A VISIT to the Amex Stadium this weekend for Wanderers fans may have chalked off a new name to some of those groundhoppers searching for membership of the esteemed ‘92 club’ though there is some debate at The Bolton News towers as to what the actual criteria should be.
Football reporters, like many fans, love a new ground hence the excitement that stirs when the draws for the early rounds of the Capital One Cup come around – no matter how much of a mess the Sky Sports pundits make of pulling simple numbered cubes out of a big plastic sphere.
This particular columnist is still seeking visits to Plymouth and Colchester to complete the set – not the most ideal locations when the Football League decides to make those early rounds regionalised.
I may have to up the ante in the bribery stakes and coerce my Bury FC reporting colleague to sacrifice his trip to watch the Shakers in Devon in February so I can get to within one of that elusive ‘92’.
But would they all count if clubs have moved to new stadia during those years of football following?
If you went to the old Plough Lane to watch Wimbledon would you still be able to count that now AFC Wimbledon play at Kingsmeadow.
My argument is if you have seen a club play a home game, it should count.
If you’ve been to Burnden then you have seen Wanderers play at home, regardless of whether they have had the temerity to uproot to a new venue since.
Having said that, the football geek in me would still want to visit the new stadium and take pictures for my ever-growing album of ‘grounds I have visited’.
But then do I have to revisit the Macron Stadium because it has changed its name this summer? Where do you draw the line?
Portsmouth once considered rotating their pitch 90 degrees, much like the wicket at Lancashire County Cricket ground, so would that now be construed a new stadium?
It sounds pedantic but then us football weirdos take our business seriously.
As far as Brighton goes, the credit on my 92-list is still up in the air?
I went to the old Goldstone Ground and to the Amex with the Whites last season but never made it to the Withdean Stadium in between?
Should that matter or not?
And what about Coventry City? This week they announced they were returning to the Ricoh Arena next month after what was an unwelcome sabbatical at Northampton Town as touched on in this column a week ago.
I saw them play at Highfield Road but my only visit to the Ricoh was for an international match in the 2012 Olympics.
Does that mean I need to go again to see the Sky Blues play there?
It is a complicated thing this world we call ground-hopping you know!