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King Power Stadium set for expansion, new arena

English Premier League football club Leicester City has today (Wednesday) announced that it plans to expand King Power Stadium’s capacity to 40,000, as well as introduce a mixed-use development that will feature a new arena.

Leicester said initial plans for the project will be shared next month, as the club’s Thai owners, King Power International, press on with long-held ambitions to enhance facilities.

King Power Stadium opened in 2002 and has a current capacity of around 32,300. Current proposals for the site include the addition of 8,000 seats in the East Stand – which, if approved, would take King Power Stadium’s capacity to 40,000 – along with a wider proposal for a mixed-use destination.

This development would include a multi-purpose event and entertainment arena, new club megastore, 220-room hotel, club and commercial office space, a residential tower, and a new multi-storey car park.

The unveiling of initial plans next month will be followed by a period of public consultation throughout the summer and early autumn. Leicester City chairman, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, said: “The unveiling of these plans represents a significant milestone in the long history of Leicester City Football Club, and one that we hope will continue to put our supporters and our community at the heart of its long-term future.

“Through the consultation with our fans, our local community, businesses and stakeholders, we hope to achieve something that we can all be proud of for years to come. It’s these conversations that will help us communicate our vision to the people at its heart and take onboard the views of our community to help shape it.

“While this vision is in its early stages, I know the prospect of additional capacity for more Leicester City supporters in King Power Stadium, has long been anticipated by us all, particularly after seven near sold-out Premier League seasons.

“The plans to build on the club’s recent growth – with a stadium expansion as part of an exciting wider site development – is a wonderful demonstration of the shared ambition of both the football club and the city of Leicester.

“It is a project with the potential to generate enormous social value, starting with a substantial number of additional jobs for people in the region. We will be working with our partners and contractors to ensure this is a central consideration from construction through to long-term operation.”

Today’s announcement comes after Legends International was appointed by Leicester in August 2019 to carry out market research that was intended to underpin plans for the proposed expansion of King Power Stadium.

Sir Peter Soulsby, Mayor of Leicester, said: “These are ambitious plans that reflect the club’s ongoing commitment to the city and constant desire to build on its incredible achievements. LCFC has always been at the heart of our city, but thanks to the vision of the greatly-missed Khun Vichai, and his son Khun Top, it is now an integral part of our community that contributes to city life in so many ways. 

“There is obviously a great deal of consultation to be done, including through the planning process, but these are really exciting proposals. The development would be very good news for the city as well as for the club, creating new jobs and a sought-after destination for visitors, locals and tourists.”

Image: dom fellowes/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size