Ground improvements at British football stadia


Ground improvements at British football stadia

A large number of English football clubs have ongoing schemes to redevelop existing grounds, or to move to newly constructed stadiums. A trend towards all-seater stadiums was initially prescribed by the Taylor Report, and was originally a condition only of Premier League admission. It has now become a requirement that within three years of promotion to the Championship all paying spectators are seated, even if the club is subsequently relegated.

History

When Scunthorpe United moved to Glanford Park in 1988, it was the first time a Football League club had moved to a new purpose-built home since 1945. [ [http://www.footballgroundguide.com/scunthpe.htm Internet Football Ground Guide - Glanford Park, Scunthorpe United FC ] ] Up to this point, most sides were playing in grounds that were more-or-less structurally unchanged for a century.

Ground improvements were seldom, most clubs rarely reached their capacity on a regular basis, and poor facilities were commonplace. The main source of income came from gate receipts, and most additional money was spent on transfers. It was not until the growing concern in the 1980s about the safety of existing stadiums, that clubs began to examine the possibilities offered by redeveloping their grounds.

The Taylor Report recommended the conversion of all top-level football stadiums to all-seater arenas. [ [http://www.footballnetwork.org/dev/communityfootball/violence_taylor_report.asp The Taylor Report ] ] This was given governmental financial assistance, and while unpopular with many fans, attendances began to rise again having fallen heavily during the previous decade. The new all-seater arrangement tended to be more popular with both the clubs and football authorities, as they had the combined benefits of being safer and more profitable.

The boom in television rights following the creation of the Premier League in 1992 allowed a number of clubs to further expand their stadiums, or even move to new ones. Realising the commercial possibilities of new stadiums, many ambitious outfits constructed purpose-built stadiums often on the outskirts of cities or in urban regeneration areas. It has become common for clubs to tie these new stadia in with residential or leisure complexes.

A number of lower-league clubs had plans for ground improvements halted following the collapse of ITV Digital and the lucrative broadcasting contract they had agreed. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1896732.stm BBC News | BUSINESS | ITV Digital goes broke ] ] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1961343.stm BBC News | BUSINESS | The fallout from ITV Digital's collapse ] ] Following the re-sale of rights, a number of these programmes have been re-activated in recent years, and some of the heaviest stadium redevelopment has been in the lower divisions. Most teams with ambitions of eventual promotion to the Premier League have plans for continued work on their grounds to bring them up to an appropriate standard. Even the biggest clubs have been affected, Manchester United have totally rebuilt Old Trafford while Arsenal moved to the Emirates Stadium in 2006.

Premier League

Arsenal

Arsenal moved to the Emirates Stadium in 2006, which has massively boosted club income [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/7009944.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Arsenal | Arsenal bullish over £200m income ] ] . It currently stands at 60,000 capacity with no present plans to expand it.

Aston Villa

Aston Villa are planning to increase Villa Park from 42,000 to 50,000 seats by expanding the North Stand, [ [http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/GenerateContent?CONTENT_ITEM_ID=19729&CONTENT_ITEM_TYPE=0&MENU_ID=12228&EXPAND=1636 Aston Local Plan ] ] with their American owner Randy Lerner apparently keen to boost capacity. Because Villa Park is staging football games during the 2012 Olympic Games, Olympic chief Sebastian Coe has suggested they may receive funding to assist any ground improvements. [ [http://www.sportengland.org/text/2012_uk.htm What the 2012 Olympics would do for the UK ] ] [ [http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/5-19-2006-96661.asp London 2012: Olympic Finances Come Under Fire ] ]

Blackburn Rovers

There are long-term plans to redevelop the Riverside Stand which would raise Ewood Park's capacity around 9,000 to 40,000. [ [http://www.footballgroundguide.com/blackb.htm#Future%20Developments Internet Football Grounds Guide - Ewood Park, Blackburn Rovers FC ] ] Any development in the immediate future is unlikely. Blackburn Rovers average attendance in 2007 was just 21,275 [http://soccernet.espn.go.com/origin?cameFrom=stats/attendance%3Fleague%3Deng.1%26year%3D2006] .

Chelsea

Following Roman Abramovich's takeover, Chelsea have examined expanding their current home at Stamford Bridge. Numerous problems over health and safety issues have stalled this, leading to the club being linked with moves to a number of potential sites in West London. In particular, reports in 2006 suggested the Blues were planning a move to a new 65,000 seat stadium in Earl's Court, but the club denied this. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/chelsea/4630618.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Chelsea | Chelsea plan Bridge redevelopment ] ] Any move away from Stamford Bridge, would involve the club being forced to change its name, as the Chelsea F.C. name is tied to the pitch. [cite book | author=Glanvill | year=2006 | title=Chelsea FC: The Official Biography | pages=pp. 91–92]

Everton

Everton are planning to relocate to the New Goodison in Kirkby. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/7168024.stm BBC NEWS | England | Merseyside | Everton submit new stadium plans ] ] This has generated a large amount of controversy, [ [http://www.nsno.co.uk/news.php?item.2426.1 Nil Satis Nisi Optimum: Keep Everton in Our City ] ] as it is beyond the city limits of Liverpool, despite the fact that many Everton fans live in the Kirkby area. In June 2008 Kirkby council approved the new stadium, through a public inquiry might yet still be held. [ [http://www.building.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=284&storycode=3115567&c=1 Everton wins approval for new football stadium - Building ] ]

New Goodison is planned to have 50,000 seats initially, with potential to increase to 60,000 at a later date.

