The construction of HS2 aims to provide the UK with a high-speed, state-of-the-art transportation system to act as its low-carbon future. It will help to improve capacity by taking intercity trains off the existing train network, thus freeing up more space for passengers.
Its benefits for loyal football fans, in particular, are tangible, and here we’ll take a look at what some of those benefits will be. Big days out that involve long-distance journeys, for example, a trip to Wembley for an FA Cup final, will have much shorter travel times and allow fans longer to enjoy the spectacle and the atmosphere of the occasion. To take last year’s final as a specific example, Manchester City fans once HS2 is complete would be able to knock up to 2 hours off their journey time to the capital, as indicated by United Kingdom.
The HS2 Ltd chair was quoted, "HS2 will free up space on existing lines, and up to 100 towns and cities are expected to benefit, meaning football fans across Britain will get extra rail services on match days throughout the season".
We can see from this that it’s not only centrepiece occasions such as FA Cup finals which will bring positive benefits to journey times for fans, but also the weekly away days throughout the year. Particular regions like the East Midlands, for instance, look set to benefit with a station planned at Toton which will simultaneously improve the transport links for the City Ground, Pride Park and the King Power stadium.
Perhaps the most telling example of the positive impact of HS2 plans for football came with Tony Fernandes’ announcement that QPR would be moving from their Loftus Road home, as reported by The Guardian to Old Oak Common (2 and a half miles north), as part of a regeneration project which includes a specific new station for the HS2 line.
A new stadium with a larger capacity to allow more fans to enjoy supporting their club live in conjunction with HS2 stations makes it clear that the plans for the high-speed line are influencing football for the benefit of the fans. Fewer fans will feel the need to drive and more will be able to indulge in a few drinks on the journey down and feel a great sense of leisure and well-being. Increased train travel can have myriad benefits for other industries, for example, the ease and convenience of online casino games at sites like https://www.comeon.com is ideally suited to fans looking for an accessible distraction along their journey, however long or short. The same goes for the mobile version of Netflix and Ted, which have already seen increased interest.
In addition, the financial benefits for clubs have the potential to be immense as more supporters will spend time at the ground making use of the club eateries and merchandising facilities, or as mentioned by Birmingham Mail in the case of Aston Villa even receive significant compensation for their coffers as a result of construction.
Completion of HS2 may be a long way off but fans can still be excited for the positive benefits it looks set to bring to their matchday experience. Away days may just become a whole lot easier and more accessible for the average fan.