In recent years, the Foxes have stabilised their position at the forefront of the Premier League. In order for the club to develop further, actions were taken to expand the stadium and the area around it.
Late last year, Leicester City, albeit unwillingly, unveiled plans to extend the ground. Now, a more detailed concept has been released. The club from East Midlands, despite record losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, does not intend to abandon the project and is taking another step towards making its implementation.
While the renders were published today, LCFC have filed their planning application already in late July. Now, the time has come for mandatory public consultation that will last until early autumn. The process is open to local residents, fans, club shareholders and representatives of local business.
After the expansion of the east stand by 8,000 seats, the capacity of King Power Stadium is to increase to 40,000. With two tiers, the new east stand will become dominant visually and capacity-wise. There’s one more aspect: aesthetics. With its ETFE semidome, translucent by day and illuminated by night, the east stand will turn around the ‘identikit’ architecture of the stadium.
The redesign is carried out by KSS Design Group, who have also recently delivered Leicester City’s training complex, now up for the Structural Steel Awards. KSS enjoys cooperation with Buro Happold in terms of engineering.
In addition, the project includes a 220-room hotel and a multi-purpose event and entertainment arena. Hotel accommodation would be offered to players, club staff and fans, bringing Leicester City even closer to the local community. But, perhaps most importantly, the stadium, arena and hotel complex will become a major events hub, with Leicester City raking in revenue not only from tickets and match/event day activities, but also from the visitors’ stay.
Next step to revitalise stadium's neighbourhood and increase club revenue will be the construction of a residential tower just behind the hotel. As a result, the supply of much needed new apartments in the city is to go up. Finally, in order to adapt the vicinity to the influx of visitors and new residents, club owners intend to build a new multi-storey car park, able to hold 525 cars.
Another part of Leicester City's plans is to enlarge office space and create a club retail megastore. Details of the appearance of these facilities have not yet been disclosed, however their outline and scale are revealed.
As for the stadium expansion itself, its timeline will depend on the planning process. It’s expected that construction should begin next year and result in the new 40,000 capacity being available by the 2024/25 season.
Author: Tomasz Sobura