Wolves weighing up Molineux expansion options

Wolverhampton Wanderers is reportedly looking to add a second temporary stand to Molineux as the English Premier League football club continues to assess ways in which it can meet the rising demand generated by its upward trajectory.

The subject of expansion, or even a move from the stadium it has called home since 1889, has been a hot topic ever since the West Midlands club returned to the top flight last season. Wolves are said to have a season ticket waiting list of around 10,000 and Molineux’s 31,700 capacity is regularly met.

The Athletic website has now reported that while a masterplan to expand Molineux to a capacity of around 50,000 seats remains in place, it has been put on hold as the club seeks more short-term solutions. Wolves are believed to be assessing more than 10 stadium improvement options, including adding seats and updating facilities.

One of these could see a second temporary stand added in time for the 2020-21 season. This would be located between the Sir Jack Hayward and Steve Bull Stands, mirroring the current Graham Hughes Stand which is in place between the stand more commonly known as the South Bank and the Billy Wright Stand.

It’s reported that Wolves are looking towards a more cautious approach to gradually expanding and improving its historic home, rather than making a significant investment in a major redevelopment which would only return a financial benefit in the long-term.

In October, Wolves’ head of marketing, Russell Jones, admitted that the chances of redevelopment work starting at Molineux in May 2020 were small, with plans to carry out the project “properly as opposed to quickly”.

The club has previously expressed a wish to start work on the Steve Bull Stand in 2020 with the redevelopment of the Sir Jack Hayward Stand to potentially begin in 2022. Speaking during Wolves’ fans’ parliament meeting, Jones explained that the three stands under consideration for renovation work each have five phases to them. The rebuilding of the Steve Bull, Jack Hayward and Billy Wright Stands would expand the capacity of Molineux to 38,000, 43,000 and 50,000, respectively.

In May, Wolves claimed a first for a Premier League club by announcing that it would install a new barrier seating solution at Molineux. It came after the club announced in January that it would pilot a section of seating options that could be used for safe standing should government legislation on all-seater stadia change. The barrier seating was fully introduced earlier this season.