The Oval

Cricket club reveals major stadium expansion plans

Surrey County Cricket Club is working up plans to develop the Kia Oval into the largest cricket stadium in the UK.

The club aims to increase the capacity of the stadium to 40,000 and have the project completed in time for the Ashes series in 2023.

The centrepiece of the development will see a replacement for the Bedser Stand, which could add up to 8,000 seats, as well as an enlargement of the existing OCS Stand. 

“The time is now right for cricket to think on a bigger scale,” said Richard Thompson, chairman of Surrey CCC.

“This summer we have seen unprecedented levels of demand for cricket at the Kia Oval, whether it be for the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy, the 100th Test, which takes place in July, or to watch Surrey CCC in the NatWest T20 Blast.

“We need to build on this success and have a ground that can satisfy the unprecedented demand we have created.” 

The Kia Oval currently has a capacity of 25,500 and already has permission for a large development next to the pavilion, 1 Oval Square, which is also able to incorporate additional capacity and facilities. 

Richard Gould, chief executive of Surrey CCC, added that its business had taken off over the last five years and said most of its major games were now sell outs.

“The Kia Oval is a very friendly place to visit and with our central London location we enjoy the best transport infrastructure of any stadium in the country.

“We have a very large and loyal following of over 350,000 active cricket supporters spread across the south of England, and are also starting to see the benefits of the Battersea Nine Elms expansion, which is delivering another 21,000 homes to our immediate neighbourhood and adding to the population of London, which already stands at 8.6 million people.”

The club has released a masterplan of the proposed redevelopment (pictured above) and hopes to begin work at the end of 2019, following the World Cup and the next home Ashes series. 

“We have already received a positive response from early discussions with the ECB and our landlord, the Duchy of Cornwall,” said Richard Thompson.

“We will now work up more detailed proposals and financial models to share with our wider group of stakeholders.”

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