CONSIDERED unviable by previous ownership – Wanderers will test the water again this weekend by bringing back the FanZone.

Supporters with a home ticket can gain access to the Premier Suite for pre-match food, drink and entertainment, plus the lure of some special guests before the Rochdale game.

The FanZone was initially opened to great success in 2008, with Bolton still a Premier League club, and numbers remained healthy until it was closed in 2016.

With help from the Bolton Wanderers Supporters’ Trust, the club has now decided to try again this Saturday and have also pencilled in another date before Burton Albion’s visit on New Year’s Day.

The Premier Suite’s popularity means it is booked for a good portion of the year, so alternative venues are being considered for a regular FanZone, including an outdoor marquee based around Bolton Central.

The financial viability of the FanZone was questioned by previous owner Ken Anderson, who preferred to direct matchday drinkers towards the Bolton Whites Hotel.

Speaking in November 2017 about the possibility of reopening, he said: “As far as I’m aware in the past the FanZone didn’t make any money, it actually lost the club money.

“My job at the moment at the club is to stop things that cost us or lose us money.

“If someone says to me they’ll come in and run the FanZone and it won’t cost us or lose us any money, it was to our satisfaction and the fans want it, I’d be happy to do it.”

Many of the features that proved popular in the original FanZone will return, including a giant inflatable dart board and table tennis, live music, a raffle and prize quiz.

A special FanZone beer has also been produced for the re-opening, priced at £3 a pint.

Wanderers CEO Emma Beaugeard said: “We are delighted to be bringing back the Bolton Wanderers FanZone which will give our fans the perfect space to meet and enjoy themselves before our local derby against Rochdale.

“I’d like to thank the Bolton Wanderers Supporters' Trust who have helped us in the organisation of this and I hope that everybody enjoys themselves ahead of what promises to be a great afternoon of football.”

The Trust had previously experimented with running their own FanZone at the Bolton Arena and after consulting its members were keen to push for its return at the stadium.

A spokesperson said: "The Supporters' Trust has long lobbied for the return of the Fanzone. “We see it as a great amenity for fans to all come together in a convivial atmosphere in the build up to the game. “It also provides a platform for the club to re-engage with supporters and get that vital bond with them that has been missing for so long. “The Suporters' Trust wants to see the Community Trust and the Development Association have a strong presence at the Fanzone too so that they can remind everyone of the great work that they do and encourage fans to support their programmes in any way they can. “Continuing the community theme, we are pleased to say that Bolton at Home will be sponsoring this first of the new era Fanzones for the Rochdale game on October 19.

“This is a great opportunity for all involved to come together as one as we all do our bit to help rebuild our great club."

Meanwhile, the club has also confirmed there will be a special Christmas Party in the Premier Suite immediately after the home game against Southend United on Saturday, December 21.

Bolton boss Keith Hill and several players past and present will be in attendance alongside some live music, entertainment and a pastie and peas supper.

Tickets will be priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children under the age of 16 will go on sale from November 1 and will be available from the Bolton Central.