See you in the Springfield Stand on Sunday

The Springfield Stand in its formative years

The Springfield Stand in its formative years

It’s been officially known as the Springfield Stand since the start of this season, but Sunday’s game will be the first time Latics play with the West Stand properly labelled as such. Yes, an ounce of tradition has finally seeped into the club, thanks to lengthy campaigning by supporters.

At the end of July, officials at the DW Stadium reached an agreement with fans over the naming of the East and West stands. There’s a distinctly American feel to both, with the East rebranded the Boston Stand, and the West renamed the Springfield Stand, presumably after the Simpsons or something.

Nevertheless, it was the result of a lot of hard work by influential figures over at Mudhutter, Ye Olde Tree and Crown and some other Latics stalwarts, and marked the moment when Wigan Athletic actually realised… they had some tradition worth noting. Personally, I would have renamed the whole stadium the Pie Dome rather than the DW when the naming rights came up for grabs earlier this year.

Still, Robin Park’s Big Dee Dubya is a fitting tribute to the man that got us where we are today. It’s also testament to commercialism and the rapid influence of merchandising and advertising in British football, but I’m not going to moan about it. It, after all, brought Premier League football to the town of Wigan, and put us on the map as far as the football landscape is concerned.

Many do not like it, but it’s a fact of life these days – football is a form of entertainment more lucrative than Strictly Come Dancing and the X Factor put together. It’s pleasing that the club chose to recognise a part of Wigan Athletic’s history with the imminent Springfield Stand, and Sunday will be the culmination of much effort on the part of the supporters.

I won’t be sitting in the West Stand this Sunday. I’ll be sitting in the Springfield Stand. See you there. Unless you’re in the Boston Stand. Or the South…

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