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All posts tagged stadium development plans

Ambitious owner Andy Holt has hailed a new era at Accrington Stanley after the club put forward plans for a multi-million redevelopment of the Wham Stadium.

Holt has been in talks with Hyndburn Council since he took over the League Two club in October last year about securing a new lease on the ground.

Terms have been agreed on a 50-year lease and now plans are in to begin the first phase of the proposed development, which is a new 1,500-capacity all-seater stand.

The new stand, to be built down the Whinney Hill side of the ground, will have modern spectator facilities in the concourse and the potential to be split to accommodate home and away supporters.

The single-tier stand is also future-proofed with the possibility of adding corporate entertainment boxes and facilities built into its design.

070316-whinney-hill-feature-4 070316-whinney-hill-overview-feature

The present stadium has a capacity of just over 5,000 and that figure is planned to remain the same under the redevelopment plan.

Holt, who owns What More Ltd, which are the main sponsors of the Reds, said:

We have been working together with the council and local community and looking at a substantial investment that will improve the entire area.

We will create community facilities that should make the whole area something the people of Accrington can be proud of.

It will be also a major boost for football fans coming to the Wham Stadium and improve their match day experience.

Council Leader, Cllr Miles Parkinson, said:

This is great news.

These are exciting times for Accrington Stanley as the plans will herald a new era for the club. This proposal to grant Accrington Stanley a new 50-year commercial lease, which is subject to Cabinet approval on 23rd March, will see the start of huge investment into the club by main sponsors What More Ltd, which are set to modernise and vastly improve facilities for the fans and the community.

Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) has been selected to carry out the work, due to their wealth of experience working on successful and innovative football ground redevelopments.

Neil Ainsworth, a partner at FWP, and who is leading the design team on the project, said:

We are all excited by the potential to create a modern, vibrant new home for one of the most instantly recognised names in the footballing world.

Having designed and built around 60 new stadiums and facilities for clubs up and down the leagues and the country, we know what works best for each club and how to make the new ground a real asset to the club, its fans and the town.

In the third part of this weekly series highlighting the latest sports venue developments from across the Asia Pacific region, we highlight Kai Tak Stadium in Hong Kong and the Greater Noida Cricket Stadium at Jaypee Sports City in India.

Kai Tak Stadium

Kai Tak Stadium is a multi-purpose sports stadium to be built at the site of Kai Tak Airport in Kowloon, Hong Kong, which will feature a retractable roof and be used for international sporting and entertainment events.

AECOM was engaged by the Civil Engineering and Development Department of HKSAR to undertake the Kai Tak Development project in early 2007. And the Finance Committee of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council has already approved HK$62.7m (US$8.1m) in pre-construction funds.

In addition to the 50,000-capacity stadium, the complex will also include office, commercial and retail space, and public recreation, as well as a smaller sports ground (5,000-capacity) and a 4,000-capacity indoor arena.

The project is said to come with a HK$23bn price tag and is slated to open in 2020.

Greater Noida Cricket Stadium at Jaypee Sports City

Jaypee Sports City, located on the Yamuna Expressway in Greater Noida, NCR, is India’s first planned city developed and aimed for sports. It’s 2,500 acres of area comprises various sports venues, including an international standard cricket stadium, a hockey stadium and the Buddh International Circuit, which hosted India’s first F1 race in 2011.

Greater Noida Cricket Stadium is due for completion in 2016 and will intially seat 40,000 spectators, but this will gradually be increased to 100,000. The Cricket Stadium will be given a face-lift similar to Lord’s Cricket Ground and will conform to all the norms and specifications as laid down by the ICC, with associated amenities like media and corporate boxes, medical facilities, merchandise stores, a food court, an information kiosk and many others.

The Sports City will also feature a hockey stadium with a sports training academy and infrastructure for other sports.


For all the latest sports venue development news, check out our comprehensive Facility Watch in PanStadia & Arena Management magazine.


AECOM Global Sports’ Principal, JRJ Parrish, AECOM’s Peter Ayres, Director – Buildings + Places and Business Unit Leader – Sports and AECOM Sports’ Adam G Williams, Practice Leader Design + Planning, are just some of the 50+ industry-elite speakers confirmed to participate at Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015.


Find out more about the latest sports venue developments from across Asia Pacific and beyond at next month’s Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015 conference and trade show, at which nearly all of the top sports architects and designers will be present, in addition to many of the stadium and arena owner/operators. Guarantee your place at this must-attend event at:

Herzog & de Meuron in the frame for Chelsea FC stadium expansion

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Herzog & de Meuron is reportedly working on plans to revamp the west London home of Chelsea Football Club, Stamford Bridge, to increase capacity to 60,000 spectators.

