Fan Experience

Stoke unveils plans for fan zone at bet365 Stadium

Featured image credit: Stoke City

Featured image credit: Stoke City

Championship football club Stoke City has submitted a planning application to Stoke-on-Trent City Council for a new fan zone at bet365 Stadium.

The club hopes to open the new facility around the start of the 2024-25 season. The fan zone will mark the latest investment in Stoke’s five-year development programme focusing on its stadium and training ground.

Renderings, designed by AFL Architects, have been released to showcase the fan zone, which would feature a main stage and LED screen as well as food and drink outlets, covered areas for supporters to congregate, a dedicated children’s area, toilets, and more.

The fan zone would be located adjacent to the North Car Park at bet365 Stadium. The project will cost a reported £1.5m (€1.7m/$1.8m).

Richard Smith, the club’s vice-chairman, said: “It has been a long-held ambition of the club to construct a fan zone, primarily to enhance the matchday experience at the bet365 Stadium. During the past 12 months we have commenced the process of designing a high-quality facility for Stoke City supporters, for which we are now in a position to submit our application for planning.

“Despite rising production costs causing the club’s scheduled programme of infrastructure investments to increase significantly, there remains a steadfast commitment to fulfil our ambitions and make our facilities as good as they can be.”

Stoke’s chief operating officer, Simon King, added: “In our dialogue with supporters, it has been clear that there is significant appetite for a fan zone to be introduced as part of a first-class matchday experience, creating a hub of activity where fans can gather and enjoy live entertainment.

“We also believe a facility like this will present an opportunity for regular supporter engagement and community activities. Much like other parts of our venue, it is our intention for it to be used for way in excess of 20-30 home matchdays each year.

“It remains our ambition to hold more significant events at the bet365 Stadium, and clearly a high-quality fan zone will be a great addition to our offering. First and foremost, however, I hope this facility gives new and existing fans a reason to treat our matchdays as a full day out with family and friends. Subject to planning, I’m hugely looking forward to seeing it come to fruition.”