ManUnited home could cost an arm and a leg


ManUnited stadium expansion plans Image: Coliseum GSVA

The Premier League team Manchester United F.C. has been presented with a raft of stadium expansion options – which include the demolition of their home facility – Old Trafford in Stretford, England (UK) – and building of a brand new home.

‘Daily Mail’ stated that in March last year, it was revealed that the drastic and vastly expensive move was one of those being considered.

The Manchester United Football Club, commonly referred to as Man United, or simply United, is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England (UK). The club competes in the Premier League, the top division of the English football league system.

The Old Trafford is a football stadium in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England (UK), and the home of Manchester United F.C. With a capacity of 74,310, it is the largest club football stadium in the United Kingdom, and the 11th-largest in Europe.

‘Daily Mail’ further stated that the following month, leading consultants Legends International and celebrated design studio Populous – who were responsible for the Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur F.C.’s new home – the 62,850-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England – were appointed and it is understood that they have now completed their initial assessments and planning.

Late last year club officials were presented with plans which included a refurbishment of Old Trafford and a new home which would most likely be built on the acres of club-owned land surrounding the ‘Theatre of Dreams’.

However, the situation is now effectively on hold, with any expansion likely to be decided on by new owners.

United are currently up for sale and it is thought that interested parties will be given access to the plans and the likely costs involved. A new home, which would have the advantage of allowing United to carry on playing at Old Trafford while work is being carried out, could cost close to £2bn. And, given the complications involved, an upgrade of the club’s 112-year-home could also go north of £1bn.

United executives were presented with two overall concepts. One was based on remaining at Old Trafford while the other was a switch to a new, state-of-the-art stadium.

Each of the two concepts then had various options, with regards to features such as capacity.

While an increase on the existing 74,000 is expected, a major focus of any project would be on revamping the club’s lucrative corporate hospitality.

Demand is currently so high that some punters pay to dine at the nearby 26,000-capacity Old Trafford Cricket Ground, before walking up to the stadium itself.

No final costs have been presented, and the concepts give an indication of the types of finance needed.

In November last year, the Man United owners – the Glazer family – announced that they were seeking outside investment, which could include a sale. They have tasked the Raine Group, the investment bankers who oversaw last year’s takeover of the Premier League club Chelsea F.C. – to find the best deal.

Joe Ravitch, Raine Partner and Co-Founder, is leading the search. He was instrumental in the Chelsea sale, which saw the club go for a hefty £2.5bn, with a further £1.75bn investment promised.

Manchester United has declined to comment on the above development.

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