According to the Architects’ Journal, the Swiss firm led by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, is working alongside Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands to explore how Chelsea FC can increase capacity at Stamford Bridge, which currently offers a 41,837-capacity.

Herzog & de Meuron is the practice behind the 2008 ‘bird’s nest’ National Stadium in Beijing, China, and the firm has already designed one major football stadium project – the much-publicised Allianz Arena, in Munich, Germany.

Chelsea FC announced back in June that it had commissioned a study to review different improvement options for Stamford Bridge, which could include decking over the railway line to the east and the north of the stadium, and had launched consultation on the extent of the plans. The club wants to increase its capacity to nearer 60,000.

Chelsea has previously looked at several locations for a new stadium, including Earls Court Exhibition Centre, White City and, with KPF, at Battersea Power Station south of the Thames. However, the club faced opposition from supporters and the Chelsea Pitch Owners plc, which stipulated that the club needed to change their name if they moved from Stamford Bridge.

In a statement released by the club in the summer about the Stamford Brigde study, a spokesman for Chelsea FC said:

A study of the area from Fulham Broadway town centre to Stamford Bridge and beyond has been commissioned by Chelsea Football Club’s owner Roman Abramovich.

This study will review the potential for improvements to publicly-owned areas along Fulham Road and the area around the football ground, including the possibility of decking over the railway lines to the east and north of the ground. This could create landscaped public walkways and cycleways, while also reducing pedestrian traffic on Fulham Road and nearby streets on match days.

The study will also assess the feasibility of an expansion of the stadium within the existing historic site boundaries, potentially to enlarge its capacity, enhance its facilities and improve the movement of people and vehicles on match and non-matchdays.

Chelsea FC

Herzog & de Meuron is reportedly looking at design concepts to increase capacity at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge stadium.

Source: Architects Journal

AFC Bournemouth announce 18,000-seat stadium expansion plan

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AFC Bournemouth Chairman, Jeff Mostyn, recently confirmed that the club are looking to expand their Goldsands Stadium by 4,000-seats to an 18,000-capacity.

Their current home in Kings Park, traditionally known as Dean Court, currently seats up to 12,000 fans, which makes it the lowest capacity stadium in the English Championship league.

Mostyn told BBC Radio Solent’s Sportshour show:

We know we can expand to 15,000 without any problem and hopefully look at further development.

We’ve spoken before about filling in the corners and that would probably take the capacity to 18,000.

Mostyn revealed the club were currently conducting feasibility studies on expanding the stadium as they look to match their ambition off the pitch with their success on it.

Building work on the initial three sides of the ground was completed in 2001, when the club were in the present third-tier, while a new South Stand was added to bring the capacity to its current figure in 2013.

Mostyn added:

We will expand the stadium, we have the ability to expand it and we want to fulfil our aim of getting to the Premier League, the only thing I can’t tell our supporters is when. Promotion is not the catalyst. What we have to do is keep our feet firmly on the floor as a team and take the “one game at a time” mantra. However, off the pitch running as a business we have to be prepared for what we hope will be the fulfilment of all of our ambitions.

Those are our thoughts at the moment, we want to remain at the Goldsands, our fans want us to remain at the Goldsands and if we could develop the stadium to 18,000 and increase the commercial capacity then I think everybody would be happy.

Mostyn also says the club are in line to meet the requirements of the new Financial Fair Play rules when they are audited in December,

The Cherries posted a £15.3m loss for the 2012-13 promotion season but Mostyn says that should not be confused as debt and that they have managed to balance the books since that figure was revealed in May. Mostyn commented:

We’ve done it by a combination of commercial and player sales.

One of the criticisms that people have directed at it is that we are a big spending club. It couldn’t be further from the truth. There was a recent article in a Cardiff newspaper that showed us to be one of the lowest spending clubs. Fans would say if you have £15m worth of debt then how can you sustain Financial Fair Play?

First of all we haven’t got any debt, let me make that absolutely clear. The fact we posted a £15m loss is totally different to debt. This is equity put into the football club, predominately by the owner.

He added:

That is permissible by Financial Fair Play and through a consequence of player sales and we were obviously extremely pleased with the (former Southampton midfielder) Adam Lallana transfer (of which Cherries received a portion) to Liverpool that has balanced the books.

I remain absolutely confident that when our accounts are submitted to the Football League that we will meet the Financial Fair Play requirements for this year and not have a transfer embargo in January.

