CHESHIRE West and Chester Council has agreed to an increase of the Deva Stadium’s capacity for Chester FC’s historic first home league game on Bank Holiday Monday (August 30).
The decision follows hard work by the club to increase the available number of trained stewards to around 60 - more than required for a normal league game - plus a little help from their neighbours.
Traditional rivals Wrexham and Tranmere Rovers have agreed to loan stewards when necessary to help Chester’s successful rebirth.
And now the stadium’s Safety Advisory Group has agreed to increase the Deva’s capacity by 830 from 2,768 to 3,598, with all parts of the ground being open for the match against Prescot Cables.
CWaC chief executive Steve Robinson said: "The club has worked hard to achieve this progress over a relatively short time. I’m delighted that we been able to agree the improvement for the first home game.
"Help from the club’s traditional rivals sends out a tremendous message for football at a time when many smaller clubs are struggling."
Added Mr Robinson: "While we are still some way from the full capacity of 5,500, at this rate of progress it won’t be long before that is achievable.
"The club have shown admirable commitment to spectator safety and I hope they will be rewarded with a bumper gate."
Chester FC chairman Chris Pilsbury said: "Obviously the board are new to this process and I would like to thank everyone concerned for their help in enabling us to progress so quickly.
"Having the extra capacity is vital because we are expecting a good crowd for our first home game, a historic moment for the new club and hopefully, a wonderful bank holiday occasion."
Chester’s chairman appealed to all fans, including season ticket holders, to arrive early at the Deva Stadium. The match kicks off at 3pm.