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York City’s new owners have big plans: ‘We are creating new memories’ – The Athletic

The demolition crew have been busy, but there are still enough remnants of Bootham Crescent, York City’s home until last year, to feel a pang of nostalgia.

There’s the crumbling away terrace for a start, complete with a s…….

The demolition crew have been busy, but there are still enough remnants of Bootham Crescent, York City’s home until last year, to feel a pang of nostalgia.

There’s the crumbling away terrace for a start, complete with a smattering of rusting crash barriers and advertising hoardings clinging to the back wall. One is so ancient it’s pushing the services of York City ClubCall, once a leading source of news and gossip — provided supporters were willing to stump up 48 pence per minute for the privilege — made obsolete by the advent of the internet.

Also still standing is the old supporters’ social club, albeit with the upstairs windows having been smashed by vandals, along with most of the main stand’s back wall. In the coming few weeks, these reminders of the past will be swept away by Persimmon Homes and 93 properties built on a site that was home to the city’s football club for almost 90 years.

For now, though, fans wanting one last stroll down memory lane can do so. On the morning The Athletic visits, a couple of cars pull up five minutes apart. The occupants, all sporting mournful expressions, get out for a look around.

Today, “home” for York City sits two and a half miles to the north east of where these fans are paying their respects to an old friend. Owned by the local council, the 8,500-capacity all-seater LNER Community Stadium is shared with York City Knights rugby league club.


The remains of Bootham Crescent’s old away terrace

It is here where Alastair Smith, York’s chief executive following last month’s takeover of the newly promoted National League club, prefers to focus.

“You come to the new stadium and it is like a mini Premier League stadium,” says this lifelong fan, who founded the York City South supporters’ group. “You look at the glass facade and think, ‘Wow! This is impressive’. Then you get inside and the atmosphere is great.

“My first visit to Bootham Crescent was for a night match. I was 14. You had to walk up some steps to reach the terrace. I remember seeing this big patch of green, the greenest thing I have ever seen. Even today that still sticks with me.

“Grounds are bricks and mortar. But they are also memories. It might not be memories of big successes. It could be meeting their future spouse there or anything like that.

“Now, though, we are creating new memories. Winning promotion has given us that. I have a season ticket in the South Stand with my boys and the atmosphere the fans make is fantastic.”

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Source: https://theathletic.com/3459760/2022/08/04/york-city-new-stadium/

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