Source: BBC Sport

AFC Wimbledon submits planning application for new stadium

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AFC Wimbledon has moved a step closer to returning to its spiritual home in Merton after submitting a planning application for a new community stadium at Plough Lane.

The application to Merton Council seeks permission for a stadium that would fulfil AFC Wimbledon’s aim to grow as a club and bring substantial benefits to the local community.

Detailed plans will not be available until the council has completed its verification process, checking that the application complies with the requirements for an application of this nature and complexity. It could take a few weeks for the process to be completed, at which point the plans will be made available for public scrutiny.

AFC Wimbledon Chief Executive, Erik Samuelson, said:

This is the culmination of 18 months intensive work for the club, Galliard Homes, and our team of specialist advisers. It is an extremely comprehensive proposal covering every aspect of the development and associated issues. We ask everyone to be patient for a little longer before the details can be shared in a few weeks’ time.

In partnership with Galliard Homes, the planning application seeks permission to build 600 residential units, along with retail and commercial space and a leisure club. The master plan seeks to revitalise this part of Merton as it will bring economic benefits, including more jobs to the area, and add community facilities for local residents to utilise.

The Club is seeking to build a stadium with an initial capacity of 11,000 with permission to extend this to 20,000. This would enable Wimbledon to cater for growing support as promotion up the Football League is earned.

During the summer, the Club and Galliard Homes carried out an extensive public consultation, which helped to shape the final plans and Erik thanked all those people who participated:

The detailed feedback from the consultation is contained in the planning application and will be available when the plans are verified by the council. Until then, I will just say that we’ve been hugely encouraged by the fantastic levels of support our plans have attracted, and on behalf of AFC Wimbledon and Galliard Homes, I thank everyone who took part.


Stadium design
According to the Business Case set out by the the Club in 2013, funding for the stadium will come from receipts from the sale of naming rights to the new stadium, a Community Share issue, and a contribution from enabling development.
In regards to the stadium design, the Club’s brief to its stadium architect focused on a stadium suitable for both football and rugby with good quality facilities that, wherever possible, have a dual use, i.e. they can generate income on both matchdays and non-matchdays and/or be suitable for community use.
The key features of the new stadium were set out in the Brief as follows:

  • Visibility from Plough Lane, which reinforces its involvement in the local community
  • Capacity of about 20,000
  • The spectators will be arranged in a bowl configuration which brings them as close to the playing surface as possible without compromising sightlines or run-off requirements
  • The pitch and stadium facilities meet all football and rugby playing requirements in terms of size, run-offs, etc. to allow competitive matches up to international level to be hosted
  • Sightlines from all areas meet or exceed the recommendations for viewing quality
  • Provision for disabled visitors allows access to all parts of the stadium
  • The hospitality provision comprises 1,200 seats adjacent to boxes/suites running along the West and South stands. In addition, there is a multi-functional space in the South West corner of the stadium footplate which provides a matchday bar for approximately 1,000 and which can be adapted for a range of non-matchday uses. The boxes/suites will also be used for non-matchday activities
  • Accommodation for matchday activities (changing rooms, police control room, etc.) as well as for day-to-day management of the Club
  • Parking has been kept to a minimum to encourage use of public transport. Space is provided for matchday broadcasting vehicles – this space can be used by visitors on non-matchdays.

The stadium will be constructed in a phased manner to allow the Club to maintain a balance between success on the pitch and the growing fanbase that will follow. At all times the objective is to maintain an environment which has a vibrant matchday atmosphere as well as an appeal for non-matchday use because of the quality and arrangement of its facilities. The initial construction will comprise the following:

  • A capacity of 11,000 in four stands, using the space nearest the pitch. The design of the seating bowl will allow it to be completed in phases from this point and will take advantage of the availability of temporary structures which can now provide a high-quality solution to infill expansion space as necessary
  • The north-east corner construction will be demountable to allow access to the pitch area for the purpose of increasing capacity through the phasing
  • Hospitality space will be created to its full capacity. However, the top tier of the boxes/suites will be fitted out only when the demand dictates
  • The pitch will meet UEFA standards
  • Hospitality provision will allow access to all areas in all phases
  • Viewing standards will not be compromised in any phase
  • Accommodation for matchdays and non-matchdays as set out above

Cambridge City FC receives planning permission for new stadium

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Cambridge City Football Club confirmed this week that the Rt Hon Eric Pickles has officially agreed the planning application for a new stadium at Sawston.

It brings to an end a four month wait for the application to be signed off since it was given approval at Council level at the beginning of June.

With approval signed, the Club can now make plans for clearance of the site and for construction to begin.