Fulham

Since Fulham's promotion to the Premier League, and the conversion of Craven Cottage to an all-seater stadium, the club have been slowly adding to the capacity of the ground every summer. This is set to continue in 2008 with a 4,000 seat increase at the Hammersmith End by filling-in the open corners, taking capacity to over 30,000. [ [http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2007/October/CottageRelease.aspx Stadium Announcement ] ] There are periodic reports of a new stadium in White City to be shared with Queens Park Rangers, but such plans are not currently being pursued by either club, with both concentrating on developing their existing grounds. [ [http://qprreport.blogspot.com/2008/03/qprs-major-new-sponsorship-dealnaomi.html QPR REPORT: QPR's Major New Sponsorship Deal: Lotto Kit...Kingfisher Sponsors...Naomi Campbell Modelling...and New Stadium Search ] ]

Hull City

Hull's KC Stadium, which opened in 2002, is designed to provide for future expansion to a capacity of approximately 30,000 by the addition of a second tier on the Ideal Standard East Stand. [ [http://www.kcstadium.co.uk/feature.asp?catid=10&subcatid=1 The Kingston Communications Stadium ] ] In March 2008 the Hull chairman said an expansion could potentially take place within two years if there was a clear need for further capacity. [ [http://www.football.virginmedia.com/page/HullCityDetail/0,,12555~1278489,00.html Duffen reveals KC Stadium expansion plans | Virgin Media Sport | Football | Championship | Hull City | Hull City ] ]

Liverpool

Liverpool are planning to move to a new Stanley Park Stadium. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/liverpool/content/articles/2007/11/07/liverpoolfc.shtml BBC - Liverpool - Features - Liverpool`s new stadium in Stanley Park moves a step closer ] ] The present plans involve a 60,000 seat ground. Preliminary construction has already started.

Manchester United

Since 1990, Old Trafford has undergone a massive facelift converting the stadium into a 76,000 all-seater, the largest club stadium in the United Kingdom. Manchester United could expand it yet further by rebuilding the South Stand to create a bowl structure. This would take capacity to 96,000, making it larger than Wembley. [ [http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=527793 Future Old Trafford Expansion??? (96,000) - SkyscraperCity ] ] However the presence of a railway line and private houses would make this development very expensive. There are currently no plans to proceed with this, despite Old Trafford selling out every week. [ [http://www.manutdzone.com/oldtrafford/oldtrafford.htm Old Trafford Manchester: History and pictures ] ]

Middlesbrough

Currently Middlesbrough F.C. appear happy with the size of their 35,000 seat Riverside Stadium, although they do have planning permission to expand by another 7,000 seats. [ [http://www.fansfc.com/middlesbroughfootballclub/guide.asp Middlesbrough Guide ] ] If England is successful in bidding to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the expansion would be likely to occur to ensure consideration as a World Cup venue. [ [http://www.fsf.org.uk/ground-guide/stadiums/middlesbrough/riverside-stadium/ The Football Supporters' Federation - Middlesbrough ] ]

Newcastle United

In 2007 under the charimanship of Freddy Shepherd, Newcastle United announced plans to increase the capacity of St James' Park by 8,000 to 60,000 by rebuilding the Gallowgate End as part of a £300m scheme to redevelop the stadium and its surrounding area. [cite news
title =Newcastle announce ground plans
work =BBC News
publisher =bbc.co.uk
date =2007-04-02
url =http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/n/newcastle_united/6517989.stm
accessdate =2007-04-02
] This would cure St James' Park of its current lopsided appearance. [ [http://www.footballgroundguide.com/newcastle_united.htm The Internet Football Grounds Guide - St James Park, Newcastle United ] ] The plans appeared to have been shelved upon the 2007 takeover and review of the club by Mike Ashley, who subsequently announced in 2008 he would be selling the club.

Portsmouth

Portsmouth had the smallest stadium in the Premier League during the 2007-08 season. The board planned to remedy this by rebuilding Fratton Park turning the pitch round 90 degrees. This was then abandoned in favour of a 35,000 'Pompey Village' plan, and then superseded by the current proposed Portsmouth Dockland Stadium which will hold 36,000 when it is opened, currently expected to be around 2011. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/p/portsmouth/6591049.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Portsmouth | Pompey announce new stadium plan ] ] . However it has been revealed that Portsmouth FC are currently in the process of preparing to build a 36,000 seater stadium at Horsea Island [ [http://www.portsmouthfc.co.uk/index.php?cms_ref=home&goto=stadium&qs_article_id=543 Portsmouth FC | Football | My Club | Portsmouth | Pompey announce Horsea Island stadium plan]

