Design & Development

Rangers reveal Ibrox upgrade plans

Featured image credit: Rangers FC

Scottish Premiership football club Rangers has announced plans for a small-scale expansion of Ibrox Stadium that will incorporate changes to the Copland Road Stand including a new cantilever, enhanced access for disabled fans and an expanded singing section.

The Glasgow club announced the new seating arrangements for Ibrox, which will be effective from the 2024-25 season, following what it said has been a “significant period of consultation with supporters and numerous stakeholders”.

Rangers first detailed plans to increase the capacity of Ibrox back in May, as part of a wider project intending to provide improved facilities for disabled fans at the stadium. A phased series of works was agreed by the club’s board, with the project aiming to provide Ibrox with the best disabled facilities of any stadium in Scotland, making it one of the most accessible sports venues in Europe.

Rangers announced yesterday (Thursday) that a number of new accessible viewing positions are to be added to the rear of the Copland Front, increasing Ibrox’s overall wheelchair-accessible spaces to 153 – the highest of any stadium in the Premiership.

Additionally, following trials earlier in the season and further to supporter and men’s first-team player feedback, the club will introduce an expanded singing section within the Copland Front. Rangers said: “The Ibrox atmosphere is renowned the world over, and the club are committed to enhancing that even further to ensure our famous home remains one of football’s most iconic venues.”

Allied to these changes, a new cantilever will be constructed at the front of the Copland Rear with almost 1,000 new seats, meaning a net-capacity increase of almost 600 to the current 50,817, with these new seats having some of the best views of the Ibrox pitch.

As part of this, a number of supporters in existing seats will be relocated, with Rangers set to consult those affected stating it is “extremely cognisant of the emotional attachment they may have to their place within the stadium”.

The club added: “Supporters who move to the new cantilever section are sure to enjoy the upgrade to these fantastic new seats. Of course, that change may not be the preference of individuals, and in those circumstances, they will have priority for seat moves following season ticket renewal.”

In June, Rangers CEO, James Bisgrove, revealed the club was assessing three “medium to long term” options to expand Ibrox. Speaking at a fans forum event, Bisgrove disclosed how the club is seeking to address the challenges of having a 10,000-strong season ticket waiting list, with a 99% renewal rate.

The cheapest of the three options would be to add 1,300 seats to each corner of Ibrox at which a big screen is located, at a cost of between £3m (€3.48m/$3.8m) to £4m per area. Alternatively, Bisgrove said the big screens could be removed entirely, filling in the corners of the stadium adjacent to the Sandy Jardine Stand. This is expected to add around 3,000 to 4,000 seats at a cost of between £20m and £25m.

Finally, the potential of lowering the pitch, adding 4,500 seats, was outlined. This would cost between £15m to £20m, but would be logistically challenging. The work would need more than a close season to carry out, meaning that Rangers would potentially need to explore playing at another stadium while the project is conducted.

In November, Rangers was reported to be weighing up a potential expansion of Ibrox that would significantly increase the capacity of the stadium. The expansion could see the capacity of Ibrox increase from 51,000 to 70,000, according to The Herald.