Commenting on the news, City Chairman Kevin Satchell said:

This is fantastic news for everyone involved with Cambridge City Football Club. We can now really move forward and develop something truly special that will not only secure the long term future of the club, but will also provide a first class community facility for the people of Sawston and surrounding area. I am delighted and excited that we can now look forward to a new home, and I am sure that the fans will also share the same feeling in what will be a dawning of a new era for the club.

© Copyright 2003-14 Cambridge City FC

New stadium deal for NFL Oakland Raiders

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A new Raiders stadium offer, worked out by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s development people, calls for giving free land to the team and for city and Alameda County taxpayers to pay off the US$120m they still owe for the 1990s overhaul of the Coliseum, which would be demolished under the plan.

For months, Quan has been predicting that a broad agreement for a new Raiders stadium, costing between US$900m to US$1.2bn, would be worked out by the summer’s end.

Now, Zach Wasserman, an attorney representing backers of a hoped-for sports, housing and retail complex called ‘Coliseum City’, says the “basic terms” of a financial deal have been worked out among his group, the city’s negotiators and the Raiders. And that he “expects it to be executed soon”.

In other words, everyone’s waiting for the thumbs-up or thumbs-down from Raiders owner Mark Davis – who has been very publicly looking at other cities.

Even as Davis thinks it over, questions are being raised about whether the proposed deal will fly.

The idea is that the public wouldn’t be on the hook for construction costs; those would be paid for by revenue generated by the project, the NFL and other private sources, but taxpayers would contribute the land and infrastructure improvements.

The city and county would also have to come up with the US$120m to pay off the Coliseum expansion that lured the Raiders back from Los Angeles. City and county taxpayers now pay US$20m a year in general-fund money for debt service.

County officials, who share oversight of the Coliseum, say Quan has kept them in the dark about the city’s plan.

Supervisor Nate Miley, chairman of the city-county Coliseum Authority, which operates the complex, said:

I am still skeptical about the whole Coliseum City deal and if it’s going to materialize.

But he said he’s keeping an open mind.

Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid, another member of the Coliseum Authority, said the proposal for the city and county to pay off the debt on the old Coliseum took him by surprise. He commented:

I have asked that the (Coliseum City) item be scheduled for closed session for an update at our next (council) meeting.

Another big question is how the Oakland A’s – who just signed a 10-year lease extension at the stadium that would be demolished – fit into the picture. Sources close to the Coliseum City negotiations tell us that if the A’s won’t play ball with the project’s backers, part of the land could be turned over to team owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher for their own privately developed ballpark.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

QPR FC launch consultation on transformation of Old Oak common

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Queens Park Rangers (QPR) Football Club is to launch a consultation on its plans to regenerate hundreds of acres of brownfield land at Old Oak in West London, opening the way for thousands of new homes and jobs to be delivered with easy access to the planned Crossrail/HS2 interchange.
Today (Thursday 4th September), over 50,000 newsletters will be delivered to homes and businesses across West London, inviting people to come and see the initial plans and to have their say on what should be considered before developing them further.
Old Oak is set to change dramatically over the coming years. Last year the Mayor of London, in partnership with the local boroughs, published a vision document describing how the area could be transformed with new transport connections, businesses and jobs, homes, community facilities, as well as a new stadium. Now QPR FC has assembled a world-class design team to prepare plans so that Old Oak can become ‘home’ to their new 40,000-seat stadium and kick-start the first phase of this exciting and wider regeneration project.
QPR Chairman, Tony Fernandes, said:
We are looking to deliver much more than just a stadium. We want to create a new destination that we propose to call ‘New Queens Park’. It will serve as a catalyst for regeneration, creating thousands of new jobs and homes for local people. 
It will be a major transport hub that will connect Old Oak to the rest of London and other major cities across the UK. Our new 40,000-seat stadium will become a focal point hosting not just football, but other entertainment and community activities for residents and visitors to enjoy.
This will give us a top quality stadium that will be able to cater for QPR’s needs as the club progresses and grows over the years ahead. We are very excited about being the driving force behind creating one of the best new urban places in the world, and making this our new home.
Fernandes added:
There are many local benefits that will arise out of the regeneration of the Old Oak area, including new homes, new jobs and a much improved local environment. These benefits will be shared widely by the surrounding communities in Hammersmith, Ealing and Brent, including large numbers of our supporters.
This is very much the start of the process. We want to share our ideas and plans and in turn hear from the local community. The aim is that local residents, our fans and others with an interest in this part of London will come along and help us shape our proposals. The forthcoming public exhibitions provide the first opportunity for this, and as our plans evolve we’ll hold more events.
QPR will be holding public exhibitions at:
Loftus Road Stadium, South Africa Road, London, W12 7PJ
2-8pm, Monday 15th September 2014
2-8pm, Tuesday 16th September 2014
Skyline suite, Holiday Inn London West, 4 Portal Way, North Acton, W3 6RT
4-8pm, Wednesday 17th September 2014
4-8pm, Thursday 18th September 2014
St Mark’s Church Hall, Bathurst Gardens, Kensal Rise, NW10 5HX
12 noon–4pm, Friday 19th September 2014
9am–1pm, Saturday 20th September 2014
A project website – – has also been established for people to read about the plans and to have their say.
With their partners, Stadium Capital Developments, QPR has entered into exclusivity land arrangements with Network Rail and other landowners who control major parts of Old Oak.  They have assembled a design team with a track record of delivering major regeneration projects.
Antony Spencer from Stadium Capital Development, and who – alongside world renowned architect Sir Terry Farrell – is developing the master-plan for Old Oak, commented:
We envisage a new vibrant, mixed-use and high-quality development that will regenerate the area and turn this neglected but very well-connected area into a new world-class city quarter.
We have assembled a top-class professional team to design thousands of new homes and new commercial space, including retail, studios and offices, restaurants, cinemas, a hotel and other leisure accommodation.