toke City

Their are currently no plans to expand the Britannia Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham are currently seeking a larger stadium. This may involve expanding White Hart Lane or moving to a new site. The club stated in 2007 that it will announce its preferred option in the first half of 2008, however in an update it has stated that it will not be able to make an announcement within that timeframe and that it will notify the supporters of any developments in the coming months. [ [http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/news/articles/stadiumupdate060508.html Tottenhamhotspur.com - News Articles - STADIUM UPDATE ] ] Tony Winterbottom, formerly of the London Development Agency, who worked on development of Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, is reportedly leading the development of the plans for the new stadium. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/t/tottenham_hotspur/7080067.stm|title=Tottenham plan stadium expansion|author=Mihir Bose|publisher=BBC Sport|date=2007-11-05|accessdate=2008-02-03]

underland

Sunderland's Stadium of Light is designed to allow expansion to 64,000 seats. In 2003 the club received planning permission to add another 7,200 seats to the South Stand which would have taken capacity to 56,000 but the plans were put on hold. [ [http://www.footballgroundguide.com/sunderla.htm Internet Football Ground Guide - Stadium Of Light, Sunderland Football Club ] ] In 2007 chairman Niall Quinn said the club had no current plans to increase capacity.

West Ham United

West Ham United have got plans to move to a new 60,000 stadium in East London, with the most likely site being the Post Office Depot adjacent to West Ham tube station. The club are currently expected to move there by 2011. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/west_ham_utd/6320267.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | West Ham Utd | Hammers' Olympic move ruled out ] ]

This was after West Ham's bid to take over the Olympic Stadium was rejected on the grounds that the venue was to be reduced to 25,000 and used primarily as an athletics venue, providing the 2012 Games with its 'legacy'.

Championship

Barnsley

Barnsley recently announced that they are to demolish the old West Stand and replace it with a new 9,000 seater stand similar to the current East Stand. [ [http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/park/yfh45/barnsley.htm Internet Football Ground Guide - Oakwell, Barnsley FC ] ]

Birmingham City

Birmingham City have planning permission to redevelop the Main Stand at St Andrews, which would see capacity rise to around 36,500. [ [http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/park/yfh45/birming.htm#Future%20Developments Internet Football Grounds Guide - St Andrews, Birmingham City FC ] ] The club are currently holding off from completing this, while they are pursuing the more ambitious plan to move to a City of Birmingham Stadium. [ [http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/tm_method=full&objectid=18323495&siteid=50002-name_page.html Blues still hoping for new stadium - Birmingham Mail ] ]

Blackpool

Developments are under way to increase the capacity of Bloomfield Road to 16,000. This will be done by work on the East and South stands. [http://www.worldstadia.com/stadium/england/bloomfield_road/103.php] , effectively mirroring the existing North and West stands to create a full bowl effect. In March 2008, the Blackpool chairman claimed that plans to build a new ground on the edge of the town were unlikely to be revived. In 1996 Blackpool had been preparing to move to a 40,000 seat superstadium, part of a shopping complex. Instead the club appears set on redeveloping Bloomfield Road [ [http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/blackpoolnews/Oyston-quashes-new-stadium-talk.3833889.jp Oyston quashes new stadium talk - Blackpool Today ] ]

Bristol City

On 29 November 2007 it was announced that after over 100 years at Ashton Gate, Bristol City would be moving to a new stadium in South Bristol. [ cite web|url=http://www.bcfc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10327~1178896,00.html|title=Bristol City Announce New Stadium] This brand new state of the art stadium will have a capacity of 30,000 seats and possibly extend to 42,000 if England are successful in their bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Burnley

Burnley is an ongoing £20m development of Turf Moor. This will involve refurbishing some of the more ramshackle stands, and will see capacity at 22,000. [ [http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/park/yfh45/burnley.htm Internet Football Grounds Guide - Turf Moor, Burnley FC ] ] Further development after that is probable.

Cardiff City

A new all-seater stadium is being built for Cardiff City, to be shared with the Cardiff Blues rugby union franchise. The New Cardiff City Stadium will initially hold 25,000, with short term possibility to increase to 30,000. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/cardiff_city/6451593.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Cardiff City | Cardiff reduce stadium capacity ] ] It will be the second largest stadium in Wales, after the Millennium Stadium. This could be expanded further to over 40,000 if Cardiff establish themselves as a Premier League club or if Wales are successful with Scotland as co-hosts of Euro 2016.

Charlton Athletic

Charlton have planning permission from Greenwich Council to rebuild the East Stand, increasing capacity to 31,000. Potential future improvements could see this raised to 40,000 but this is unlikely to happen unless the club is promoted back to the Premier League or comes under new ownership. [ [http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/park/yfh45/charlton.htm The Internet Football Grounds Guide - The Valley, Charlton Athletic FC ] ]

Coventry City

Coventry City moved to the 32,500 seater Ricoh Arena in 2005, [ [http://www.ccfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/RicohArena/ Ricoh Arena | Coventry City | Club | Ricoh Arena ] ] leaving their historic home Highfield Road which was the first all-seater ground in England. Coventry had long planned a move to a purpose-built stadium, with original suggestions including a retractable roof and pitch a la Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem. Coventry had even hoped to become the home of the new national stadium, joining Birmingham and London in the race to be the new Wembley, but were unsuccessful in their bid. The Ricoh Arena includes a vast exhibition centre built onto the main stand. Despite a slight increase in attendance figures since moving from Highfield Road, Coventry City's continued failure to regain their place among the upper echelons of the League structure means there are always many empty seats at the Ricoh Arena.

