What happened to the land was a scandal typical of Stoke Council and influenced by back handers from St Modwen. I worked for the council at the time and it was as corrupt as fuck. That site should have been built on years ago instead of buggering up green areas.
As for the ground, because it was in town a lot more people walked or got the bus into stoke to go. The ground was a ramshackle, smelly place but the atmosphere makes the new stadium seem like a morgue. Seriously I thought the place was going to explode at times and when I was a kid I am just about old enough to remember being passed to the front when it got really rammed, over everyone's heads.
It was bloody cold at times but not as bad as the brit. It really wasn't economical to do it up but if something useful had been done with the land I would be able to cope with it's loss more. Going past that wasteland on the way to the new ground makes me really sad every time