QPR is working with Stadium Capital Developments (SCD), the company behind the regeneration of the Emirates Stadium, which delivered 3,500 new homes and hundreds of new jobs in innovative workspace in Islington. Together, they have appointed a professional team of world-class architects and property advisors, including:Development Partner: Stadium Capital Developments

Masterplanners: Farrells

Stadium Architects: Populous

Concept Architects: CZWG

Project & Development Managers: EC Harris

Planning & Development Advisros: Savills

Land Agents: Anthony Green & Spencer



FC Aktobe unveils plans for new 32,000-capacity stadium

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Kazakh football club FC Aktobe has “unveiled plans to build a new stadium with a seating capacity of 32,000”, according to Jaroslaw Adamowski of Inside World Football.

Adamowski’s piece outlines how the Club advised the the new sports facility’s construction will receive government funding as part of it’s efforts to promote football in the country.

Should the new venue go ahead, it will replace the existing 13,500-seat Aktobe Central Stadium, which is the city’s main football arena and home ground to FC Aktobe. It was constructed in 1975, with the last reconstruction taking place in 2000, when plastic seating and an LED board were installed. In 2005, following the replacement of the stadium’s heating, water supply and sewage systems, the stadium met all UEFA standards.

Speaking about the new stadium plans, Archimed Muhambetov from the regional authorities of the Aktobe province, told Adamowski:

We are developing a design and feasibility study. Our objective is to build a stadium for 32,000 spectators… built in compliance with UEFA category four standards.

According to Muhambetov, the Club aims to finalise works on the design of the new sports facility in 2015 and “launch the construction of the stadium in 2016”.

Set up in 1967, FC Aktobe is based in the city of Aktobe, in the country’s western part. The Club currently plays in the top tier of Kazakhstan’s professional football league, the Kazakh Premier League. FC Aktobe won the country’s championship in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2013.


Source: Inside World Football & UEFA

Q1 planning application approved including new stadium for Boston United FC

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The planning application for Q1 has been approved by Boston Borough Council, with planning committee members voting 10 to 2 in favour.

The plans were recommended for approval by the Council’s Development Control Manager. There were no statutory objections to the proposal and the Council received more letters in support than against from members of the public.

David Newton, Managing Director of Chestnut Homes, said

Naturally, we are delighted with the decision. The Quadrant not only secures a home for Boston United Football Club and its valued community programme, but it provides much needed housing, employment and vital financial contributions to local education and healthcare services.

We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from the public throughout this process, and I would particularly like to thank those who took the time to write to the Council and those who spoke in favour of the proposal at the meeting.

This was a big decision to make and an important one for the whole of Boston and the borough. We are pleased that committee members see that The Quadrant is a vital part of the future growth of Boston. We look forward to progressing our plans further and we will continue to keep the community engaged at every stage.

Next steps will include finalising the ‘conditions’ of the planning permission, which were drawn up by the Council’s Development Control Manager and agreed by the planning committee members at the meeting. Work could then start on the Community Stadium and access in early 2015. Detailed proposals for the residential and commercial elements of the project will also be brought forward.

The Secretary of State will now decide whether or not to ‘call in’ the application to determine it himself. However if he decides not to do this, the decision made by the planning committee stands.


