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Plans unveiled for Rose Bowl expansion

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Plans for a major redevelopment of Hampshire County Cricket Club's home, the Rose Bowl, have been unveiled by chair, Rod Bransgrove.

The ambitious £35m scheme includes the construction of a 175-room hotel overlooking the pitch, and the redevelopment of the existing nine-hole golf course into a 18-hole championship course.

If approved, the plans would see the Rose Bowl transformed by 2009. Two additional stands would increase the permanent capacity of the ground to 13,500, with temporary seating permitting a total of 23,600 spectators – making it the second largest ground in the country.

Bransgrove has made his ambition for the Rose Bowl to host Test cricket plain since he rescued Hampshire and masterminded its move to the ground in 2001.

Hampshire withdrew from the contest to host Test cricket up until 2009 on the grounds that the access and quality of the pitch needed development – two key areas of the new scheme.

However, Bransgrove was a vocal critic of the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) decision to award a 2009 Ashes Test match to Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, ahead of Old Trafford and Durham's Chester-Le-Street.

He said: “Our vision is of a spectacular international sports and entertainment resort with Test cricket at its heart.

“These plans will provide cricket fans with the exciting prospect of seeing the world’s best cricketers in action at an outstanding world-class international cricket ground.

“Working with all our key local, regional and national stakeholders, we are looking forward to turning the vision into a hard and fast reality and elevating the Rose Bowl into the premier division of the country’s cricket grounds.”

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Plans for a major redevelopment of Hampshire County Cricket Club's home, the Rose Bowl, have been unveiled by chair, Rod Bransgrove.
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