Stowmarket Town Football Club announces stadium-wide smoking ban will take effect in game against Grays Athletic on November 25
A non-league football team has announced its stadium will become completely smoke and vape free by the end of the month in an effort to make the ground more family-friendly.
Stowmarket Town Football Club shared the news in a social media post on November 13, stating that, as a ‘proud family community stadium’ all areas within the ground will be smoke and vape free zones from November 25.
It said it hopes this will ensure a healthier, more family-friendly and enjoyable experience for all spectators.
The behaviours were already banned in and around the stands.
Nick Merritt, club vice-chairman, said: “We want to create a family-friendly atmosphere and try and bring that younger audience in – all the higher league clubs are smoke free in their stadiums so that’s why we’re doing it.
“There will still be a smoking area in the car park; it’s not like the whole area is non-smoking and it was already the case in the stands and to the left and right of them, so it’s only a little more to make it completely smoke free.
“On the whole it’s been welcomed and we’ve only had four bad comments on X (formerly Twitter), so hopefully we start a trend amongst other non-league clubs.”
The new policy will come into effect at the club’s next home game, against Grays Athletic in the Isthmian North League.
Nick hopes that it will help bring in a younger audience to the club that will complement the existing atmosphere created at games.
He continued: “It’s not like it’s 20 years ago when smoking was wider, so I feel like it’s a good time to do it.
“I think this is a really good idea and I really do hope other clubs follow suit.”
The game against Grays will kick off at 3pm.