The Project: Football Stadium

Q1 provides an exciting opportunity to create a new stadium that is financially viable, and which helps secure a future for the club and the wide range of community, sports, education and training programmes that it delivers.

The Community Stadium would include a sports hall, an all-weather 3G pitch for community use, plus educational and conferencing facilities.

Alterations have been made to the stadium’s design details to reflect feedback from BUFC supporters:

  • Capacity has been increased to 5,000 (was 4,000)
  • The stadium will be built to Football League standards
  • The sports hall will now be incorporated into the stadium design
  • A climbing wall and dance studio have been added into the plans


Spurs plans for new 58,000-capacity stadium get the go ahead

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Tottenham Hotspur FC’s plans to build a new 58,000-capacity stadium on a site adjacent to their existing White Hart Lane ground are set to go ahead following Government approval.



Communities Minister, Eric Pickles, approved a compulsory purchase order made by the London Borough of Haringey, which will enable the Northumberland Development Project to go ahead. More than 95% of the 3 hectare site has been acquired by agreement and work has already begun on the first phase of the redevelopment plan. The order was requested to allow the final phases to proceed and follows a public inquiry.



The Club, who have played at White Hart Lane since 1899, said of the new stadium – which they now hope to open in 2017 – on their website (

This is a very significant step… which will allow a refined, detailed design of the stadium.


Spurs have been clearing land next to White Hart Lane for two years and thanks to this Government approval for the final stages of their plans, building work can now begin.



Eric Pickles was quoted by the BBC as saying:

This scheme is supported by the locally determined development plan for the area and has received strong local support.


Designed by KSS (, the new stadium forms the centrepiece of a wider Northumberland Development Project master plan for the regeneration of North Tottenham N17. The design responds to the Club’s brief for an iconic stadium incorporating modern state-of-the-art facilities, and recreating the intense atmosphere of the current White Hart Lane stadium to provide the best possible spectator experience.


The concept expresses the idea of “flowing football, flowing lines”, and the curved cladding envelope and undulating roof together with a subtle use of club colours evokes Spurs’ tradition of doing things with style and panache.


Tottenham Hotspurs new 58,000-capacity stadium can now proceed following government approval. (Images courtesy: KSS)

Tottenham Hotspurs new 58,000-capacity stadium can now proceed following government approval. (Images courtesy: KSS)


AFC Wimbledon set for a return to Plough Lane Stadium

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Sky Bet League Two side, AFC Wimbledon, has been given the green light to proceed with a planning application for a new stadium on their old Plough Lane ground.


A potential return to the Club’s spiritual home came a major step nearer after an independent inspector’s report confirmed the Plough Lane site could be used for “Sporting Intensification”. The endorsement of Merton Council’s proposed designation of the site means AFC Wimbledon can take the next steps towards submitting a planning application for a football stadium on the site.



The Club and its partner, Galliard Homes, have been working on preparations for public consultations, dates of which will be announced shortly. These will offer the first opportunity to view the Club’s detailed plans for Plough Lane.


AFC Wimbledon’s Chief Executive, Erik Samuelson, said:

We are delighted with the inspector’s conclusions. We can now move to the next stage of the process. There is still a long way to go and a lot of hard work to be done, but this is a significant moment in our plans to return to Wimbledon.

The Club, Greyhound Racing Authority Acquisition Ltd and Galliard Homes are working in close partnership to ensure the timely delivery of the proposals. It is anticipated that the proposed development will be constructed in phases, providing a new 20,000-seat football stadium with an initial capacity of 11,000 seats in the first phase of development.


The proposed development includes:

4T96oaeTE.jpeg   Demolition of the current stadium

4T96oaeTE.jpeg   To build (in stages) a high-quality 20,000-seat stadium suitable for Championship level football. The initial stadium will open with a capacity of c.11,000 seats, including hospitality

4T96oaeTE.jpeg   Approximately 600 new homes with basement parking, to be delivered by Galliard Homes

4T96oaeTE.jpeg   A squash/fitness club with contemporary training facilities

4T96oaeTE.jpeg   Local retail space

4T96oaeTE.jpeg   Approximately 330 car parking spaces and cycle parking

4T96oaeTE.jpeg   High quality landscaping throughout


The plans will give AFC Wimbledon the opportunity to return to its historic home on Plough Lane after an absence of over 20 years.


AFC Wimbledon: The back story

AFC Wimbledon is very different from most football clubs. It was founded by, and is owned by, its fans. The Club was formed in the summer of 2002 after an FA commission shocked football fans everywhere by allowing the old Wimbledon FC to relocate to Milton Keynes. Determined not to let a proud 104-year history die, Dons supporters organised themselves and within just six weeks AFC Wimbledon – a club the commission had declared would be “not in the wider interests of football” – was born.


