Fleetwood close to opening Air Dome as they await Category Two verdict
Written by Training Ground Guru — May 17, 2023
FLEETWOOD TOWN are close to opening their new indoor dome as they await a decision on their application to go Category Two from next season.
The League One outfit have one of the newest Academies in the EPPP system, having entered at Cat 4 level in 2013 and then been promoted to Cat 3 in 2016/17.
Now they have applied to go Cat 2, with an audit having already taken place and a final decision from the Professional Game Board imminent. Elsewhere, Reading have applied to go Cat 1 and Bournemouth to go Cat 2.
An indoor dome is one of the conditions of being Cat 2, which is why Luton Town - who have failed to secure planning permission to build their own - have recently had to withdraw their application.
Fleetwood’s ‘Air Dome’ will be available 365 days a year and open in “a couple of weeks”, the club said. It will house an artificial grass seven-a-side pitch (60mx40m), a gym and sprint track and is the result of a “seven-figure investment” by owner Andy Pilley.
The dome is “bespoke” and made from “a high-quality and energy-efficient membrane system”, while the “latest technology” will be used to keep it inflated. The local community, as well as the Academy, will also be able to use the facility.
Pilley said: “It looks fantastic, and I am just proud that we’ve managed to get this over the line. The dome is going to give a huge amount of pleasure to thousands of people throughout the year, but as well as our Academy - it’s just a fantastic facility.
“For the community, this is a huge addition to what we already offer young footballers, boys, and girls, in the local area and beyond. The weather isn’t always perfect in Fleetwood as we know, but it will be perfect inside that dome for 365 days of the year.
“I am sure lots of people will get use out of our new dome and I am also sure it will make players better as well as their quality of life.”