STOKE CITY have today announced that they are looking into the detailed feasibility of expanding the Britannia Stadium with the addition of more seats in the south east corner.
The Club are taking the opportunity to obtain planning permission to ‘fill-in’ the area between the Seddon Stand and the Marston’s Pedigree Stand, which currently accommodates the giant video screen, to bring the capacity of the stadium up to the 30,000 mark.
With the supporter base continuing to grow since promotion to the Premier League in 2008, the decision gives the Club flexibility to expand the stadium when the costs in the construction industry are comparatively low.
Commenting on the decision, Chief Executive Tony Scholes said, “The decision to apply for planning permission to expand the Britannia Stadium comes after careful consideration for a number of years.
“The atmosphere generated by our sell-out crowds since promotion to the Premier League has undoubtedly played a huge part in the Club’s continued success and we have to be mindful of the fact that any expansion could have an affect on that.
“We have always said that we would be open to the possibility of expanding the stadium should we continue to remain in the Premier League and have the supporter base to fill it on a consistent basis.
“Home support levels are continuing to hold up very well as we enjoy our fifth season in the League and this was highlighted no more so than at our last home game with Queens Park Rangers.
“The attendance of 27,529 was our highest of the season so far and with the visitors only taking up the smaller allocation it shows that the continued interest of our fantastic support remains there.”
In the coming weeks, the Club will work on the potential make-up and nature of a South-East corner and what section of supporters it would be aimed at.
The number of Season Ticket holders has sky-rocketed since the Club’s return to the top flight with over 20,000 currently watching the Potters week-in, week-out and young supporters now making up a significant portion of that figure.
“Stoke City are proud of a number of initiatives that are run throughout the local community to engage with current and potential new supporters,” added Scholes.
“The Club have already seen an increase from 15% to 25% of fans aged 21 and under visiting the Britannia Stadium which is very encouraging.
“A possible expansion could, for example, enable us to look into housing supporters currently in the Family Stand who struggle to relocate to a group of seats together when they grow beyond the Family Stand age limits.”
The news comes on the back of the additional work already underway at the Clayton Wood Training Ground where extra facilities are being created inline with the Academy’s coveted Category One status.