Design & Development

Oxford United names project team for new stadium bid

Featured image credit: Oxford United

Oxford United has announced that AFL Architects, Ridge and Partners, Mott MacDonald and Fabrik will make up the team seeking to deliver a new stadium for the English League One football club.

United is looking to move into a new home in time for the start of the 2026-27 season. The club currently plays at the Kassam Stadium, but does not own the venue and its lease deal to play at the 12,500-seat facility expires in 2026.

Oxford United CEO, Tim Williams, said: “We are committed to building a world-class facility and we believe we are working with world-class partners to make this happen. All four companies have vast experience, share our commitment to sustainability, inclusivity and innovation and it has been fantastic to get their insights and input as they have joined the project.

“This summer will hopefully see our hopes and plans really start to gather pace and we know we have a fantastic project team who are totally committed to making our supporters’ dreams turn into reality”

AFL has been appointed as the lead architect for the new stadium, while Oxfordshire-headquartered Ridge will provide project management, cost management, health and safety, town and country planning, traffic and transport, and sustainability services. Mott MacDonald will engineer the new venue, while Fabrik is set to engage in a landscape and masterplanning capacity.

John Roberts, director at AFL Architects, said: “21st century stadium design has many elements to consider – from function and form to how the building addresses inclusivity and accessibility to all, especially with the growth of the women’s game and the constantly evolving expectations for spectator experience.

“Most importantly we are committed to exploring the most sustainable construction methods and operational design. At AFL we understand the interplay between these factors and working with Ridge, Mott and Fabrik alongside the team at Oxford United feel we have created the perfect solution to offer all these things within their new stadium.”

Matt Summerill, project management partner for Ridge and their multidisciplinary lead, added: “Oxford United is a historic community asset and in the hearts and minds of thousands of people in Oxfordshire and beyond. The new stadium project is essential to securing the club’s sustainable future and its status as the only professional sports club in the county.

“Naturally, as a team and as individuals, we at Ridge are delighted to be working with Oxford United and supporting the delivery of a truly significant community facility that will have a multi-generational legacy.”

United’s efforts to develop a new stadium moved a step forward last month with a second stage of public engagement outlined, while the club revealed more details about its vision for the project.

Oxfordshire County Council announced that it had received updates on the proposals for a stadium near Kidlington, including a summary of stakeholder engagement held in April and May and plans for public engagement in June and July.

The proposal is for the stadium to be located on council-owned land, known as ‘the Triangle’, with consultation currently taking place over the venture. The club’s plans to develop a new stadium moved a step forward in March after Oxfordshire County Council agreed a Memorandum of Understanding on the project.

The County Council’s Cabinet approved an agreement with United to govern open and transparent relations between the two parties while they work to explore the impact of a new stadium. The initial public consultation has seen some opposition to the venture with United stating that it welcomed concerns raised after local residents in Kidlington rejected the project during a vote held on May 10.

United is projecting that the cost of a developing a 16,000 to 18,000 capacity stadium, with additional commercial elements, will exceed £100m (€116.4m/$125.3m). The club is set to present its vision to fans, with an exhibition due to be held on June 14.