AFC Wimbledon’s opening match in the Combined Counties League, five levels below the Football league, attracted 2,449 fans to Sandhurst Town’s Bottom Meadow ground, where some fans watched the game standing on bales of hay. After an astonishing rise through the football pyramid, the club gained promotion to the Football League from the Conference National in 2011 by winning the play-off final in Manchester. From inception to the Football League, as the fans sing, ‘it only took nine years’.


The rise of AFC Wimbledon has brought inevitable comparisons with their illustrious predecessors’ climb from the Southern League to the old First Division during the 1970s and 80s. That long run of success in the top division culminated in a victory over Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup Final.


While proudly retaining Wimbledon FC’s history, AFC Wimbledon is a very different club from the old Crazy Gang. Being owned by its supporters gives it a strength of commitment to its home community, Wimbledon, that has never wavered since it was formed. The involvement of supporters also gives it a unique family-friendly culture with fans at the heart of its activities, as illustrated by the large numbers of fans who give up their time to run the club.


After 12 years of unbroken success, the Club is now limited in the success it can achieve on the pitch and in its community work unless it can move to a new stadium back in its heartland.



D.C. United releases latest renderings of proposed Buzzard Point stadium

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D.C. United has released the latest renderings of its proposed Buzzard Point stadium this week in the lead up to the first D.C. Council hearing on the project.


“A stadium for all” is what the team titled a letter to its season ticket holders, which urges all stadium supporters that are current Washington D.C. residents to show their support and speak to the council members on the importance of getting the stadium approved.


As part of the stadium deal, the District will spend up to US$150m to acquire the site and prepare the land, while the team will finance the stadium construction; with the help of some long-term tax incentives.


Several council members have expressed a healthy skepticism of the complex arrangement struck between the District, D.C. United and landowners Akridge, Pepco, Mark Ein and Super Salvage, but those involved are quietly confident they will have seven council votes to pass it before the end of the year.


Matt Klein, President of Akridge – the company which, as part of the deal, will acquire the Reeves Center at 14th and U streets NW from the District in return for roughly 25% of its Buzzard Point holdings and $US35m in cash – said:

The deal holds well together as a package.


Tom Hunt, Chief Operating Officer at D.C. United said in a recent statement:

From the moment we signed our stadium agreement with the city in July, 2013, we have been diligently working with key stakeholders within the D.C. government to make our stadium plans a reality. This is our field of dreams, and it will be a catalyst for economic development at Buzzard Point that will generate US$204m in tax revenue for the city during the stadium lease term and create over 1,550 jobs.

For almost two decades, it has been D.C. United’s mission to serve the community and this new facility will reinforce our long-standing commitment to making Washington, D.C., and the surrounding region a better place to live, work and play. In 2013 alone, team members and other employees partnered with 50 local groups, contributed more than 700 hours of volunteer work, donated 10,000 books to area schools and, through its Kicks for Kids program, brought 3,000 disadvantaged youths to our home games. Additionally, through our partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, the United Soccer Club has taught soccer and mentored skills to nearly 7,000 underprivileged District kids.


The D.C. Council will hold its first public hearing on the stadium plans on June 26, 2014.


Hunt advised:

Prior to the hearing, we are pleased to provide you with an exclusive look at renderings of our new home. Click here to see our vision for a world-class stadium in a world-class city. Our number one goal is to make this stadium a place for all D.C. area residents to enjoy by hosting numerous events ranging from Major League Soccer and International friendlies, to high school and college lacrosse, football and rugby, concerts, cultural events, meetings and banquets, and much more.


Source: D.C. United and Washington Business Journal.

Image credits: Populous and D.C. United.


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Allianz to sponsor new stadium for SK Rapid Vienna

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German financial services company Allianz has expanded its sports venue naming rights portfolio by signing up as sponsor of Austrian football club SK Rapid Vienna’s new stadium.


Following intensive and finally fruitful discussions, the Club announced The Allianz Group Austria as their new partner, with the new stadium – which will be erected on the site of the current Gerhard-Hanappi Stadium – to be known as ‘Allianz Stadium’.


SK Rapid Vienna’s General Manager, Werner Kuhn, said:

The key aspect of our new marketing partnership is the naming rights for Rapid’s new home, which is due for completion in 2016. “We’re thrilled that in the Allianz Group Austria we have found a long term and renowned partner. The values that we share, a commitment to long term visions with standards befitting an international stage connect us. The Allianz Stadium will be the cutting edge stadium in Austria with an intricate viewer concept and impressive architecture – with improvements for those in the stands.