Derby County

In April 2007, Derby County released details of a proposed £20m development around their Pride Park stadium which would create about 250 jobs. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/derby/content/articles/2007/04/26/pride_park_hotel_development_feature.shtml Pride Plaza Development] ] The Pride Plaza project would include a 165-bed hotel, bars, restaurants and office space. On November 9, 2007 Derby City Council agreed to let the plans go ahead.

Additionally the club has announced plans to expand the capacity up from 33,500 to 44,000, with the work due to take place during the 2007–08 close season. [ [http://www.therams.co.uk/details.asp?back=true&key=1D29|0|2185366269754|R|536|11372241262007310839232&parentkey=1D29|0|2185366269754|p|536|0 Rams announce stadium expansion] ] , provided the club avoided relegation. The plans include adding rows of seats to the north, south and east stands. [ [http://www.footballgroundguide.com/derby.htm Internet Football Grounds Guide - Pride Park, Derby County Football Club ] ] If completed, this would allow the club to break its current club record home attendance, which stands at 41,826 for a match against Tottenham Hotspur during the 1969–70 season set at The Baseball Ground. The proposed expansion might still go ahead in spite of Derby's relegation from the Premier League, owing to a recent takeover and healthy season ticket sales.

Norwich City

Norwich City could feasibly expand Carrow Road by around 9,000 to 35,000 by adding another tier to several stands. [http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/park/yfh45/norwich.htm Internet Football Ground Guide - Carrow Road, Norwich City FC ] ] This is unlikely to happen unless Norwich are promoted back to the Premier League, or the next round of TV deals generates more income.

Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest currently play at the 30,610 City Ground. The club had plans to move into a 50,000 seat new stadium in the Clifton area of the city. [ [http://www.nottinghamforest.premiumtv.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10308~1054789,00.html Reds Unveil New Super Stadium Plans | Nottingham Forest | News | Latest News | Latest News ] ] . The club is unlikely to move to Clifton as it initially announced, Nottingham City Council is in favour of a location closer to the city centre. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/nottinghamshire/7078461.stm BBC NEWS | England | Nottinghamshire | Forest consider new venue options ] ]

Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth Argyle are undertaking a long-term transition of Home Park. The next stage will involve converting the remaining standing areas of the ground, turning it into a 18,500 all-seater (a slight capacity reduction from the current 19,500). Further expansion would be possible from there, by adding additional tiers, through this is not part of present plans.

Preston North End

Preston NE completed its Invicibles Stand in 2008. Deepdale's capacity is 24,000. [ [http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/park/yfh45/preston.htm Internet Football Ground Guide - Deepdale, Preston North End FC ] ]

Reading

Reading announced plans for the expansion of the Madjeski Stadium. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/berkshire/content/articles/2006/10/11/stadium_expansion_feature.shtml BBC - Berkshire - Sport - Madejski Stadium expansion plans ] ] The proposal involves increasing the stadium to 38,000 seats by expanding all stands except the West Stand, and rebuilding the roof. [ [http://www.footballgroundguide.com/reading.htm#Future%20Developments Internet Football Grounds Guide - Madejski Stadium, Reading FC ] ] These plans were dependent on Reading staying in the Premiership. [ [http://www.rugbynetwork.net/boards/read/s97.htm?99,8947029 The Craic www.londonirish.org - Madejski Stadium Expansion ] ] ; following relegation in 2008, the plans are now uncertain. A new railway station Reading GreenPark is opening near to the ground. [ [http://www.greenpark.co.uk/factfile/newreadingstation.shtml GreenPark - Reading GreenPark Station ] ]

QPR

Queens Park Rangers have long harboured ambitions of playing in a larger stadium. [ [http://www.qpr1st.co.uk/newspages/news030501.htm QPR 1st Front Page ] ] This will either be done by expanding their existing Loftus Road ground from its current 19,000 capacity or by locating to a new stadium elsewhere in West London, with a ground share in White City with Fulham commonly mentioned. [http://www.queensparkrangersfc.com/newsnov1605.htm] The recent takeover of the club by Bernie Ecclestone [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/football_league/article2351331.ece Ecclestone chooses QPR over Arsenal | Football League - Times Online ] ] prompted increased speculation that they were going to move, but it seems that the new owners are currently more interested in securing promotion and raising attendances. [ [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/football_league/article3346046.ece QPR fans give thanks a billion times over | Football League - Times Online ] ]

heffield United

Sheffield United are keen to build up their non-football related income. In light of this, the club are currently building a new hotel at the complex. In addition the Kop Stand is to be redeveloped and expanded by 3,000, and should the club ever be promoted back to the Premier League, the South Stand would be increased by 4,000, to take total capacity to just over 40,000.

outhampton

Southampton moved to their current stadium St.Mary's Stadium in August 2001, leaving their historic home The Dell. All stands bar the Itchen can be built upon and expanded if ever deemed necessary, which would give an approximate capacity of around 50,000. However this would cost a similar amount to how much it cost to build the stadium in the first place, and unless the club gets promotion, then it seems unlikely that the ground will increase its capacity due to the finances.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves may expand Molineux to 45,000 by adding extra tiers to two ends, and by filling in the corners of the ground. This is unlikely to happen unless they return to the Premier League, as their existing 28,500 capacity is satisfactory to their present needs. [ [http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/park/yfh45/wolves.htm#Future%20Developments Internet Football Ground Guide - Molineux, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC ] ] [ [http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=545843 WOLVERHAMPTON | Molineux Redevelopment | 40,000+ | Proposed - SkyscraperCity ] ]

