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Pictured- is there a serious case for the expanded 80,000 capacity Celtic Park?

Early this morning an image turned up on Twitter of a redeveloped Celtic Park featuring one roof covering all four sides of the stadium.

It is an issue that comes up every now and then, at the 2022 AGM Michael Nicholson dismissed the idea claiming that it would cost £100m with no explanation offered.

Now more than 50 years old there really should be some considerations going on into the redevelopment of what is sort of dubbed The South Stand.

Opened in 1971 against Nacional of Uruguay it contained very little facilities, from the front door you were about 15 yards away from walking down the tunnel and out onto the pitch.

For the Centenary season a new frontage was bolted on to provide new office space, a reception area, a relocated Boardroom with corporate facilities upstairs including lounges with executive boxes build into the back rows.

Wisely the former Press Box, brilliantly hanging down from the roof of the stand was converted into corporate facilities with the media relocated into the Main Stand, the old Section D.

With three sides of the stadium redeveloped in the late nineties by Fergus McCann the Main Stand found itself dwarfed but for those seated there the backdrop to the pitch is impressive, as the relocated Television cameras highlighted.

From the back sections of the new stands you can look out over the city, seeing far and wide with the South Stand looking somewhat out of touch.

Liverpool have shown what can be done by redeveloping a stadium while it remains in use but it would be a costly disruption.

How long would it take to pay for itself is the biggest question followed quickly by making sure that the redevelopment wouldn’t come at a cost to the playing squad.

The economics are one issue, another is whether the demand is there to justify another 15-20,000 seats.

Much the same arguments were raised in the mid-nineties when Fergus McCann went ahead with creating a 60,000 seater stadium, during the eighties and nineties only five or six matches a season attracted crowds of over 40,000.

McCann was convinced with that extra capacity over any other club in Scotland perhaps the greatest legacy of the saviour from the nineties.

How genuine the 10,000 strong Waiting List is for Season Tickets is up for debate but with the growth of the club over the last decade and the very limited supply of match-day tickets there is clearly a demand from non Season Ticket holders.

Strangely with such demand Celtic don’t offer any type of Season Ticket resale scheme on a match by match basis, something that almost all EPL clubs have which expands ticket access.

If a Season Ticket holder can’t attend a match they put their ticket up for sale with the club taking a fee and the fan given a credit towards future purchases. It seems to work, everyone is a winner with no empty seats on view at supposedly sold out matches.

The fully completed Celtic Park is an issue that should be openly discussed, even if it ends up with a South Stand smaller than the rest of the stadium but with a facility to increase if demand could be identified.

New facilities, especially in terms of catering and lounges would increase revenue as the Kerrydale Suite and recently opened Sports Bar demonstrate.

Other facilities could be incorporated, there is space to expand out towards The Celtic Way that was never available on Janefield Street, overhanging a cemetery.

The expanded Celtic Park isn’t a burning issue, perhaps a major sponsorship deal would be needed to make it happen but at some stage in the next decade the South Stand will need to overhauled.

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1 Comment

  • by Terry Thomas
    Posted July 29, 2023 11:10 am 0Likes

    Surely if the Emirates buy the stadium rights to re name it Emirates Paradise the money from that would pay for rebuilding to increase capacity so Celtic are saving money on the building and will make money on the additional season tickets

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