Improvements continue at the Oak Tree Arena

PUBLISHED: 08:52 08 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:24 24 May 2010

AS the Somerset Rebels move into the New Year, promoter Mike Golding and Bill Hancock, the landlord at the Oak Tree Arena, have remained in close contact

AS the Somerset Rebels move into the New Year, promoter Mike Golding and Bill Hancock, the landlord at the Oak Tree Arena, have remained in close contact with regards to the improvements being carried out there ahead of the new season starting in March.Work is currently being undertaken to move the turnstile entrance nearer the start-line, and this should be completed in time for the opening fixture, though the plans are currently in the hands of the local planning officer, and two new marquees will be sited on second bend for refreshments and corporate use. These will be there for the end of this month in plenty of time for the Press and practice day, which will be held on Wednesday, March 14.The marquees are a temporary measure until the new clubhouse, which will run from the start straight to first turn, is built. Work on foundations starts at the end of April, but it is not anticipated the clubhouse will be up and running until October.One area of improvement that has been high on the list for riders and fans is that of the lighting at the Oak Tree Arena. Here, improvements to the track lighting are being made, but the club do have to work within council height restrictions, but once completed the new lighting arrangements should be far superior to existing lighting.Finally, the club are keen to make the experience of visiting a speedway meeting more accessible to the public, so with this in mind, the pits area is to be concreted to give easier access, and open to the public up to 7pm on race days, giving youngsters an ideal chance to get autographs and pictures of the riders.As Mike Golding explains, these improvements are vital for the club going forward. "All these improvements are for the fans' comfort and to try to attract some of the big events, such as Premier League Pairs, Fours or any of the major Individual meetings to the Oak Tree Arena in 2007 and beyond."Bill (Hancock) is determined to improve the spectator facilities and he must be applauded for his efforts, but I urge fans to be patient if everything is not ready at the start, it will happen."The club can confirm its opening home fixtures for the season: Wednesday, March 14 (3pm), Press and practice (by invitation only); Friday, March 16 (7.30pm), Oak Tree Arena Best Pairs; Friday, March 23 (7.30pm), Premier Trophy match (opponents to be confirmed); Friday, March 30, Paul Fry meeting.

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