League One

Brighton

In 2007 Brighton were finally given permission to construct a new 22,500 stadium in Falmer on the outskirts of Brighton, more than a decade after they left their traditional home at the Goldstone Ground. The new Falmer Stadium is scheduled to be open in [2010] , with construction work beginning in December 2008. [ [http://www.footballgroundguide.com/brighton.htm The Internet Football Ground Guide - Withdean Stadium, Brighton And Hove Albion FC ] ]

Bristol Rovers

In 2007 Bristol Rovers were given permission to redevelop the Memorial Stadium into a 18,500 seat complex, with a hotel and restaurant. Construction was due to begin in 2008 and last until 2010, but the redevelopment stalled after a major contributor pulled out shortly before development was due to begin. The work is now due to begin in Summer 2009 with the club expected to return around 2011, during which time the club will play at Whaddon Road in Cheltenham. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/b/bristol_rovers/7318233.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Bristol Rovers | Rovers get go-ahead for stadium ] ]

Colchester United

Colchester United took possession of a new stadium, funded by the local council, in July 2008. [ [http://www.eadt.co.uk/content/eadt/news/story.aspx?brand=EADOnline&category=News&tBrand=EADOnline&tCategory=News&itemid=IPED21%20Jul%202008%2017%3A24%3A43%3A357 EADT - U's given keys to new stadium ] ] The Colchester Community Stadium cost £16 million to build and has a capacity of 10,000 seats. There is potential for future expansion to 18,000. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/c/colchester_united/6922395.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Colchester United | Colchester given £2m ground boost ] ]

Hereford United

Edgar Street is to be redeveloped in line with a wider transformation of the northern outskirts of Hereford. [ [http://www.morecambefc.com/newsarticle.php?subaction=showfull&id=1184676351&archive=&start_from=&ucat=1& Morecambe FC - The Official Website ] ]

Leeds United

At one point, while flying high in Europe, Leeds were examining a potential move to a new 67,000 stadium in nearby Skelton. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/1528777.stm BBC SPORT | ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP | Leeds opt for new stadium ] ] [ [http://www.fsf.org.uk/ground-guide/stadiums/leeds-united/elland-road/ The Football Supporters' Federation - Leeds United ] ] Following the club's collapse into administration and dropping down two flights, the sum of Leeds stadium ambitions at the present is simply to regain ownership of Elland Road, which had to be sold to offset debts. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/leeds_united/3995041.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Leeds United | Leeds sell ground after bid fails ] ]

Leicester City

Leicester have plans to extend the Walkers Stadium if they reach the Premier League and begin to settle there. The stadium plans could possibly extend the south, north or east stand into a 2 tier stadium, bringing the final capacity to around 45-50,000 seats.

Leyton Orient

Leyton Orient hope to move from their existing Brisbane Road stadium to the new Olympic Stadium in 2012. Following the Olympics, the stadium is to be reduced from 80,000 to a more manageable 25,000 and given over to athletics. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/leyton_orient/6339729.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Leyton Orient | Hearn intrigued by Olympic move ] ] The club appear the most likely of any potential new tenants, a bid by West Ham having previously been rejected. [ [http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/08112006/2/photo/humble-leyton-orient-eye-olympic-stadium-move.html Humble Leyton Orient eye Olympic stadium move - Yahoo! Sport UK ] ]

Milton Keynes Dons

MK Dons opened their home in 2007. Capacity is current 22,000, but is planned to expand to 32,000 as MK Dons build a larger fan base in the town. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/wimbledon/6366309.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Milton Keynes | Milton Keynes stadium is on track ] ]

Oldham Athletic

Oldham Athletic are currently, as of August 2008, renovating the North Broadway stand of Boundary Park The renovations are expected to take approximately 16 months to complete and will raise Boundary Park capacity to 16,000. Following the completion, the stadium will be renamed as Oldham Arena. [cite web| url=http://www.oldhamathletic.premiumtv.co.uk/page/GroundRedevelopment/0,,10337,00.html| title=Stadium Redevelopment| date=2008-07-09| accessdate=2008-08-22| publisher=Oldham Athletic AFC]

Southend United

Because Roots Hall is difficult to expand, Southend United have committed to moving to a new home at Fossetts Farm which will have 22,000 seats. [ [http://www.thefootballnetwork.net/main/s336/st51573.htm The Third Dimension - Southend given the go-ahead for new stadium ] ] In March 2008 the ground was given the green light by the government, and it is hoped to open in mid-2010. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/essex/content/articles/2008/03/06/southend_stadium_feature.shtml BBC - Essex - Sport - New Southend United stadium receives government backing ] ]

Walsall

Walsall F.C. have announced they have gained planning permission to rebuild the William Sharp End, adding an extra 2,300 seats and raising overall capacity at the Bescot Stadium to 13,500. [ [http://www.footballgroundguide.com/walsall.htm Internet Football Ground Guide - Banks's Stadium Walsall FC ] ]

