We used to live next to an abandoned stadium but now it’s been completely transformed… it draws a lot of attention

BRITS living next to a formerly abandoned stadium have told how it’s been completely transformed.

The old Eastville Stadium, where Bristol Rovers used to play, closed in October 1997 and was torn down by 1998.

The old Eastville Stadium, where Bristol Rovers used to play, closed in October 1997 and was torn down by 1998Alamy

SWNSThe site is now an IKEA superstore[/caption]

It remained a derelict site until the following year, when it was transformed into an IKEA superstore.

Now locals have told how the store draws crowds of visitors, clogging up roads and causing traffic “chaos”.

One man, who didn’t want to be named, said: ““They built Ikea there with no thoughts of the traffic.

“There are cars everywhere and the roundabout is like driving round the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. It’s madness sometimes.”

Another added: “The traffic situation could be addressed, since IKEA opened it’s been chaos especially at weekends when people bring their whole families.

“We can hard get into Tesco or the retail park due to the queues.”

Others slammed the area around the store.

On man in his 80s, who didn’t want to be named, said: “I went to the Rovers ground in my younger says but now its like a bomb site, rusty caravans all over the place and litter.

“I’ve not been to IKEA but I know my daughter takes her kids a lot for the food and they love adventuring the place, but all the nearby areas are a state, it is a tip.”

Some were just glad the area was being put to a purpose.

A woman in her 50s added: “It’s better to have something than nothing, it could be wasteland sad empty and unused, but we have a big superstore [IKEA] that draws a lot of attention.

“People come to Bristol from miles around, so it probably helps with tourism.”

Justin Quinnell, 61, who lives nearby remembered the old stadium and used to watch the greyhound racing with his dad.

Built in 1897, the stadium was home to Bristol Rovers until 1986 and record attendance was 39,462.

The stadium was also used as a greyhound racing venue and housed the Bristol Bulldogs speedway racing team.

Justin said: “I remember seeing Portsmouth beating Bristol Rovers 4-2, my dad picking me up to show me all of the depression on the pitch.

“There was also a Sunday market there, where my mum used to get her son’s jeans – then it moved up to the MEM (Memorial Stadium).”

Sun Online has contacted IKEA for comment.

It comes after a stadium with a bigger capacity than Premier League teams was “left to rot”.

An IKEA spokesperson said: “IKEA has been a proud member of the Bristol community since 1999.

“We know that many people in the West of England appreciate having an IKEA store in their area, to see the full range in person and to speak to our colleagues as they need and want to.

“We are aware of some isolated instances of traffic congestion in October and November last year due to road closures in the vicinity, but not of any ongoing issues on the roads close to the IKEA Bristol.”

SWNSJustin Quinnell, 61, who lives nearby remembered the old stadium and used to watch the greyhound racing with his dad[/caption]

AlamyNow locals have told how the store draws crowds of visitors. It used to be a stadium[/caption]

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