Standard Liège president Bruno Venanzi has said the Belgian First Division A football club expects to commence work next year on a project to expand its Stade Maurice Dufrasne from a capacity of 27,500 to 32,000.

Standard filed a building permit for the project earlier this year and expects approval in early 2020, with work to commence before the end of the year. Stade Maurice Dufrasne first opened in 1909 and is set to undergo substantial redevelopment.

“This is a huge construction site and the work will be substantial as the T2, which is the stadium’s oldest stand, will be completely demolished and replaced by a new stand which will have better visibility of the pitch,” Venanzi said, according to Belgian broadcaster RTBF.

“This stand will complete the stadium by closing the ring. The capacity of the stadium will be increased by 4,500 seats.”

Venanzi said a key part of the project will be enhancing the comfort levels for fans throughout the stadium. He continued: “This is not just about the stadium itself, a business centre is also planned with commercial space.

“A supermarket will be developed behind Tribune 3. A fitness centre is also planned and let’s not forget the improvement of the restaurant area in and around the stadium, and the new car parks that will accommodate more than 1,500 cars in total.”

Venanzi said the project is expected to cost €80m (£68.4m/$88.4m), adding that no public funding will be sought. A new tramway is currently being developed in Liège, with a station to be located close to the stadium.

Venanzi added: “It’s something great for Liège, I’m a big supporter of the tram. The work has already begun on the other side of the city and indeed the… station will be just behind the stadium, so it will significantly improve mobility in the area on match days but also on other days.”

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