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Watford ‘begins talks’ over potential new stadium – report

English Premier League football club Watford has reportedly begun talks over a potential move away from Vicarage Road.

The Watford Observer newspaper reported that representatives from the club have been in contact with Hertsmere Borough Council about a potential move to Bushey Hall Golf Club, which is located around 1.5 miles from Vicarage Road.

The Observer, citing a club source, said the move is currently in the “earliest stage of the planning process”, with a number of sites being considered. Watford provided no comment on the report when contacted by TheStadiumBusiness.com.

The Observer added that Watford has only carried out pre-application advice with Hertsmere Borough Council. The plans are said to be at an early stage, with the newspaper stating that Watford is talking with the council to “scope out the opportunity” at the golf club site.

In March, the Observer and The Athletic both published renderings of what a new stadium on the Bushey Hall Golf Club site might look like.

In October, it was reported that Populous, which designed Tottenham’s state-of-the-art new stadium, had been enlisted to advise Watford on the expansion of Vicarage Road, specifically to finalise designs for a two-phase, £40m (€44.3m/$49.7m) project that would significantly increase the stadium’s capacity from 21,577 to 32,000.

The Athletic has previously reported that although designs for a new stadium have been developed, short to mid-term plans to expand Vicarage Road remain an option. Plans for a new stadium, which could seat around 30,000, would reportedly include a hotel, flats and casino.

Watford has played at Vicarage Road since the stadium opened in 1922. The ground last underwent expansion in 2015 when 700 seats were added to the Sir Elton John Stand.

Image: Brakspear