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Sheffield United unveil ambitious plans for stadium expansion

By Jordan Rushworth

Sheffield United have announced plans to add a second tier to the South Stand at Bramall Lane. The new tier would increase the stadium’s capacity to 38,000, an increase of around 5,400 seats.

The plans would involve the creation of a new concourse, better facilities for disabled supporters and a new ticket office. There will also be a new two-levelled car park created with around 250 spaces, replacing the current Cherry street car park.

With Sheffield United currently in sixth place in the Championship, after promotion last season, season ticket holder Matt Charles, 36, thinks the proposals will provide the club with facilities that support the long-term aims of becoming a Premier League side.

Charles said: “It will be good to have more fans in the ground and have a better place for fans to go at half time, it would make the ground ready for the Premiership.”

The club also plans for brand new executive boxes, a state of the art Media Centre, a multi-purpose function room and a space to put on exhibitions at the ground. These new facilities will enable the club to put on more events off the pitch.

Sheffield United have the 7th highest average home attendance in the Championship this season, with an average of 26,294 fans. This has seen an increase on last season’s attendances at Bramall Lane, with an average of 21,892 fans watching the Blades last campaign.

Fellow season ticket holder Joe Saunders said: “Getting more people into the ground can only be a good thing, if we do well on the field and the club prices tickets well the ground will be filled.”

The Blades were given initial consent for the expansion of Bramall Lane in 2009 and are now readying detailed designs to submit to Sheffield council. Sheffield United’s Chief operating officer Andrew Birks said: “This is about the club planning for the future, seeking an extension of the current planning permissions.”

The club has stated that the plans to expand the South Stand will benefit the heritage of the world’s oldest professional football venue, with history dating back to 1885. Birks said: “We have a rich historical background in the City and within football. Our stadium of the future will reflect this.”

Ashley Turner, chief executive of Sheffield City region-based Whittam Cox Architects, said: “We have taken into consideration influences form the local housing and industrial heritage which have been integrated into an exciting design for the South stand.”

Local residents are being shown the plans at small exhibitions around Bramall Lane from December 8. The plans are expected to be filed to Sheffield City Council in the next few months.

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