Luton Town CEO Gary Sweet reveals huge changes to Kenilworth Road if they win promotion and gives the latest on their new stadium.
According to Gary Sweet, the Hatters’ promotion to the top flight would require a significant cost and effort to renovate their current home this summer.
He also revealed the number of seasons that the old stadium could have left before the new Power Court home is built.
Luton are currently third in the Championship with a nine-point buffer in the playoffs and a five-point gap between the remaining automatic promotion place, with five games to go and fans dreaming of getting to the big time.
✍️ New Article for @OakRoadHatter
I take a look at what the “Gargantuan task” may be that Gary Sweet mentioned in his interview yesterday. I cast my eye towards the Executive Boxes.https://t.co/QGBvkmvoMA
— Ollie Kay (@ActualOllieKay) April 12, 2023
But, if the club go up to the Premier League this season, they will have to fork out for major changes to their 119-year-old stadium, in order to meet the requirements of television.
“There’s rather a lot of work to do,” Sweet said to BBC Radio 4: “It hasn’t changed an awful lot over that time (119 years), so we’ve got around £8million, maybe £10million of improvements to do, which is pretty much rebuilding one stand in about less than three months, which is some task that we’ve got on our hands.
“It’s just really to comply with the Premier League’s broadcasting requirements and some facility requirements that are needed.”
An upgrade to their current home wouldn’t be permanent, as work begins soon on a new stadium.
Although planning consent was granted for a new Luton home at Power Court, the centre of Luton, in 2019, the Covid pandemic was just one reason why the original plans had to be revised.
Plans were submitted in February for the relocation of an electricity substation.
This is one of the most important projects that must be completed before construction on an initial 17,500-seat stadium can get started. Sweet said that this could happen relatively quickly.
The Hatters supremo also confirmed that the club could move in their new home as early as the 2026/27 season. This will require a significant investment that could eventually reach nine figures.
📻 Gary Sweet was on @BBCr4today earlier this morning speaking about upgrades to Kenilworth Road if Luton Town are promoted to the Premier League and when he invisages the first spade to go in at Power Court. 🔌🏟️#COYH | #WALT pic.twitter.com/f5X12oqjD2
— We Are Luton Town (@wearelutontown) April 11, 2023
Sweet said: “Our budget for our new stadium, which we hope to be putting a spade into the ground at the end of this year, or early next, would be approaching £100million, so it’s quite a heavy investment for football at that level for us, for around about a 20,000-seater stadium.
“That will put us into the Premier League bracket. But just to be able to get Kenilworth Road ready now, just for a couple of years, maybe two or three years, is maybe more of a gargantuan task than building a new stadium, actually.”
If it is to be the playoffs again, Sweet said: “I think our experience last year will certainly be a huge help to us. In fact, if our team of this year played our team of last year, it’s quite interesting what would turn out. I think this year would certainly win, so yes, I think we’re feeling a bit more confident.”
If Luton are successful this season, they will become the only team ever to rise from non league level to the Premier League, something which, if achieved this term or next, will be done in a decade, report The Lutonian.
Sweet said: “We’re actually really good at keeping our feet planted to the ground, but inside we’re feeling very excited about it.
“We’ve now been spending about 24 months in this position in the top six of the Championship so we’re kind of getting used to this a little bit now. But it is a very exciting feeling that we could actually be in the Premier League next season.”
This is what fans said as the Luton CEO reveals huge changes to Kenilworth Road if they win promotion and also spoke the latest regarding their new stadium…
@bunting_97: Absolute shithole. But a proper ground. Shouldn’t have to change a thing.
@danlukeashby: I think it’s the main stand one of the reasons we haven’t heard about season ticket prices for next year.
@rogerthedodge2: Should stay exactly the same-unlike modern stadiums it has character. KR is that bad it’s fantastic & i hope it upsets all the prima donnas of the PL & I can just hear the like of Klopp etc moaning about it. Fantastic
@pricephillips1: Let them keep it. Imagine the scenes when Havertz lines up a shot and send the ball straight through the kebab shop across the street
@rejanotraja: Let it be, I’ve been there and it’s genuinely one of the best things in the English football pyramid. You’re not getting stadiums like that anywhere else
@rodneyote: No, fuck you. Leave Kenilworth Road as it is. I wanna see United fans from London go through someone’s back garden while Jennifer is hanging the kid’s clothes out on the hanger to get to the away end
@GAMBFC: Blackpool built a new east stand holding 5K fans in three month. We only had one game swapped. The temp stand is still standing. Good Luck.
@ben_terrett: Great news as we only get about a quarter of a billion if we go up
@Hatter2398: Worth every penny. We HAVE to be at the kenny if we get to the prem. The ground and the league itself deserves it. #LTFC #LutonTown
@Elbeechio: It will not be long until it’s required in the Championship. So might as well invest
@MidvaleTerry: Risk and reward….. would you rather be financially stable in Championship or broke in the Premier 🤔🤔
Let’s be clear. The required changes will not:
Provide any additional supporter comfort
Add any capacity
Provide a more aesthetically pleasing entrance for Watford supporters to watch their team getting ripped a new one
It is just to meet the broadcasting requirements
@dave_trill82: Would have to be the boxes getting turned back into a stand. If they’re spending money hopefully they’ll do some upgrading of the Kenilworth road end toilets 🤢🤣
@ltfc_rhys: Rebuild a whole stand? Getting rid of the boxes and making them a stand and then all of oak road is for away fans?
@official_s34ley: Why?????? Surely one of the advantages to Luton going up is that the big teams won’t like playing there. I think it would be brilliant them having that ground in the premiership x
@davidhird88: “Rebuild an entire stand in 3 months” – exec boxes gone?
@EJCLTFC: Interesting, wasn’t aware we needed that much work done… boxes gone and sacrifice the income for 2-3 years and introduce some safe standing etc?
@ihalliwell: Probably be cheaper to rent wembley for a few matches
@lukebailey90: Can’t wait to see the vloggers’ faces when they rock up at the away end here.
@td_hurley: They should keep it as it is
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