Middlesbrough Supporters Forum (MSF) were royally received at Derby County Football Club on New Year’s Day after being invited for a tour of Pride Park’s concourse heating system that has been such a success amongst Derby fans.
The MSF is keen to see similar comforts be afforded to Boro fans at home games. Middlesbrough Football Club’s Riverside Stadium was the first of the new build stadia and Pride Park was the next and there is no technical reason why heating can’t be installed in the Riverside.
MSF was represented by Chair, Chris Joseph and Dave Roberts of REDARMYTV and toured all parts of the stadium where both electric and gas-powered heating systems are used to keep Rams fans warm through the winter.
Chris Joseph, said: “When I was invited to switch on the system I thought it would be like launching a rocket. But I flicked the switch and the concourses heated up instantly, and silently. We were astounded by the simplicity, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the Derby system. We were shown round Pride Park before the gates opened by Martin Smith, Derby County’s Chief Stadium Engineer.”
Dave Roberts, a former engineer, added, “Derby use both electricity and gas to heat their stadium. The installation and running costs were insignificant and Derby’s reward is the extra revenue they now generate from fans spending more time on the concourses with notable substantial increases in revenue from the bars and food kiosks.”
Joseph added, “We understand that the extra revenue far outweighs the running costs and there are other benefits as well. With Derby’s help, we will be furnishing Middlesbrough Football Club with a more detailed technical and cost report at the next MSF meeting. Our visit was a timely one as Derby are holding a special conference in February to show off their system, with Clubs like Manchester City having already shown interest in The Ram’s initiative, but you really don’t need to be the richest club in the world to afford this! It was a good visit and we secured a valuable point as well!”.
The heating system was installed into Pride Park after lifelong Derby fan Melvyn Morris bought the club in 2015, stating a comfortable experience for home supporters was a priority.