Premier League football club Manchester United has announced today (Monday) that it will replace the executive seating area in Old Trafford’s Stretford End with admission season tickets following consultation with fans.
United has worked with its fans’ advisory board to review the presence of 850 executive seats in the famous Stretford End in support of efforts to enhance the atmosphere at Old Trafford. It has been agreed that all the seating in the stand will be returned to general admission for the start of the 2024-25 season, with the process to begin following the conclusion of the current campaign.
Rick McGagh, head of fan engagement at United, said: “The Stretford End is one of the most famous stands in world football. It has been the backdrop to many of the most memorable moments in our history, and when it’s at its loudest you can feel the difference it makes to the players, and the connection the fans have with the team.
“Fans and fan groups including MUST and TRA have long campaigned for us to remove the executive seats from the heart of the Stretford End and to make them standard tickets and therefore more accessible to all fans.
“We have listened and agree that as many fans as possible should have the chance to be a Stretford Ender. We have worked with our Fans’ Advisory Board in recent months to make this happen and we are all looking forward to an even louder Stretford End from August 2024.”
The Stretford End is named after the area of Trafford that the stand backs on to and has been part of Old Trafford since the stadium opened in 1910. Originally, it was a standing terrace before being redeveloped into an all-seater stand in the early 1990s.
The International Suite was opened with a small section of executive seating in the first tier, before a second tier was added in 2000. All executive seating is now set to be removed.
Collette Roche, United’s chief operating officer, added: “Structural work will take place over the coming year to return the Stretford End to general admission seating and create a new concourse.
“During this period, we will be consulting fans to understand how best to repurpose the space currently used by the International Suite. We very much value our executive club members who currently sit in the Stretford End and recognise the impact this change will have. The club is committed to working with those affected to find alternative seating where necessary ahead of the 2024-25 season.
“Plans for the long-term redevelopment of Old Trafford continue to progress, while we simultaneously take steps such as this one to improve the matchday experience in the near term. We are grateful to our Fans’ Advisory Board for their backing of this initiative, and believe it provides another positive example of the benefits of dialogue with fans.”
The news comes as United considers proposals for the wider redevelopment of Old Trafford, and earlier this month it was reported that the demolition of the stadium and building of a brand-new venue was among the options being considered by the club.
Legends International and Populous are leading a team tasked with creating a masterplan for the redevelopment of Old Trafford, which is the largest club stadium in England. United has fallen behind its rivals in recent years as Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur moved to new homes, while Liverpool has carried out extensive redevelopment work at Anfield.