Allianz’s Sales Director, Christoph Marek, said:

Giving your name to a sports stadium has a significant emotional aspect. We’re thrilled to have this unique opportunity to connect our brand to the next generation Rapid stadium. This partnership is our contribution towards supporting one of the most traditions-rich football clubs in Austria, which makes us proud!

Kuhn added:

We’re thrilled that in Allianz Group Austria we have found a long-term and renowned partner. Allianz Stadium will be the cutting-edge stadium in Austria with an intricate viewer concept and impressive architecture.


Club President, Michael Krammer, commented that “outstanding bureaucratic procedures” – including planning permission – needed to be finalised for the stadium project in the coming weeks and that the Club would play their fixtures at an alternative venue while the facility is being constructed. Rapid hopes to start building work as early as next month and Krammer added that he is confident that the procedures can be completed ‘fairly quickly.’

The new 28,000-capacity stadium is expected to bring in revenues of around €3.6m annually.

Allianz has already given its name to five sporting arenas across the globe, including the state-of-the-art Allianz Arena, the home of German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich.

Boston United submit planning application for new Community Stadium at The Quadrant

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Boston United FC Chairman, David Newton, has this week confirmed that a planning application for the Club’s new Community Stadium at The Quadrant has been submitted to Boston Borough Council.

Commenting on the application, Newton said:

This is the culmination of many years of hard work. Following the demise of the club back in 2007, we have worked hard to stabilise the finances of the club; ensure the first team manager has the best playing budget that we could provide; rebuild the reputation of the club locally and within the football world; build a large community and education programme and of course all has been done during the worst recession on record.

In tandem we have been trying to secure the long-term future of the club by ensuring that it has a new home when the lease expires on the York Street ground in January 2018. The Community Stadium plans have been developed following the extensive public and fan consultation that was undertaken at the end of 2013 and we believe that the proposals will not only provide Boston United with a secure home; but clearly show the aspirations of the club and provide sufficient income generating facilities for a financially viable future. However, The Quadrant is about so much more. It will create a new southern gateway into the town; provide around 500 new homes to help meet current and future housing projections; provide new food, retail and leisure opportunities; the first part of a potential distributor road network and create up to 460 full-time equivalent new jobs.


He added:

Q1 will be carefully designed to fit into its ‘semi-rural’ location and reflect the character of the local area. A very detailed Masterplan has been submitted with the application which explains the rationale behind the proposals and the vision of how we wish to see the development evolve.

Not only is The Quadrant vitally important to the future of Boston United Football Club, but it will also bring much wider benefits to the local economy. Chestnut Homes have a long history of building new homes in the Borough and so we are very excited to be able to bring forward such a high profile development that has the potential to have a really positive long-term impact for the Borough as a whole.


The plans have been designed to create a new stadium that is financially viable, and which helps secure a future for the club and the wide range of community, sports, education and training programmes that it delivers. The Community Stadium’s design includes a sports hall, an all-weather 3G pitch for community use, plus educational and conferencing facilities. The stadium will offer a 4,000+ capacity suitable for the Conference Premier Division, which is easily adaptable to football league standards. Alterations were made to the original stadium design details to reflect feedback from the Club’s supporters.

The Quadrant’s dedicated website and Boston Borough Council’s website will have full details of the planning application once it has been validated, and further details will be released over the coming weeks.


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Grimsby Town FC present new stadium plans

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Grimsby Town FC has unveiled an ambitious stadium redevelopment scheme.


Club Director, John Fenty, told local residents fearful of the impact of the proposed 12,000-14,000-seater stadium on land off Peaks Parkway on the edge of the town, that:

Modern stadium design will mitigate the impact of noise from a new football stadium.


In response, residents said traffic problems will be exacerbated and the peace and tranquility of the nearby Scartho Road Cemetery will disappear. But Mr Fenty said the club would only have 30 home games each season and not become a day-in-day-out noise nuisance.


Last week the club released more details about the proposed relocation from Blundell Park, issuing a rallying cry to residents and politicians. It also launched an online petition in favour of the plans and supporter group, the Mariners Trust, has organised a leaflet drop within the Park ward.


Speaking of the new stadium plans, Fenty said he was happy to meet residents to allay their concerns but stressed he is not a planning consultant. He advised that measures to mitigate noise and impact on the area would be an integral part of the stadium design. He also said the proposed new stadium would be 450m from the nearest house.