|Category||Design awaiting implementation|
Racecourse Ground – design description
Why is a new stand to be built at the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham?
In late 2020/early 2021, two American actors, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, became the new owners of Wrexham AFC club. One of their priority tasks was to restore the stand behind the east goal at the Racecourse Ground stadium.
The east stand was erected in the 1950s by supporters, using wheelbarrows and shovels, without the aid of heavy equipment. It has earned, like many other terraced stands in British stadiums (the most famous is at Liverpool's Anfield Stadium), the nickname Spion Kop (or Kop for short), in reference to the Battle of Spion Kop in South Africa, which took place in January 1900.
The Kop partially covered and equipped with concrete steps, with distinctive red and white (the club's colours) railings, over time became the oldest stand in the stadium, the only one with standing room. Due to failing to meet safety requirements, it was taken out of use in 2008. However, the high attendances at the Racecourse Ground make the supply of more seats for spectators a real necessity.
What steps have been taken to build a new grandstand at Wrexham?
Bringing the eastern part of the stadium back to supporters will mean demolishing the old stand and building a brand new one in its place. The distinctive railings were removed from the Kop in the summer of 2021. Things took a turn for the better in June 2022, when the club re-owned the stadium, renderings of the new stand were published and the local authority gave permission for the old one to be demolished.
The costs of building the new stand are not yet known. It is planned that both private parties and the public sector will contribute. Initial intentions are for the stand to be operational by the start of the 2024/25 season.
What will the new stand at the Racecourse Ground look like?
According to the concept, developed by studio AFL Architects, the new stand will accommodate 5,500 spectators, of which 500 seats, located in the upper section, will be business seats. The stand will feature barrier seating directly in front, so fans will also be able to watch matches standing up.
The new stand will have a typically English feel - free-standing, without corners, fully covered. Its external facade will be largely clad in black panels and is intended by the designers to evoke the mining traditions of Wrexham. It will be by far the tallest stand in the stadium.
The space underneath the stand will be able to be used outside of match days for exhibitions and other events. Offices and a club shop will also be located there. New floodlighting masts are also to be erected at the stadium as part of the project. The construction of the new stand will increase the venue's capacity to around 16,000 spectators and confirm its status as the premier football arena in North Wales.
Wales: Wrexham has found a contractor for stadium redevelopment
A few months after announcing the construction of a new grandstand for "The Kop", Wrexham AFC has selected a company to carry out the project. The redeveloped sectors will gain modern facilities and meet UEFA category 4 requirements.
England: Wrexham AFC to have new "The Kop"
The new stand is expected to accommodate a total of 5,500 people, as well as a visitor lounge, office and retail space for the club, and facilities for the Wrexham AFC Community Trust. The 5,000 seats will be designated for general supporters with the remaining 500 seats being reserved for business clients.