The Crown Oil Arena endured a gruelling pre-season session this weekend, as volunteers worked to get the stadium in peak condition for the campaign ahead.
24 volunteers braved the weather to take on tasks such as seat cleaning, stand sweeping, weeding, and painting prep.
“It’s always a tough task getting the stadium ready after the summer pitch renovation as we are a small maintenance team, so today was a huge help,” commented Kevin Lowe, Stadium Manager.
“We’ve had a great start now and we can kick on with some of the other tasks now ahead of our first game,“ he finished.
In total, volunteers donated over 100 hours of their time - equivalent to a week’s work for the full maintenance team!
A large skip was filled with old advertising boards, broken seats and debris, as well as four wheelie bins full of weeds from the Ticket Office round to the Club Shop, with the area around the Ratcliffe Bars given special attention.
The fan areas around the Sandy Lane/Main Stand corner were also tidied, with the players entrance, where many young fans gather pre and post-game, weeded and prepped for painting.
Approximately 2,000 seats have been cleaned, with the Smith Metals Family Stand and the David Kilpatrick Main Stand the focus of attention.
“This is our first time back in the stadium after 20 years living in Portugal, so we are more excited than most for the season to start,” commented two of the volunteers.
“We saw the advert online looking for help and, as we hadn’t been able to attend for so long, we couldn’t wait to get involved.”
Coordinated by Rochdale AFC Community Trust, volunteers were kept fed and watered with bacon butties in the half-time team break.
Rochdale AFC have also provided free entry to all volunteers for the upcoming Bradford City friendly fixture.
If anyone feels they could support the maintenance team with some voluntary hours, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.