games. However, a new 25-metre high lighting column will be installed to take the north-east corner floodlit to the same height as the other three.
It will be in situ for the evening match against Harlequins on Friday, September 20 and additional lamps will be added.
The South Stand PA system will be upgraded to a fully-integrated and designed system before the Quins match. Prior to the installation being undertaken, temporary additional speakers will be added pitchside.
A significant investment has also been made in the installation of new automated turnstiles. These turnstiles and handheld readers will enable speedy entry, as well as enabling ‘print at home’ tickets to reduce queue times for collections.
Elsewhere, work has begun and will be completed prior to the London Irish match on the new Fragrance Mad Stand Village, which will be the main thoroughfare for supporters moving between the West and East Stands. The facility will have three new food stands and will host live music before each match.
The East Stand ground floor bars will now be heated, while the park and walk route into the ground from Wainwright Road to Offerton Lane will soon be tarmac’d and temporary lighting rigs will be provided for night matches.
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