Capacity may be increased soon at Harrogate Town as football fans are allowed back

Harrogate Town says the club is looking at increasing crowd numbers at their home matches after fans were allowed back into their stadium successfully for the first time since Covid.

Thursday, 10th December 2020, 5:10 pm

The club's managing director Garry Plant was full of praise for both its staff and its supporters for going the extra mile to deliver the long-awaited return of spectators at last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Forest Green Rovers.

As Harrogate Town were the only Yorkshire-based Football League side to be allowed fans back into their stadium last Saturday, all eyes were on it and the club became part of the focus of the weekend for the football media.

Harrogate Town fans made a long-awaited return to Wetherby Road at the weekend as the EnviroVent Stadium reopened with social distancing measures in full effect. (Picture: Matt Kirkham)

Mr Plant said: “The logistics for the match were a real success. The measures in place to ensure we met all the Covid protocols were executed to the last detail, well managed and a reassurance to supporters that we are able to stage the return of crowds safely.”

The strict Covid-secure measures in place meant only around 500 Harrogate Town season ticket deposit holders were allowed to attend the game at EnviroVent Stadium with its new all-seater main stand for the very first time since Town won promotion to the English Football League.

As well as face masks, temperature checks and social distancing, there were staggered arrival times and a small army of Covid marshalls to make sure the rules were followed.

Harrogate Town 'superfan' and Harrogate Advertiser columnist Dave Worton, who was at last Saturday's match, said: "

"The club’s gone the extra mile to comply with Covid-19 restrictions. We’ve got e-tickets, staggered arrival times, pink-vested Covid marshalls and hand sanitiser. Most importantly, an excited Molly and I pass the compulsory temperature test

"Once safely inside, there are no programmes on sale and the food kiosk is shuttered.

We are told to head straight to our place in the stand and stay there, a safe distance apart from the person or bubble next to us.

"Masks are to be worn at all times but singing, and shouting at the officials, is definitely allowed.

"It’s not the full football-supporting experience we know and love, but it’s a small step towards normality and we are all grateful."

Harrogate Town's managing director Garry Plant said more good news for fans could be on the way soon.

He said: “The cooperation of supporters and strict adherence to the control measures in place contributed hugely to the success of the arrangements. We are now working with The Sports Ground Safety Association and The EFL to increase the capacity,”

The club plan an update for fans before their home match against eighth-placed Salford City on Saturday, December 19.

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