Structural defects in Wolves home stand


Wolverhampton Wanderers stand remains closed Image: Wolverhampton Wanderers

The Graham Hughes Stand in the Premier League (UK) club Wolverhampton Wanderers home – Molineux Stadium – will not be usable for a number of games, after surveys found severe structural deficiencies to the sub-structure that mean the stand must be rebuilt to make it safe for supporters.

The ‘Wolverhampton Wanderers’ stated that the Wolves has been working with the integrated event solution specialists Arena, who installed the temporary seating in 2018, and who also undertake the regular routine inspections of the stand which flagged the issues in July this year.

The Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, commonly known as Wolves, is a professional association football club based in the City of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, England (UK). It plays in Premier League – the top level of the English football system.

The 31,700-capacity Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England (UK), has been the home ground of the Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers since 1889.

The ‘Wolverhampton Wanderers’ further stated that a spokesperson from Arena’s seating division explained that the scope of work was bigger than initially identified.

The spokesperson further stated, “Arena has been working with the Wolves for many years, and carry out regular inspections on the Graham Hughes Stand to provide reports and certification of it being safe for use, including ahead of the final match of the 2020-2021 season against its peer team Manchester United F.C. After the season had concluded, we performed a routine inspection of the Graham Hughes Stand that flagged a point of structural concern requiring further inspection.”

The spokesman continued, “Specialist structural teams were brought in to investigate further, and these surveys uncovered severe structural deficiencies to the pre-existing sub-structure, which was underneath the equipment we supplied in 2018. This identified the need to replace, rather than repair, the whole support structure for the grandstand to make it safe for fans. Upon receiving this news in July, the club commissioned a complete overhaul to the stand to ensure that the entire structure remains safe and compliant for the foreseeable future.”

The spokesman added, “The design process was extended to accommodate the extended scope of work, and this design procurement period is now close to completion. Unfortunately, the availability of materials due to combined Brexit and COVID-19 influences has further extended the delivery program. We are fully committed to supporting Wolves to complete this installation as quickly as possible to get fans back into the grandstand.”

Remarked Wolves Head of Operations Steve Sutton, “We are disappointed to communicate an additional delay to the reopening of the Graham Hughes Stand for supporters, but the scale of work needed to make it safe is much greater than first thought. Since the deficiencies were flagged to us by Arena in July, we have done everything we can to try to ensure the work to fix the stand would be a quick and smooth process. However, the scale of the work has increased over time and the global supply chains have been incredibly prohibitive.”

Added Sutton, “Our number one priority is always the safety of our supporters, and now we must support Arena to ensure the necessary work is done as quickly and efficiently as possible to comply with all safety and UEFA guidelines, and then we can welcome supporters back into the stand as soon as possible.”

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