12:32 15 February 2012
The Memorial Stadium has been owned by Bristol Rovers since 1998, when it was purchased from the old Bristol Rugby Club, who were in administration at the time.
The old Bristol Rugby Club has no connection to the present Bristol Rugby, who are now tenants at the stadium and a new company altogether.
The stadium capacity is just under 12,000, around 3,000 of which is seating. The seats are all located in the Dribuild Stand, the J&G Group Stand and the South Stand - the rest of the stadium is terracing only.
Before moving back to Bristol, Rovers played their home matches at Bath City's Twerton Park for nearly ten years. It was an arrangement that lasted until the non-league club increased the rental charges to Rovers at the start of the 1995/96 season. Rovers felt that the Romans had failed to take into account the ground improvements that the Pirates had made since they arrived, and so decided to move on.
Following talks with Bristol Rugby Club, Rovers moved to the then Memorial Ground as tenants - back in the heartland of the club's support.
Shortly after the move, the rugby club hit financial troubles, and after long protracted discussions, a new company was formed between the rugby club and Rovers, with each club owning 50 per cent of shares at a cost of £10,000.
This new company, the Memorial Stadium Company Limited, purchased the Memorial Ground for the asking price of £2.3m, thereby saving it from being sold to a pension fund of a distribution company who were bidding for the asset value.
This arrangement worked very well with both clubs being tenants of their own company, however, even after receiving the £2.3m value of the sale, the rugby club had yet more financial problems and chose to go into voluntary administration to address their mounting debt.
Under a clause in the shareholders' agreement of the Memorial Stadium Company, it stated that if either club went into receivership or administration, the remaining club could buy back the other's shares from the administrator for the original cost of those shares (£10,000) to protect the stadium from being sold off. Rovers therefore exercised this right and became sole owners of the stadium.
A new rugby club was later formed, which has no business relationship to the old rugby club, and now plays its home matches at the stadium
The total capacity of the Memorial Stadium stands at 11,916, although this figure is reduced to 11,724 after the segregation of home and away supporters is accounted for.
For Football League matches a standard split of home and away fans is as shown below, although for cup matches and play-off matches, visiting supporters are entitled to a greater allocation of overall capacity, reducing the space for home fans.