League Two

Brentford

The club are hoping to move to a new 20,000 capacity stadium in nearby Kew Bridge. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/b/brentford/2401265.stm BBC SPORT | Football | Teams | Brentford | Bees unveil stadium plans ] ] After several years of effort, the club announced in December 2007 that they had been given a option on the site at Lionel Road [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/b/brentford/7132539.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Brentford | Brentford given new stadium boost ] ] , and announcing two months later a link-up with property developer Barratt Homes to develop the site. [ [http://www.brentfordfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/LatestNews/0,,10421~1246803,00.html Brentford Football Club And Barratt Homes Team Up To Acquire Land For New Community Stadium | Brentford | News | Latest News | Latest News ] ] The proposed move is strongly backed by fans, particularly as it will keep them in the London Borough of Hounslow. The new stadium may be shared with a professional rugby club.

At one point it was reported that the club would increase the capacity of their existing Griffin Park ground from 12,500 to 17,000 but these plans now appear to be hold in relation to the new stadium. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/b/brentford/3476135.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Brentford | Bees plan to expand stadium ] ]

Chesterfield

In 2008 Chesterfield F.C. submitted a planning application to construct a new 10,500 capacity stadium on the site of a former glassworks. It is expected the stadium will be constructed in 2009. [ [http://www.chesterfield-fc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/NewStadium/0,,10435~1279637,00.html PLANNING APPLICATION SUBMITTED | Chesterfield | News | New Stadium | New Stadium ] ] The stadium was given planning permission in July 2008 and the Government decided not to "call in" the application. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/c/chesterfield/7535925.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Chesterfield | Spireites boosted by stadium news ] ]

Gillingham

Priestfield Stadium has been entirely rebuilt since 1997, but Gillingham chairman Paul Scally has made clear his intention of moving to a new ground. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/g/gillingham/3130036.stm|title=Scally considers Gills future|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2007-11-05|date=2003-09-22]

Grimsby

The club is hoping to relocate to a new ground on the western outskirts of Grimsby at Great Coates, adjacent to the A180 dual carriageway. Planning permission has been granted for the provisionally-titled Conoco Stadium, and if all goes to plan this will be ready for the 2010-11 season. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/g/grimsby_town/4644178.stm Mariners submit new stadium plans (BBC Sport)] ] Blundell Park is the lowest football stadium in the United Kingdom, at a height of only 2 feet above sea-level. While not in immediate danger from rising tides, it is prudent for Grimsby Town to pursue a move to higher ground. [ [http://www.midfielddynamo.com/stadia/england_highest.htm English Stadia Height] ]

Luton Town

The club were planning to move to a 20,000 seat stadium near the M1, outside of Luton [ [http://www.footballgroundguide.com/luton.htm#Future%20Developments Internet Football Ground Guide - Kenilworth Road, Luton Town FC ] ] , but these plans have been delayed because of the club's financial difficulties.

Morecambe

On 17 July2007, Morecambe F.C. announced plans to move to a new stadium in time for the start of the 2009-2010 season.cite news
title = New Stadium Planned
url = http://www.morecambefc.com/newsarticle.php?subaction=showfull&id=1184676351&archive=&start_from=&ucat=1&
publisher = Morecambe Official Website
date = 2007-07-17
accessdate = 2007-07-17
]

Rotherham United

Rotherham United have expressed dissatisfaction with their current Millmoor home. [ [http://www.rotherhamunited-mad.co.uk/news/loadnews.asp?cid=TMNW&id=372966 We deserve better than Millmoor - Brearley - Rotherham United FC - MillersMAD ] ] Because of this the club are looking in to the construction of a new stadium in the town. [ [http://www.thestar.co.uk/rotherham/Talks-on-a-new-football.3753101.jp Talks on a new football stadium for Millers next to shopping centre - The Star ] ] Any move is unlikely in the near future because of the current financial difficulties at the Yorkshire club. [ [http://www.clubsincrisis.com/Club_Detail.asp?Key=70 Clubs In Crisis - Rotherham United ] ] In the 2008-09 season Rotherham will be playing their home games at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield due to ownership disputes over Millmoor. [ [http://www.donvalleystadium.co.uk/news/1071/rotherham_united.html Rotherham United head to Don valley Stadium ] ] The Football League has said that the club must return to Rotherham by 2012. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/r/rotherham_utd/7500608.stm BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Rotherham | Rotherham future remains unclear ] ]

hrewsbury Town

Shrewsbury Town moved to the New Meadow in Summer 2007. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/content/articles/2007/02/14/new_meadow_fan_view_feature.shtml BBC - Shropshire - Sport - New stadium - a fan's view ] ] In November 2007 the club announced that the New Meadow would be expanded by filling in the corners between the Roland Wycherley Stand, South Stand and West Stand, bringing the overall capacity up to 12,500. Work is hoped to commence summer 2008. [ [http://www.footballgroundguide.com/shrewsbury_town.htm Internet Football Ground Guide - New Meadow, Shrewsbury Town FC ] ] The Stadium has been built in such a way that it could be expanded to over 100,000 if needed, however this is extremely unlikely given the circumstances although the club has a potential supporting base of over 500,000 throughout North Mid Wales and Shropshire as they are the only football league club in that area aside from Wrexham FC.

