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Dave McIntyre - QPR chief sets out vision for Old Oak
QPR chief executive Philip Beard
Chief executive Philip Beard says attracting new fans and generating income on non-matchdays must be among QPR’s top priorities if the club moves to Old Oak.
Rangers’ owners, fronted by chairman Tony Fernandes, are keen for the team to play at a 40,000-capacity arena which will be part of a huge development near Willesden Junction rail station.
With plans for the area to become a commercial hub with a flagship events-venue, as well as thousands of new homes, the project could generate a fortune if it comes to fruition.
And the club are hopeful that the establishment of New Queens Park – seen as effectively a new town – will enable QPR to appeal to locals as well as football fans in general.
Beard said: “Everywhere I go I meet people who are QPR fans who don’t come regularly to Loftus Road.
QPR hope to move in 2018.
QPR hope to move to the new arena in 2018.
“I think with a new stadium we would look to attract a broader, wider fan-base. If there’s going to new homes in the area we’re talking about, then you’d like to think you’d be able to get new fans from the local area.
“If we go ahead with this we will be as close to Loftus Road as you’d have hoped to be and are almost going back to the home of Queens Park Rangers originally.
“But we need to grow our fan-base. We need to make the facility attractive not only for the current fans to come to but also new fans to come to, while also protecting the identity of the club.
“We’re going to do everything we possibly can to make sure that every single QPR fan who comes to Loftus Road is engaged and is passionate about what we’re trying to achieve at a new stadium.
“But if we’re going to have double the capacity, we’re going to need to make sure that it’s a facility that new fans and latent QPR fans want to come to.”
Beard says the club “have some very good people looking at logos, branding, identity and everything else” but that the immediate focus has to be on winning promotion back to the Premier League and becoming stable in the top flight.
In the longer term, if the move to the new complex goes ahead it would enable QPR to benefit from a number of different revenue streams.
Current plans include the building of a Wembley Arena-style venue next to the main facility, which would host concerts and the like.
Beard explained: “If a football club plays less than 30 home games a season at their home ground, that means you’ve got 300-plus days a year when it’s not being used. That doesn’t make commercial sense.
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes
The project is crucial to Fernandes’ plans
“It doesn’t make sense from a football or business point of view and also for the community – if we’re going to put this right at the heart of this new area, it’s important that we ‘sweat the assets’.
“So, what we’ll be looking to achieve is a stadium that can adapt its areas and facilities for other events, conventions, concerts and conferences.
“The plan is to have a hotel on-site and we’ll be looking to win business [away] from core Central London venues and bring them out to New Queens Park so that we can use the stadium for other events.
“The initial plans have us building an arena on the site of the stadium for concerts, conferences and things like that.
“Our aim will be to use the facility for a lot more than just football, albeit that it will be the home of Queens Park Rangers.
“It’s really important that we understand that it is a home for Queens Park Rangers but it’s also going to be hosting a lot of other activities as well.” West London Sport
From FOOTBALL AID
Play at Loftus Road – The Perfect Xmas Gift!
If you're thinking of getting something extra special for the Rs fan in your life this Xmas, why not gift them the ultimate present: a chance to play for their team on the hallowed Loftus Road turf!
Queens Park Rangers FC have teamed up with Football Aid - www.footballaid.com - once again to offer fans the unique opportunity to play at Loftus Road in 2014, and with proceeds from the games going to the QPR Community Trust it won’t just be your loved ones who benefit this Xmas either.
Football Aid offers the perfect present for the football daft family member - the opportunity to experience a matchday in the same way the likes of Hill, Austin, Barton and co do every other week. Players will gain exclusive access to the pitch and tunnel areas, pull on their own personalised shirt in the official changing rooms, walk down the tunnel to the sound of a cheering crowd and step out on the hallowed turf and represent QPR in a never to be forgotten 90 mins of football!
To add to that, the matches at Loftus Road have also been supported by a host of fantastic R’s legends in recent years, with the likes of Clive Wilson, Football Aid Ambassador Marc Bircham, Danny Maddix, Stan Bowles (and many more) all lending their extra special support by playing alongside or managing the fans on their big day.
Securing a position couldn’t be easier, just visit www.footballaid.com and choose the QPR games and then you’ll have two Fixed Price options: Option 1: Buy Now - Book a place with a one off payment, or Option 2: Sponsored to Play - Pay a non-refundable £100 deposit for a place, then pay the remaining balance anytime before the 31st Jan 2014.
QPR fan Joe Paradiso comes all the way from Canada to take part every year and told Football Aid about his experience after last season's event:
“Thank you once again for organizing another great Football Aid event at QPR's Loftus Road Stadium. The match was certainly exciting for the fans and many of the guys are looking forward to playing again next season. Keep up the good work!”
So if you're keen to secure someone a place on their Field of Dreams this festive season, why not visit www.footballaid.com and book them a position now! Alternatively if you’d like any additional information, you can call Football Aid on tel: 0131 220 5999, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, post on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/footballaid or send a tweet to @footballaid.
Since forming in 2001 Football Aid have allowed over 14,000 football fans the chance to Live the Dream in 535 charity matches all over the UK, with over £2M being paid out or designated as payable to charities in the 12 years since.The unique concept was the brainchild of businessman and Football Aid Chairman Craig Paterson and funds raised from this year's events will benefit the work of a charitable project nominated by the QPR Community Trust, as well as projects nominated by Football Aid’s parent charity Field of Dreams.
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