Derbyshire football club given permission to host boxing matches at stadium

A Derbyshire football club has been granted permission to host boxing matches on its pitch.

Wednesday, 15th May 2019, 4:03 pm
The Impact Arena

Alfreton Town Football Club, which plays at the Impact Arena, in North Street, had made the application to Amber Valley Borough Council.

It has asked to host up to two boxing matches a year in a marquee to be constructed on the pitch between 6.30pm and 10pm on Saturdays.

A licensing panel hearing has now approved the application.

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Police had initially objected to the proposals, fearing that crime and disorder could increase as a result of the plans.

However, after talks between the police and the football club, the force retracted its opposition, attaching a number of conditions to the approval.

These say that only boxing regulated by the International Boxing Association or the British Board of Boxing Control would be permitted.

It also said that the football club would have to notify the council and police at least 28 days before any boxing event – amateur or professional.

If it is a professional boxing match, the football club would have to send the names of competitors, name and address of the promoter (if any) and the estimated number of attendees to the police and council – also within 28 days of the event.

The club would also have to “comply with any reasonable request of the police which will minimise the risk of crime and disorder at the event”.

Two residents had also been in touch with the council to raise fears that parking issues and disruption would worsen as a result of the plans.

At the hearing, a spokesperson for the club said that there was sufficient parking to cater for the boxing events across several sites in Alfreton, including at the ground, at the nearby David Nieper factory and at the team’s social club.

He said that sufficient parking has been available for as long as the club has been there.

The spokesperson said that the club had intended to host a match on Saturday, May 18, but could not now go ahead because the licence to do so had not been approved in time.

He said the intention was to hold the event next May instead.

A specialist security firm, known for supervising boxing matches, would be on hand at any of  the club’s events.

Around 2,000 people regularly attend Alfreton Town matches, he said, with around a dozen nighttime matches held during the regular season.

Following these matches, the ground was typically locked up by 11pm.

The spokesperson said that the highest attendance this season as a televised match against Fleetwood Town which saw more than 3,000 people at the Impact Arena.

Boxing organiser Mike Shinfield spoke at the hearing. He had been behind this month’s cancelled event.

He said that around 150-200 cars could be expected at the boxing matches, with most people getting a bus to the ground or a pre-arranged coach or shuttle-bus.

Mr Shinfield said: “I can’t see that parking would be a tremendous problem.”

Coun Valerie Thorpe said: “I have been to a match there myself and if you can cope with that, you can cope with this.”

Alfreton Town finished in 15th place in the Vanarama National League North this season, on 51 points.

They won 13 games out of the 42 they played this season, with 12 draws and 17 losses.

The club was formed in 1959 following the merger of Alfreton Miners Welfare and Alfreton United football clubs.