FRESH plans to enhance Southend United’s new stadium - including a huge ballroom for 700 guests - have sparked calls to host musicians, comedians and performing arts groups to boost revenues on non-match days.

Blues bosses have tweaked their vision for the proposed Fossetts Farm stadium to include space for corporate functions and other events, including the ballroom.

Despite remaining coy on the plans, the changes have raised hopes the stadium could become a multi-purpose events arena by hosting concerts and major events to bring in extra revenue on non-matchdays.

The amendments are due to be submitted to Southend Council in the coming weeks.

Tony Cox, leader of Southend Conservatives, is among those hoping the changes could entice star performers to the stadium.

He said: “I think the sky’s the limit with what could be held there.

“It could be huge stadium concerts, or sporting tournaments such as snooker or darts, and I would like to see this happening.

“We could be looking at huge names as I know other stadiums have held similar events, or we could even attract major party conferences here too.

“Big corporate events would work well there at the stadium I think, and we could be looking at the sort of thing that’s held at the ExCeL Centre in London.

“I also think big outdoor theatre productions would be very popular and could be put on there.

“There’s a huge diversity and range of possibilities with the stadium.”

Mr Cox believes big concerts and corporate events would benefit the whole town and bring in additional business, revenue and visitors to the city.

Providing an update on Fossetts Farm, a Southend United spokesman said: “The extra commercial space in the first phase will provide us with additional non-matchday opportunities, supplementing the commercial offering in the North Stand (where further enhanced commercial activity will take place).

“The North Stand will comprise corporate boxes, several conferencing rooms and a ballroom capable of seating 700 guests.”

Season ticket holder James Schooley, 33, who has followed the club for years, is hopeful big businesses could be attracted to the stadium to stage corporate events.

He said: “I think it has the potential for corporate hire with our big businesses for gatherings and events and it would bring more people to the town.

“Companies would want to use the space for staff events and training days. I also don’t see why we can’t get big name performers here too for huge shows.

“I would support use like this and I know other stadiums have drawn in huge acts and entertainers.

“If we did this with the new stadium it would help put us on the map more.

“I think Elton John was at the Colchester Stadium and I don’t see any reason why we can’t get acts like that here too. I think it makes total sense for the club to add this space and uses to its plans.”