There’s been a rekindling of the debate about whether Dens Park is in need of redevelopment.
I say “rekindling” but it’s a debate that never seems to go away.
Recent calls have been made to make changes to the South Enclosure.
Complaints have been raised about fan behaviour, standard of facilities and the general appearance in the stand known to many a Dark Blues fan as “The Derry”.
But making changes in that area of Dens would be easier said than done, as many a chief executive, owner or chairman who have walked the corridors of the club have found.
It’s not just a case of sprucing up the stand, it would need dismantling and then rebuilt.
Punters have to realise that, as things stand, it just wouldn’t be financially viable for the club to make the changes they desire.
It’s definitely not for a want of trying, as this issue is something that has been discussed at the highest level at the Premiership outfit.
But these kind of conversations are nothing new.
As I said earlier, for as long as the complaints about the South Enclosure have existed, so, too, have ideas and grand plans to redevelop it.
Quite possibly the most lavish and ostentatious of which came under the tenure of Canadian business tycoon Ron Dixon.
When I mentioned his name to current Dundee director Steve Martin, who was involved with the club for a short while under Dixon, he described the infamous former chairman as a “man with big ideas, ahead of his time”.
Although, to be fair to Martin, he soon qualified that by adding his spell ended up delivering quarrels off the field with little tangible success on it.
Here we take a look at what might have been if Dixon had his way in the spring of 1992, the year the Dark Blues won the First Division Championship.
Phase one had successfully been applied for with a greyhound racing track and new parking facilities in the offing.
One thing that’s for certain is Dens would have had a very different look had phase two of plans gone ahead.PlansDixon lodged plans to increase the capacity of Dens to around 25,000 half of which would be seated.
A new South Stand would be built, housing some 8,500 fans.
The new development would include an ice rink on the space at the back of the South Enclosure, running down to Dens Road.Proposal 1 South Stand
The new development was to be located on the spot of the South Enclosure.
The stand capacity would be boosted from 3,377, 75% of which is covered, to 8,500 all under cover.
The Stand Enclosure, the standing terrace at the front of the North Stand, or Main Stand, would be developed and seating installed.
That would bring it in line with recommendations from the Taylor Report, published after the inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster of April 1989. Although it would now only seat some 1,200 fans.
Both ends of the ground, then undeveloped, would also be upgraded.
Seating would be added eventually reducing the final stadium capacity to 20,500 approximately.Proposal 2 Proposed ice arena and conference centre
Installation of a multi-functional facility capable of hosting international hockey matches, speed skating, curling (six rinks) as well as providing a centre for leisure skating, discos and dance shows.
The main arena would 60m x 30m in size with a four-sided, all-seated indoor spectator area for some 4,200 people.
The ice surface would have scope to be adapted to allow the hosting of basketball, boxing, exhibitions and conferences.