Concert won’t damage pitch, says Oyston

Rod Stewart concert at Blackpool FC's Bloomfield Road ground last summer

Rod Stewart concert at Blackpool FC's Bloomfield Road ground last summer

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Karl Oyston insists next summer’s Neil Diamond concert will not damage the Bloomfield Road playing surface, even though the 2015-16 season begins little over a fortnight later.

The American legend plays Blackpool FC on July 23 and the big kick-off has been confirmed for August 8, but Pool chairman Oyston has revealed plans are in place to ensure a perfect surface.

This summer’s hugely successful Rod Stewart show at the ground resulted in Pool requesting to start their season away from home to allow the pitch to recover – and that show took place in June.

Oyston told The Gazette: “We are aware of how close the concert is to the start of next season and we had this in mind when planning the event.

“This time we will do work on the pitch before the concert and then cover it up for a few days, which shouldn’t do it any harm.

“We are not concerned about the state of the pitch at all. We are confident it will be perfect for the start of the season.”

Most of the pitch problems resulting from this summer’s concert were caused by huge pressure around the north goalmouth, which housed the stage.

And Oyston revealed that won’t be repeated. “We are moving the stage back, so it sits off the playing surface and more on the north stand itself,” he explained

And Oyston welcomes the idea of more regular non-football events at the stadium.

He said: “Everyone who attended the Rod Stewart concert last summer was delighted with how it went.

“It was a great event for Blackpool, which brought a lot of people and revenue to the area.

“As far as I’m concerned, the more shows or events we can bring to the town the better it is for the whole tourist industry, which is always in need of a lift.

“We have a modern football stadium which should have more than one use and this is a good use for the town.”

Tickets for Neil Diamond go on sale this Thursday at 9am.