Watford Football Club, partnering with GL events Seating and Stadia, is transforming the East Stand to provide home supporters with 2,600 new seats at Vicarage Road Stadium.
The development at the home of the Hornets is centred around the old East Stand that was shut down on safety grounds. None of the existing seating structure has been used by the public during that time. However, the players changing facilities and associated amenities are still contained beneath the stand, and remain fully operational as the club continues to play home matches throughout the season. Sherif Harding, Stadia Development Manager for GL events Seating and Stadia, said:
The new stand has been designed and programmed sympathetically, with the aim of delivering part of the new facility before the end of this season to ensure that the Club can access much needed additional capacity in time for what will hopefully be a final promotion push.
To make the development as time and cost efficient as possible, the design team has utilised the existing topography and some of the original access infrastructure to deliver the new stand. This effectively means that safe egress can been achieved by a combination of the reinstatement of some existing turnstile blocks, supplemented by a system of new staircases and vomitories to complement these entrance points.
The build programme sees heavy construction works commence at the northern end of the site, with a view to moving the players into their newly fitted-out changing facilities and commencing demolition of the last remaining section of the old structure once that portion of the new grandstand has been completed. This enables GL events Seating and Stadia to maintain a schedule, which does not adversely affect the mid-season operation of the existing changing rooms. Sherif added:
The new stand’s design has been future-proofed to enable additional facilities to be added as required. Once completed, the stand will provide 2600 additional seats, with the possibility of adding approximately 500 more seats through extending the length of the structure at one end.