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  • "I'm an Ebbw Vale lad, well Cwm to be exact and when I went earlier this season up to Ebbw for a game against Pontypool I found it hard to park the car and found the ground rather short of places to sit. The stand is half the size of the Hazell stand at Newport the rest is open to the elements. On the opposite side there is large terracing which if the sun is shining would be quite good to view the game but in mid winter even the hardiest supporter would find it difficult to enjoy the game. So would any south of the county supporters venture up to Ebbw Vale for the game? I very much doubt it unless there was some magic entisment to go there unfortunately that was part of the problem when Ebbw Vale and Newport RFC's were partners in the Region. Unfortunately a similar problem exists at Bedwas and Cross Keys although there is some parking available at Bedwas with a walk to the ground. If games were played at any other Premiership grounds it would not be long for Pontypool to grumble. Added to these problems would be the Newport mindset that would mean virtually no Newport based supporters would travel. A better solution would be to make the cost of valley supporters much cheaper and easier such as a direct train service to Newport, but Cardiff are preventing that becoming a reality."
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Ebbw Vale experiment shelved while Newport Gwent Dragons canvass opinion on region's future

First published in Sport

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have put plans to play a game in Ebbw Vale next season on the back burner while they conduct some detailed market research into the future of the region, writes Chris Kirwan.

For the second successive campaign the Dragons explored the possibility of playing an LV= Cup encounter at Eugene Cross Park but have decided to stick at Rodney Parade.

The region release details about 2013/14 season tickets today and don't believe it would be fair to make a decision about playing north of the M4 before canvassing the opinion of punters.

They did explore the possibility of leaving an Anglo-Welsh Cup game off the season ticket, making it an all-pay affair at a venue to be confirmed.

However, the board have opted to hold fire while conducting market research into what direction the region should go in.

It comes after the debacle over a new logo when a web vote was aborted after just 16 hours because of a feisty reaction from those that wanted a heavier Newport emphasis and those that want to be known simply as the Dragons.

"We have no data on anything and that is a weakness of the business," admitted chief executive Gareth Davies. "Over time decisions have been taken – or not been taken – on gut feeling.

"In the next few months we will get proper evidence and conduct proper market research into what people want."

Meanwhile, Davies is encouraged that Welsh Rugby Union chairman David Pickering expressed his wish to support the regions.

The Dragons boss had previously questioned whether the governing body wanted Newport Gwent Dragons, the Ospreys, Scarlets and Cardiff Blues to succeed.

Regional Rugby Wales are yet to agree on a new participation agreement with the current deal expiring at the end of June.

"I'd like to think that David sees this opportunity and this situation as being critical for the future," said Davies. "I'm delighted to have heard him come out with supportive comments."

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