Crystal Palace FC have revealed plans for a brand new Main Stand and improvements to other areas of the Selhurst Park stadium, which would potentially push the ground’s capacity to 34,000.
The exciting blueprint for the future of the site in South London includes many new features, including more general admission seats, new corporate facilities, improved disabled access and a club museum.
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish said the club could apply for planning permission for the KSS designed development in January. Parish said:
I want a stadium that the whole of south London can be proud of, that is worthy of our support and worthy of the Premier League that we represent. We want to represent the club in the best possible light, and Selhurst is our home and we want to stay here.
When I took over this club, I made a league table of income excluding TV money, and my aim was to try and get us to be the size of an Everton with 36,000 fans. In London, we’re a little bit more blessed with access to corporate income but it’s very important that we use this to keep the general admission prices down.
An invigorated stadium like this should attract new sponsors and I reckon we could get £15 million net income [per year] from the new stand. I don’t think that’s over-ambitious, if you look at what Tottenham get from a relatively small number of corporate fans, I’d hope to do better than that.
Parish said the plan is for a reimagination and redevelopment of the whole of the stadium. At the heart of the development will be a new Main Stand, which will be five storeys high, but that isn’t where the story ends. Parish added:
We want to make the pitch regulation size so it is FIFA and UEFA compliant so we can host internationals or European games, and we will remove the TV gantry in the Arthur Wait Stand which will massively improve the sightlines. We will connect the Main Stand into the executive boxes in the Whitehorse Lane Stand and the Holmesdale to get that bowl environment that we know works so well to enhance our atmosphere.
Corporate hospitality will be expanded with new boxes along the Main Stand, but there’s something for everyone. There will be more general admission which will help us keep ticket prices down as much as we can, and we’ll improve all of the disabled facilities to be absolutely compliant and make sure that all types of supporter can enjoy coming to Selhurst Park.
The investment will likely be between £75 million to £100 million, funded by the shareholder base.
Crystal Palace will continue to play at the ground as the redevelopment takes place, much as Liverpool did with the construction of the new Main Stand at Liverpool FC’s Anfield ground. Parish said:
Our atmosphere is very important. When you look at the Holmesdale Stand, the year it was rebuilt we were relegated and that end of the stadium was dead [while it was being rebuilt]. That was one of the big challenges and I said we absolutely cannot have one or two seasons with an unmade stand. If you’re looking at moving away while you build a new stand, it’s impossible really – who would you groundshare with? There’s nowhere we could go that’s practical.
Then there’s the cost of two years of no income from that stand, so it was essential that we chose KSS who are the only people that have done this [with Liverpool’s Anfield stadium]. I’ve been fortunate enough to go back and forth to Anfield and witness this process of it happening, so it’s not like we think we can do it – we’ve watched these guys do it so we’re very confident that it can happen.