BLACKPOOL CHANGE VENUES FOR FIRST PREMIER LEAGUE GAME

Blackpool Football Club has switched their first ever Premier League from a home encounter against Wigan Athletic to an away match after concerns over their stadium.

The Seasiders opted for the change in fixture in case upgrades on the East Stand at Bloomfield Road are not completed by Saturday 14 August.

"This is the only Blackpool fixture that will be affected," said a Premier League statement.

"This decision will give both clubs and fans maximum time to plan accordingly."

Blackpool clinched promotion to the top flight for the first time since 1971 after winning the Championship Play-Off against Cardiff last season.

The club had requested an away to kick off their campaign but were drawn to play Wigan at home.

However, the Premier League decided to switch the match as work continues on improving Bloomfield Road and increasing the capacity up to 17,600.

"The board felt it was important to take this decision as early as possible if there was any potential for Blackpool FC's stadium not being ready for the first match of the season," said the Premier League statement.

"The board would like to put on record its thanks to both Wigan Athletic FC and Wigan RL [rugby league] whose flexibility in the circumstances has been extremely helpful."

The Seasiders will travel to Arsenal on 21 August before their first home game of the season against Fulham on 28 August.

A club spokesperson said: “We can confirm this is the only fixture that will be affected and the first home game of the 2010/11 season will be when Fulham visit the Fylde Coast on August Bank Holiday Saturday 28 August.

“We would like to thank the Premier League, Wigan Athletic and Wigan Warriors for their help and flexibility on this situation.”

Blackpool’s home fixture against Wigan is now scheduled for Saturday 16 April 2011.

Posted on 12/07/2010