Suffolk FA are to break new ground by staging eight of this season’s county cup finals at Football League grounds.
Ipswich Town will host one final at Portman Road, while seven finals will take place at Colchester United’s Weston Homes Community Stadium, subject to neither club reaching their divisional play-offs.
Due to the Tractor Boys staging the Sir Elton John concert and end-of-season pitch renovations, Ipswich Town have only been able to offer one date to Suffolk FA.
That date - Sunday, April 30 - clashes with the Ryman League Premier Division play-off final, which is scheduled for the following day.
Two of the three Suffolk sides still involved in the Premier Cup sponsored by Omni Freight Services Ltd - Leiston, Lowestoft Town and Needham Market - could potentially be involved in the play-off final.
Therefore, the final of the Senior Cup sponsored by CNet Training will be held at Portman Road, which last season also staged the finals of the Premier Cup, Junior Cup and Women’s Cup sponsored by HomeStore Self Storage.
It is understood that Ipswich Town will start work on their pitch renovation the day after on May 1, meaning April 30 is the only date available for county cup finals to be held at Portman Road this season.
Suffolk FA county cup competitions manager Adrian Moye said: “Our aim is to give the players of both clubs the best football experience possible.
“With this in mind I approached Colchester United. with a view to staging some of our finals there.
“Although it is outside Suffolk, the ground is only 16 miles from Portman Road, which is not much further to travel for the opportunity to play at a Football League ground.
“The majority of clubs involved in the finals will be used to travelling longer distances to play league games each week, than it will be to travel to Colchester.
“By staging seven finals at the Weston Homes Community Stadium it will mean that an additional four finals - a total of eight extra teams - will this season get the opportunity to play at a Football League ground.”
Colchester United general manager Tim Waddington said: “We are delighted to be hosting this year’s Suffolk FA finals. In our time at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, we have had a wide range of events, sporting and otherwise, so we are sure we can provide a top class welcome for the teams who have managed to reach the finals. Good luck to the teams as they strive to reach the finals!”
The schedule for the finals is as follows:
Senior Cup final - Sunday, April 30 at Ipswich Town (2.30pm)
Sunday Cup final - Sunday, May 7 at Colchester United (2.30pm)
Premier Cup final - Monday, May 8 at Colchester United (7.30pm)
Junior Cup final - Tuesday, May 9 at Colchester United (7.30pm)
Primary Cup final - Wednesday, May 10 at Colchester United (7.30pm)
Senior Reserve Cup final - Thursday, May 11 at Colchester United (7.30pm)
Women’s Cup final - Friday, May 12 at Colchester United (7.30pm)
U18s Midweek Cup final - Monday, May 15 at Colchester United (7.30pm).
Should either Ipswich Town or Colchester United reach their divisional play-offs, alternate venues within Suffolk will be utilised.