Wycombe Wanderers

In 2007 it was announced that Wycombe Wanderers in partnership with London Wasps were looking to build a new 20,000 capacity ground in High Wycombe to replace the current Adams Park where the capacity is capped, and further expansion is not possible. [ [http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/mostpopular.var.2099516.mostviewed.wasps_target_wycombe_training_site.php Wasps Target Wycombe Training Site (from Bucks Free Press) ] ] [ [http://www.wycombewanderers.premiumtv.co.uk/page/LatestNews/0,,10430~1098887,00.html THE VIEW FORWARD | Wycombe Wanderers | News | Latest News | Latest News ] ] The current Adams Park stadium was taken out of the Green Belt in April 2008, allowing expansion of the ground if additional access routes are provided to cover emergency access.

Conference National

Barrow

Barrow A.F.C. are investigating building a new stadium in the Docklands section of the town, which would be shared with the Barrow Raiders rugby league side. [http://www.nwemail.co.uk/sport/viewarticle.aspx?id=568035] [ [http://www.rugbyleague.org/index.php?act=Print&client=printer&f=4&t=43498 Rugby League Fans Forums [Powered by Invision Power Board ] ]

Cambridge United

Cambridge United had been investigating the possibility of improving their Abbey Stadium home, but now appear to have abandoned redeveloping the stadium, and are instead proposing a move to a new stadium in Milton. [ [http://www.mail-archive.com/milton-chat@the-hug.net/msg00775.html Re: [milton-chat Cambridge United to build new stadium on Milton landfi ] ] [ [http://www.conferencegrounds.co.uk/cambridge_united.htm#Future%20Developments Blue Square Premier Football Ground Guide - Abbey Stadium, Cambridge United FC ] ]

Ebbsfleet United

Following a recent name change, Ebbsfleet United were taken over in 2008 by the MyFootballClub consortium. They currently play their games at Stonebridge Road in Northfleet. The club are planning to construct a new stadium in the Ebbsfleet Valley, close to the new Eurostar station.

Grays Athletic

Grays Athletic had plans to redevelop the New Recreation Ground to facilitate entry into the football league. [ [http://www.conferencegrounds.co.uk/grays_athletic.htm Blue Square Premier Football Ground Guide - Recreation Ground, Grays Athletic FC ] ] The club are now seeking to pursue the construction of a new stadium. It is proposed they will ground share with another club while the new arena is built. [ [http://www.graysathletic.co.uk/news/archives/002305.html Club Statement - News - Grays Athletic F.C. - Grays Athletic F.C ] ] However it was announced on April 12, 2008 that Grays Athletic plan to move to a new stadium in Aveley, Thurrock.

Histon

Histon are rebuilding the Bridge Road End, bringing the seating capacity of the stadium up to 1700 and the overall capacity of their Glassworld Stadium to over 4000. [ [http://www.conferencegrounds.co.uk/histon.htm Blue Square Premier Football Ground Guide - Glassworld Stadium, Bridge Road, Histon FC ] ]

Oxford United

Oxford United have plans to build a fourth side to the Kassam Stadium, but this is unlikely to happen until they regain Football League status, and attendances rise to sufficiently justify it. [ [http://www.conferencegrounds.co.uk/oxford_united.htm#Future%20Developments Blue Square Premier Football Ground Guide - Kassam Stadium, Oxford United FC ] ]

York City

At one point York City were investigating improving Bootham Crescent, but have now switched their plans to the construction of a new stadium to be shared with the York City Knights rugby club. [ [http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/sport/yorkcityfc/news/display.var.1307188.0.york_city_fc_on_verge_of_stadium_deal.php York City Fc On Verge Of Stadium Deal (from York Press) ] ]

Conference North

Leigh RMI

Leigh RMI are moving to the 10,000 seat Leigh Sports Village which will be shared with Leigh Centurions rugby leagues club. The new stadium, replacing Hilton Park, is due to open in 2008. [ [http://www.thefootballnetwork.net/main/s195/st127514.htm Unofficial RMI Online - RMI's new home to feature on prime-time BBC! ] ] [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/content/articles/2008/04/02/north_west_olympics_s13_w6_feature.shtml BBC - Inside Out - North West - London 2012 – What’s in it for us? ] ]

Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood Town have invested a lot in Highbury Stadium recently following many promotions and increased attendances in recent years. In February 2007 the new Percy Ronson Stand was opened. A £500,000-plus development the stand is all terracing, and holds 1,243. making the ground suitable for the Conference National if they should get promoted in future. In July 2007, further plans for the stadium development were announced which included three new stands. The plans were finalized in December 2007 and in March 2008, planning permission was given for the first phase, construction of the north and west terraces. Construction began in May 2008, and will be complete by the opening game of the 2008-09 season. The new west stand will initially be seated while the final phase of redevelopment, all-seater west stand is built which will include facilities such as function rooms, new changing rooms and club office. Once completed, the west stand will have its seats removed.

olihull Moors

Solihull Moors are currently ground sharing their Damson Park home with the Pertemps Bees rugby union side. It is probable that the two clubs will seek to build a new stadium together in the future, in line with plans to bring first-class rugby to Birmingham. Solihull Moors were founded in 2007 by a merger of local sides Moor Green and Solihull Borough.

