Prestigious cricket stadiums Lord’s and Oval set for expansion
12 June 2017
Cricket’s two prestigious stadiums the Lord’s cricket ground and The Oval are all set for expansion. After the expansion, The Oval will overtake Lord’s in terms of seat capacity.
The Oval, the home ground of Surrey, plans to increase its capacity from 25,00 to 40,000 in time for the 2023 Ashes Test series against Australia.
On Friday, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which owns Lord’s, announce a more modest plan to increase the northwest London ground’s capacity from 30,000 to 32,000.
The MCC is planning two proposals. The first one is the stadium will have two 10-storey blocks close to the Nursery Ground that would fund provide some USD127 million towards ground development.
The second one is less ambitious scheme, known as the Masterplan, would see work worth USD 89 million carried out using the club’s own funds.
Officials insisted Lord’s could continue to stage matches while any building work was ongoing, with MCC saying in a statement: “MCC is assuming that it will continue to host its current level of international cricket because of its historically strong ticket sales and confidence that every touring team wants to play at Lord’s.”
All MCC members have been invited to give their opinion before a vote at a special general meeting in September.
Lord’s is also the home to Middlesex, the defending English county champions. Even after the expansion, neither Lord’s nor The Oval will overtake Melbourne Cricket Ground (100,000) and Kolkata’s Eden Gardens (66,000).
Surrey in their statement said their plans for the Oval had been driven by spectator interest. “Most of our major games now sell out, either for county cricket or international cricket, and we need more seats to meet demand,” said Surrey chief executive Richard Gould.