Old Trafford’s capacity could rise to 80,000 with Man United in talks over major improvement stadium work for first time in 15 years with expansion of the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand a priority
- The major redevelopment could see Old Trafford’s capacity increase to 80,000
- Man United stadium as a whole has not had significant development since 2006
- Fans have criticised the ground in recent years over issues including leaks
- Meanwhile, Arsenal, Man City and Tottenham have all moved into new grounds
Manchester United have opened discussions on a major redevelopment of Old Trafford that could see the stadium’s capacity increase to 80,000.
The club has often come under fire from fans over the lack of improvements to the stadium and issues including leaks from the roof of the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand.
The development will not solely focus on the stadium with United also keen to explore different ideas for improvement of the entire footprint around the ground.
Despite being England’s biggest club ground at 74,140, Old Trafford as a whole has not had significant development since 2006.
Manchester United have opened discussions on a major redevelopment of Old Trafford
Meanwhile, United’s Premier League rivals Arsenal, Manchester City and, most recently, Tottenham have all moved into new grounds.
Everton are the next in line for a move after beginning work on the 52,888-capacity Bramley-Moore Dock stadium that is planned to open in 2024-25.
Liverpool completed major work on the main stand in 2016 and have plans to increase the capacity of the Anfield Road end in time for the 2023-24 season.
Chelsea put a pin in an expansion plan for Stamford Bridge following the political stand-off that prevented owner Roman Abramovich attending matches because of visa issues in 2018.
Everton have begun work on the new Bramley-Moore Stadium on Liverpool’s waterfront
United’s co-chairman Joel Glazer (right) announced the early-stage plans at a fan forum
United co-chairman Joel Glazer is aware of the stadium’s issues and said at a Fans Forum meeting on September 24 that ‘early-stage planning work’ for the redevelopment of Old Trafford and the Carrington training ground was underway.
Sportsmail reported earlier this month that the club were set to launch a search for master architects with a view to modernising Old Trafford. An appointment to look at Carrington was said to be imminent, with the stadium set to follow.
No timescale has been put on the process but initial meetings have now taken place with a number of interested parties, according to BBC Sport.
Sir Bobby Charlton attends the unveiling of the South Stand renamed in his honour in 2016
The focus is the challenge that the adjacent railway and houses beyond poses to the work
The focus on Old Trafford will be the ageing South Stand, renamed after Sir Bobby Charlton in 2016, and the challenge that the cost of building over the adjacent railway line and the impact on the houses beyond poses to any expansion plans.
But improvements in construction materials mean that the work could now be carried out without that expense.
The development is thought to also look to enhance the media and broadcast facilities, plus additional hospitality areas, which are regarded by the club as essential to make the project financially possible.
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