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The community impact of football pitches: a case study of Maidstone United FC

May, A and Parnell, D (2016) The community impact of football pitches: a case study of Maidstone United FC. Sport in Society, 20 (2). pp. 244-257. ISSN 1743-0445

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Abstract

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The use of third-generation artificial grass pitches (AGPs) is growing in English semi-professional football. As usage grows, research into the impact of AGPs is needed, in order to examine the potential impact of such surfaces for a football club and local community. This article analyses the experiences of National League South club Maidstone United through a detailed case study. The club have installed an AGP at their stadium and are able to utilize it for up to 80 hours a week. All the club’s 45 teams are able to train and play on the AGP, and other local sport clubs have hired it, arguably increasing Public Health opportunities. This means that youth teams, first team club players and community participants alike have access to a high-quality playing surface. This has raised the club’s profile in the local community and increased income generation, supporting the financial sustainability of the club.

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