Premier League soccer side Crystal Palace have announced plans to redevelop their Selhurst Park home ground.
Subject to planning permission being granted, the project, which is expected to cost between UK£75 million and UK£100 million, would see the stadium’s capacity increase from 26,000 to more than 34,000.
The key feature of the proposal is a complete overhaul of the existing Main Stand, which will be replaced by a new five-storey stand featuring an all-glass front equipped with a central vaulted arch and the English top-flight club’s Eagle crest, paying tribute to the original Crystal Palace structure which was erected on the nearby Sydenham Hill before being destroyed by a fire in 1936.
The project has been put together with the intention of retaining the stadium’s widely renowned atmosphere, and the roof of the new stand has been designed to funnel down sound to the pitch and the Arthur Wait Stand that sits opposite.
Other features of the redevelopment include improved facilities for supporters with disabilities, a bigger pitch, premium hospitality and entertainment facilities, a new museum and improved sightlines in the dated Arthur Wait Stand where the view is currently restricted by a TV gantry.
The South London-based outfit have said that plans will be submitted to Croydon Council in January and, if approved, work would begin in the next 12 months. The project is likely to take up to three years to complete, and would provide a much-needed overhaul for a stadium that has been the team’s home since 1924. The existing Main Stand will remain in full operation for the duration of the building process.
The project is being designed and led by stadium architect KSS, which was also charged with the transformation of Liverpool’s Anfield home ground and Twickenham Stadium in London.
Steve Parish, chairman of Crystal Palace, said: “We need a stadium that reflects who we are, how far we have come and where we want to go - a stadium that South London can be proud of, a home worthy of our incredible support and unique atmosphere and this great Premier League we represent.
“We have worked long and hard and looked at several options over the years, including returning to the original site of Crystal Palace, which wasn't viable. While we can't go back to it, we can build a new one and today I am proud, in conjunction with our partners KSS, to introduce a new Selhurst Park with a new Crystal Palace for a new era.
“We are creating a new home worthy of our club, our supporters and our community, and a celebration of our 112 years in South London.”
Nick Marshall, director of KSS, said: “Our brief was to create an impressive sense of arrival and an experience the fans can be proud of, retaining the special atmosphere at one of the best grounds in the country.
“It’s already one of the best places to watch football and we certainly don’t want to ruin that, it has to be driven by the fan experience. There’s going to be a great relationship between the new stand and the Arthur Wait stand, which is going to work fantastically. It’s a very exciting project and we are privileged to be working on it with Crystal Palace.”
Crystal Palace climbed off the bottom of the Premier League following their 0-0 draw away to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. The Eagles will be hoping to take another step closer towards safety when they take on relegation rivals Bournemouth on 9th December.