England: Cambridge United stadium plans and important decisions ahead for the club

source: StadiumDB.com; author: Kuba Kowalski

England: Cambridge United stadium plans and important decisions ahead for the club The owner of a League One football club says its stadium redevelopment is at a "crossroads" ahead of talks with fans. Paul Barry, Majority Owner, sets out his offer to the Supporters Club to fund and build a new facility located on the Thrifty Van Rental site on Newmarket Road.


New stadium for Cambridge United?

Ahead of a meeting with the Supporters' Club Committee scheduled for August 7, majority owner Paul Barry has written to Paul Mayes outlining Cambridge United's five commitments to the Supporters' Club regarding the financing and construction of a new arena located at the Thrifty Van Rental site on Newmarket Road. As Paul wrote, given the interest of all Cambridge supporters in this issue, its criticism of Abbey Stadium redevelopment and the understandable lack of clarity to date, he is making the letter public to help inform everyone of the current situation and options for resolving it.

Among other things, he wrote there as follows: “With the Club now owning the Abbey Stadium, our future destiny is now firmly in our own hands for the first time in years. As a result, we have come to a crossroads where the path we choose for it is critical to the future of Cambridge United. We can choose to modernise it, invest in it, keep its unique identity whilst at the same time making it an attractive, vibrant place used not just every other Saturday and occasional Tuesday but every day of the week.” All these changes are supposed to attract people in Cambridge even more to attend the events at the stadium. However, many of them are choosing entertainment online, like casinos. For this purpose, they check Gates of Olympus.

Abbey Stadium© Jon Wickenden

More than 90 years of Abbey Stadium

This Cambridge-based stadium was donated to United in 1931, along with a player's stand not opened until 1934 by Henry Francis, and has been the home of CUFC ever since. It was gradually improved from 1934 until it finally became a fully enclosed arena in 1954. In 1970, the floodlights were lit for the first time, and the club played against Chelsea to celebrate, attracting its largest ever crowd of 14,000.

United had a chance to be promoted to the Premier League in the 1990s, but instead fell four rungs, losing hope of improving the stadium. Officials refused to install the recommended plastic seats throughout the stadium, arguing that they would only do so if they were promoted to a league requiring such facilities. In 2004, further financial troubles caused the club to sell Abbey Stadium to a private entity.

On September 2, 2022, a statement issued by the club announced that investment from the club's owners had made it possible to buy back the land from Grosvenor. This is the first time in 20 years that Cambridge United has once again owned its 89-year-old home.

Abbey Stadium© Jon Wickenden