English Premier League football club Wolverhampton Wanderers is hoping to begin redevelopment work at its Molineux stadium next year, with eventual plans to raise the ground’s capacity to as high as 60,000.
Molineux has a current capacity of 32,000 and has sold out every game of the 2018-19 season so far, with Wolves sitting ninth in the table following an impressive start to the campaign.
Speaking at a recent Wolves Fans Parliament meeting, club managing director Laurie Dalrymple outlined plans for Molineux, with the first stage to involve the redevelopment of the iconic Sir Jack Hayward Stand, also known as the South Bank, into a 10,000-seat, single-tier stand.
“We have been in consultation with the architects for several months and are now comfortable with the objective of having a phased development of the stadium,” Dalrymple said.
“We wanted to be comfortable that we have the ability to go up to 45,000-47,000, or even the mid-50,000 or higher. We wanted a plan that could potentially support the genuine ambition of the club. The latest plans give us comfort that we could get to those levels and importantly, this all with a view that, subject to the appropriate planning approval, would permit us to stay at Molineux.”
Dalrymple confirmed the club has engaged with other key consultants, such as a QS practice and a stadium consultancy to advise on the ground’s capacity. He added that the majority of the work would continue behind the South Bank while it is still in use, eliminating the need to relocate fans.
“That de-risks the likelihood of this eventuality, although the final details of the development were not something that could be commented on now,” he said. “We would like to be in a position to push the button next summer, which as you can imagine puts significant pressure on us but that is what we are focusing on. We wish to be in a position whereby we have all of our plans and approvals in place. It then becomes a decision for the board and the owners as to when we proceed.”
The ambitious redevelopment plans have been outlined by Fosun International, the Chinese conglomerate that has owned the club since 2016.