Old Trafford expansion: What Man Utd are planning

The Red Devils are working on a revamp of their historic home ground.

Manchester United fans have until the beginning of next week to share their views on the proposed redevelopment of Old Trafford with club chiefs.

The Red Devils announced earlier in the year that they were planning to revamp their home stadium, and have partnered with a management consultant company to make the project happen.

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While a process of redevelopment remains the most likely couse of action, the club have refused to rule out building an entirely new stadium either.

As part of the initial stages of the proposal, United have asked supporters to complete a survey on the matter to gather the fanbase’s views on any future work.

Here’s everything you need to know about the questionnaire, as well as the redevelopment process itself…

What are United planning to do to Old Trafford?

Back in April, United confirmed that they are working with a management consultant company to start create a “masterplan” for redevelopment of Old Trafford.

The Red Devils have also drafted in the same architectural firm that designed the Tottenham Hotspur’s impressive new stadium.

According to a report from the Telegraph, a “complete revamp of the existing stadium”, including an overhaul of the club’s corporate hospitality, as well as the expansion of the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand to the south of the ground, are understood to be popular options for the redevelopment process.

It is claimed that the overall capacity of Old Trafford could rise to over 80,000 as a result.

At this stage, the option to knock down the historic stadium and rebuild a new ground from scratch is still on the table, although it is understood to be a comparatively unpopular option.

A statement from the club released earlier this year reads: “Manchester United has appointed a team of leading consultants to begin work on creating a masterplan for the redevelopment of Old Trafford.

“The team will be led by Legends International and Populous, both of which have a wealth of stadium development experience from across the globe.

“Work will begin immediately on developing options for Old Trafford and studying their feasibility, with the aim of significantly enhancing the fan experience.

“Fans will be at the heart of the process, starting with a meeting between the consultants and the Manchester United Fans’ Advisory Board later this month.

“A similar process is already under way in relation to the club’s training facilities, with KSS appointed to develop a masterplan for an expanded, state-of-the-art facility for the Men’s, Women’s and Academy teams.”

What have United asked fans?

To ascertain the thoughts and feelings of their fanbase, United have asked supporters to complete a survey on their hopes for any potential redevelopments at Old Trafford.

The questionnaire was sent out via email, but fans who have not received an invitation to share their views can still do so here.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm BST on Monday July 25th.

Questions asked as part of the survey include:

  • Overall, what is your attitude towards the Old Trafford redevelopment project?
  • What are the most important aspects that Manchester United should consider in the redevelopment of Old Trafford?
  • What, if anything, would you like Manchester United to do to improve matchday atmosphere at Old Trafford?
  • How likely would you be to visit a permanent fan zone which appealed to you, prior to a Manchester United match?
  • If a permanent fan zone that appealed to you was created at the stadium, how far in advance of kick-off would you anticipate arriving in the vicinity of Old Trafford?
  • If a permanent fan zone that appealed to you was created at the stadium, how much time after the conclusion of the match would you anticipate spending there?
  • Thinking specifically about the food and drink available at Old Trafford, what would you most like to see included in a redeveloped Old Trafford?
  • What enhancements related to the food & drink experience would you like to see at the redeveloped Old Trafford?
  • If it were possible, how many times per season would you like to upgrade your match ticket to include a pre-match meal at an in-stadium restaurant e.g. for a special occasion?
  • If the major enhancements described herein were to be incorporated into an Old Trafford redevelopment, how would this impact your decision to attend Manchester United home matches in the future?
  • Assuming there was availability, what types of ticket would you likely purchase in a redeveloped Old Trafford?
  • How often have you visited the Old Trafford Museum & Tour experience over the past five years?

United also ask how important fans would deem the following potential enhancements to:

  • Creation of a permanent fan zone
  • Improved access to toilets
  • Improved atmosphere and acoustics inside the stadium
  • New in-stadium social spaces
  • Increased seat width and leg room throughout seating bowl
  • Wider, enhanced concourses
  • New and improved in-stadium food and drink offerings and experience
  • Enhancements to the exterior appearance of Old Trafford
  • Preservation of historic elements of Old Trafford
  • New and enhanced hospitality products, including direct connectivity between seats and suite lounges
  • Modern and cutting-edge technology integration throughout the Old Trafford campus
  • Improved accessibility facilities
  • Increased areas of safe-standing / rail seating
  • Capacity expansion

United also state that “there may be some inconveniences which could impact fans during any redevelopment project”, as well as suggesting that “other options could potentially include a new build stadium elsewhere on-site” if the club are unable to meet their aims through a refurbishment of the existing ground.

What have fans said about the redevelopment?

As reported by ManchesterWorld earlier this month, fan reaction to the proposed redevelopment has proven to be relatively divisive, with a variety of opinions on the matter:

@Tassen20088 tweeted: “The capacity isn’t the problem with Old Trafford, the infrastructure and facilities are.”

@MrPlays tweeted: “well i mean capacity could still go up and be a benefit. I’d have gone to 4 more games last season if I could have gotten tickets at the time.”

@DanyStormBorne tweeted: “I disagree, it’s so difficult to get tickets unless you’re a season holder. Capacity needs to increase so more members can buy tickets.”

@Mesrosmith tweeted: “They need to keep the character of Old Trafford. Just needs to be modernised where possible.”

@Witter87 tweeted: “Definitely. No way should they build a new stadium, it just wouldn’t be the same.”

@Rackmo tweeted: “I said this in the thread when the very first time stadium redevelopment was brought up that there will be a point where the stadium will have to be demolished for a new one. Redevelopment or a new stadium, the biggest challenge the architects are going to have then is to maintain the character of the stadium, the core elements of it, that make it Old Trafford.”

@Pielic tweeted: “Honestly hope they go for a new stadium, sometimes you need to go for something new, sad to say, but can’t keep improving old stuff (in building more on top).”

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