Worcester City

Worcester City are planning to move to a new stadium, leaving St George's Lane after more than a century. They have entered into an agreement with developers St Mowden to construct a new 6000 seat stadium at Nunnery Way. [ [http://www.worcestercityfc.co.uk/NewStadium/tabid/393/Default.aspx Plans Announced ] ]

Workington

Following their recent rise in status, Workington are redeveloping their Borough Park home, to comply with FA regulations. [ [http://boroughpark.tripod.com/ Borough Park - Home Of Workington AFC ] ] The ground formerly played host to league football until the club's relegation in 1977.

Conference South

Cambridge City

The club face a potential eviction from their City Ground home in 2010. Their long term future regarding a new stadium is unclear, and it is possible they may be forced to share with their cross-city rivals, Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium or relocate to another settlement on a temporary basis.

Fisher Athletic

Fisher Athletic had plans to redevelop the Surrey Docks Stadium to bring it up to Football League standards by the start of the 2009/10 season. In November 2007 the club announced that it would prefer to move to a new 10,000 seat stadium on the site of the athletics track in Southwark Park, [ [http://www.fisherathletic.co.uk/news_detail.php?ID=146 Fisher Athletic (London) Football Club : Stadium Proposal Announced ] ] , but the rebuilding of Surrey Docks Stadium remains a possibility. [ [http://www.southwarknews.co.uk/00,news,7926,440,00.htm Southwark News - News ] ]

t Albans City

In 2006 the chairman of the club threatened to move them out of St Albans if the council wouldn't back plans to build a new 10,000 stadium on Green Belt land on the outskirts of St Albans. [ [http://www.ukinvestmentadvice.co.uk/st-albans-city-fc-green-belt.htm Saint Albans City plan move to green belt stadium ] ] Little has been of the proposition since, and the current Clarence Park has been given a superficial makeover.

Weymouth

On 27 August 2008, Weymouth F.C. outlined plans to construct a new 6,000 all-seater stadium, hoped to be open by 2012 when the area hosts sailing events during the London Olympics. A large part of the cost would be offset by the sale and redevelopment of the existing Wessex Stadium. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/weymouth/7584639.stm]

Other Non-League

Aylesbury United

Aylesbury United have been ground sharing with Chesham United since their eviction from Buckingham Road in 2006. There are plans to move into a new 10,000 seat stadium if plans to build a sports village are approved. [cite news | url=http://www.bucksherald.co.uk/football/Ducks-to-get-new-ground.3387940.jp | title=Ducks to get new ground?| publisher=The Bucks Herald | date=2008-04-30]

Bradford Park Avenue

Bradford Park Avenue had been planning to leave their current Horsfall Stadium for the redeveloped Grattan Stadium, which would be shared with Bradford Bulls. With this redevelopment being continually delayed, through, Avenue are now planning to build a new 20,000 capacity stadium in South Leeds. [ [http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/newsindex/display.var.2060478.0.avenue_unveil_new_stadium_plan.php Avenue unveil new stadium plan (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus) ] ]

Halifax Town

Halifax had at one point been planning further ground improvements to The Shay, increasing the Main Stand to take capacity to over 10,000. Financial difficulties meant that development had to put on hold for the foreseeable future, leaving the Main Stand half-finished. [ [http://www.conferencegrounds.co.uk/halifax_town.htm#Future%20Developments Conference Football Ground Guide ] ]

Maidstone United

The club that re-formed following the relegation and dissolution of the original Maidstone United F.C. are currently playing their games at Bourne Park in a neighbouring town, but hoping to construct a new stadium within the borders of Maidstone.

t Helens Town

St Helens Town FC currently share Knowsley Road with St Helens RLFC, and plan to move with them into their new 18,000 seat stadium. [ [http://www.sthelensstadium.com/ Langtree Group plc - St Helens Stadium ] ]

Truro City

As part of their strategy to become the first Cornish side to gain League status, Truro City F.C. have plans to build new facilities at a new site to the north of the city at Pencoose Farm, Kenwyn [cite news | url=http://www.trurocityfc.co.uk/Page3.aspx?PageID=303 | title=HEANEY UNVEILS £6m NEXT STEP IN CITY SOCCER REVOLUTION | publisher=trurocityfc.co.uk | date=2007-05-18] which will include a 16,000 all seater stadium, sports bar, training facilities and a youth academy. [cite news | url=http://www.thefa.com/TheFACup/TheFAVase/NewsAndFeatures/Postings/2007/03/FAVase_Heaney.htm | title=Heaney's Truro ambition | publisher=thefa.com | date=2007-05-13]

AFC Wimbledon

On their foundation in 2002 AFC Wimbledon moved in with Kingstonian at Kingsmeadow, purchasing the ground. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/2888371.stm BBC SPORT | Football | AFC Wimbledon bid for new home ] ] They do have long term plans to relocate the club to the London Borough of Merton, the traditional home of Wimbledon F.C., whom they claim descent from. There has been recent speculation that the club might try and purchase Wimbledon Stadium, currently used for greyhound racing, which was recently put up for sale. [ [http://betting.betfair.com/greyhound-racing/wimbledon-racing/are-afc-wimbledon-going-back-t-130907.html Betfair | Are AFC Wimbledon going back to the dogs? ] ]

References


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