|Clubs||Lincoln City FC|
|Category||Design awaiting implementation|
|Cost||£ 1.8 M|
LNER Stadium – design description
How did the plans for Lincoln City FC's stadium expansion originate?
In 2011, Lincoln City FC were relegated to the National League (5th tier of the competition), where they spent the next few years at the bottom of the table. A poor period for the club ended in the 2016/17 season, when the team finished top of the table and were promoted to EFL League Two. In the same season, the team also sensationally reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
In 2019, Lincoln City FC finished at the top of the table and were promoted to EFL League One, finding themselves in the third tier of the competition for the first time since 1999. In 2021, the team even reached the play-off final for promotion to the Championship, but lost in it to Blackpool FC 1:2.
In line with the team's growing form, there were also plans for infrastructure development. As early as the end of 2016, it was proposed to build a completely new stadium, in a different location. The facility would have had a similar capacity to the existing stadium, at 10,000-12,000 spectators, but would have been more modern.
The construction of a new arena was eventually postponed to the indefinite future, instead focusing on the expansion of the team''s own Sincil Bank Stadium (from 2019 under the name LNER Stadium). At the time, a concept was developed for an extension to the stand behind the north gate, known as the Stacey West Stand. Plans were presented to City Hall in late 2019.
How did the plans for the Stacey West Stand expansion develop?
The Stacey West Stand was built in 1990, replacing the former terraced Railway End stand (named after the railway tracks that once ran behind the stand). The new stand was named in honour of Bill Stacey and Jim West, two long-standing Lincoln City FC supporters who died during a fire at the Bradford Stadium on May 11, 1985. Since 1999 the stand has been fully equipped with plastic seats.
Initial plans for the expansion of the Stacey West Stand called for it to be enlarged by around 1,500 additional seats, to a capacity of 3,400 spectators. The structure would have been equipped with a three-storey backstage area, with a hospitality zone on the top floor. The capacity of the entire stadium was to increase to around 12,000 spectators.
In September 2021, the club issued bonds to raise an additional £ ½ million on top of the £ 1.8 million already secured for the stadium expansion. Due to the uncertain economic conditions, previous plans were revised in 2022. Ultimately, the expansion of the Stacey West Stand with additional rows of seating and the construction of a third tier of facilities with a hospitality area were abandoned.
What does the plan to upgrade the Stacey West Stand and the entire LNER Stadium entail?
The expansion plans for the Stacey West Stand include the renovation of it, along with the fitting of a two-storey backstage area. The premises will serve as the new home of the Lincoln City Foundation. The building will be used for educational purposes and various community initiatives.
The design also includes the installation of railings on the west stand (GBM Stand), which will create secure standing areas there. The creation of standing room will increase the capacity of the stadium to 11 500 spectators. The barriers are also to be installed on a small section of the Stacey West Stand on a trial basis, with the ultimate intention of installing them on the entire stand in the future.
The club is also planning investment to make more efficient use of water and electricity at the stadium. The new plans were once again presented to City Hall in November 2022. The idea is to start work in 2023.
England: Economic problems changed Lincoln’s plans
Lincoln City FC originally hoped to create a three-tier facility including a hospitality suite at the back of Stacey West Stand, placed behind the north goal. However, following a challenging economic climate, the club was forced to admit they needed to downsize their plans at the beginning of the month.