We’ve recently seen the official opening of Tottenham Hotspur’s all-new White Hart Lane stadium, which promises to be one of the best examples of a modern-day stadium throughout Europe. It’s hugely-distinctive, single-tier stand behind one of the goals has helped create an old-school kop feel, ramping up the atmosphere. With plenty of other sides in British football looking to follow in the footsteps of Spurs and start new chapters in their respective histories, let’s take a look at the next batch of new stadia to come off the conveyor belt.
Fulham’s Craven Cottage undergoing a significant revamp
Craven Cottage is one of the most unique and iconic football stadiums in England. Although it has plenty of period architecture, the Cottagers are looking to move with the times and develop a ground that’s fit for top-flight football in the long-term. That’s why plans are afoot to redevelop the Riverside Stand, expanding the total capacity of Craven Cottage to just under 30,000. With a distinctive large upper tier and a smaller lower tier, it looks set to provide an excellent vantage point from all areas. Contractors have already been appointed to kick-start the construction, which is set to have the lower tier available for use during the 2020/21 campaign
Everton buy potential site at Bramley Moore Dock
In November 2017, Everton agreed to a 200-year lease with Peel Holdings for a proposed site at the Bramley Moore Dock. This active commercial dock is at the heart of the planned Liverpool Waters project. The Toffees hope to secure the remaining £220m in funding to begin the construction of a replacement to the iconic Goodison Park—one fit for the glitz and glamour of the Premier League. The city of Liverpool is no stranger to hosting other major sporting events, too. Even emerging sports such as UFC, which recently announced a global partnership with PokerStars, have been hosted in the city's Echo Arena. This site on the Bramley Moore Dock could provide an alternative for live MMA and boxing nights, with a capacity of up to 52,000 mooted, and the potential to expand to up to 62,000 in future.
AFC Wimbledon returning to ‘home’ in 2020/21
For many years the reborn AFC Wimbledon have been forced to ply their trade miles from their former home. The former Kingstonian stadium, the Kingsmeadow Stadium, has been AFC Wimbledon’s temporary accommodation for 17 seasons, but permission was granted in 2017 to build a new 11,000-seater stadium on the site of Wimbledon’s former Greyhound Stadium. The ground will be built to enable the capacity to increase to 20,000 in the future. It’s hoped that the 2019/20 campaign will be Wimbledon’s final season at the Kingsmeadow Stadium.
Brentford also hoping to bid farewell to Griffin Park in time for 2020/21
West London outfit Brentford are also well down the line in their plans to depart Griffin Park and move into a new purpose-built, 17,250-capacity stadium on Lionel Road—less than a mile from their original abode. The development is also set to create new homes for the local community, which is also in close proximity to the start of the M4 motorway and the Kew Bridge Railway Station. The construction has already begun, with the Bees confident of being able to kick the first ball of the 2020/21 season in their new home.
Upwardly-mobile Luton Town get planning permission at Power Court
It’s only been nine years since Luton Town were playing in the Conference Premier, a league in which they had never participated before. The Hatters took their medicine and bounced back stronger than ever. Nine years later, the Bedfordshire club now find themselves back in the second tier of English football after winning the League One title in 2018/19. The good news kept coming for the Hatters this year after they received planning permission in January to construct a new 17,500-capacity stadium on a site called Power Court. It’s a stone’s throw from Luton Railway Station, which has been warmly received by fans who didn’t want an out-of-town development nearer the M1. Artist impressions of Luton’s new home look impressive, and the club is hoping to overcome the final hurdle of local objections to the partial use of a greenfield site within the development.
With plenty of new and interesting stadiums in the planning, it’s clear that the UK’s newest football grounds are going to have plenty of character and personality, contrary to the belief of traditionalists.