Premier League football club Wolverhampton Wanderers has submitted a planning application for a temporary 500-seat stand as it looks to press ahead with plans to expand its Molineux home ground.
Local newspaper the Express and Star reports that the new seats would sit in between the Sir Jack Hayward and Steve Bull stands. Molineux (pictured) has a current capacity of 31,700 and Wolves have long-term plans to expand this to as high as 50,000.
In January, it was reported by The Athletic that these long-term plans, while still in place, have been put on hold as the club explores more short-term solutions. A temporary stand in between the Sir Jack Hayward and Steve Bull stands was mooted at the time and these plans have now been submitted to Wolverhampton City Council.
The Express and Star reports that the plans would result in the existing video wall in that corner of the ground being replaced by a new one that would sit behind an uncovered stand.
It remains to be seen when work would be able to start if the plans are given the green light amid continued uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
Wolves have played at Molineux since 1889 and the expansion of the stadium has been a hot topic since the club returned to the Premier League in 2018. The club is said to prefer a more cautious approach to gradually expanding and improving the stadium as opposed to a significant immediate investment.
Wolves’ head of marketing Russell Jones admitted in October that the chances of work starting this May were small and this would now appear to be a non-starter due to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Wolves’ Premier League rival Brighton & Hove Albion has been forced to put plans to expand its Amex Stadium on hold due to COVID-19.
Brighton plans on expanding the capacity of the Amex to 32,500 through the addition of 1,750 seats. The Argus newspaper reports that the project, which still requires approval from Brighton and Hove City Council, will cost £4m (€4.6m/$5m).
Executive director Martin Perry told The Argus: “The planning applications were submitted prior to the coronavirus crisis and therefore are being considered by the council.
“However, all plans to carry out the work are on hold due to the very obvious financial pressures the club, and football industry, is facing. Our priority at this time is people’s health, protecting jobs at our club and Albion In The Community, and supporting our owner as best we can.”
It is hoped the expansion will improve the Amex’s chances of forming part of any future bid from England to host the UEFA European Championships.