Chairman Bill Anderson has confirmed Institute have played their last game at the Riverside Stadium in Drumahoe.
The ground, which has been unused since last August’s floods, suffered an arson attack on Friday night and Anderson confirmed after the club’s AGM on Monday evening that the club are looking at other sites.
“I think with what we have had to cope with this year - the flood and then the fire on Friday night - we as a committee have looked at all the possibilities and it’s fairly clear to us that not being able to build flood defences nor having any possibility of getting insurance going forward, the Riverside Stadium really isn’t an option for us,” he explained.
“So we have been working on that basis over the last few months and looking to try and identify another site as unfortunately Drumahoe does not look an option for us.”
Anderson, who is excited about ’Stute playing at the Brandywell next season, knows they need to find a ‘new home’ for the long term future of the club.
“I think it will take us a little while to get our ‘new home’, but I think with a new location and the right location we can ensure that the club is in a good position going forward for the next couple of decades at least,” he added.
“I think it’s very clear to everybody, and although people on the Cityside and everyone I have spoken too are welcoming us to the Brandywell, they understand and we understand that having our own home base is important. We have an identity as a Waterside club and we want to maintain that identity.
“We want to build on it because to be fair a lot of our home support comes from the Waterside area and we need to be mindful of the needs of our own supporters.”
We have identity as a Waterside club and we want to maintain that identity.Bill Anderson