Cardiff Blues could make Arms Park return - coach Gareth Baber

Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues left the Arms Park for Cardiff City Stadium in May 2009

Cardiff Blues coach Gareth Baber believes the team could move back to the Arms Park from Cardiff City Stadium in a bid to boost crowd numbers.

In 2009 the Blues moved to Cardiff City Football Club's new home as tenants.

But they have struggled to generate an atmosphere and had a crowd of only 6,102 for their 25-8 Heineken Cup win over Edinburgh last weekend.

Baber said: "That [moving back to the Arms Park] is probably in the offing somewhere."

In May 2008 the Blues signed a deal to play all their home games at the stadium for the following 20 years.

In the first two seasons of their existence at Cardiff City Stadium, the Blues crowds averaged 10,000-11,000.

But amid on-going worries over attendances at Wales' rugby regions, Baber believes there is a possibility that they could return to the Arms Park in the shadow of the Millennium Stadium.

Baber said: "People are always looking at ways you can regenerate that sort of energy in a crowd and that enthusiasm.

Gareth Baber
Gareth Baber is Cardiff Blues joint coach

"For us as a team and a squad we are at the stadium. That's where we are going to be and we are going to crack on with it.

"What probably is affecting crowd numbers is perhaps that we have had a World Cup, people have watched a lot of rugby and we have a downturn in the economy.

"It's tough for people, it's coming up to Christmas. It becomes tough to spend money on tickets as well, and it's [the game] on TV.

"You want a full stadium, everyone baying for blood.

"It would be nice to have that full stadium but at the moment that's outside of my control. We can only control what we do as a group."

But on the possibility of moving back to the Arms Park, a spkesman for the region said: "the region has a long term lease to play at Cardiff City Stadium, and are quite happy there."

Cardiff RFC have continued to play at the city-centre Arms Park in the Welsh Premiership since the Blues moved two miles to the edge-of-town development at Leckwith.

Cardiff City moved across the road from Ninian Park to the new stadium and have continued to enjoy solid support at their new home.

Elsewhere in Welsh rugby, Swansea City have stronger match-day backing than their Liberty Stadium co-inhabitors the Ospreys.

The Scarlets have also had difficulty filling Parc y Scarlets since moving there from Stradey Park.

Newport Gwent Dragons have remained at their traditional rugby home of Rodney Parade and have begun to redevelop the site.

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