Sandy Park redevelopment to begin in early 2014
December 4, 2013
What Sandy Park could look like by the 2015 World Cup © Exeter Chiefs
Exeter Chiefs' multi-million pound redevelopment of Sandy Park has been given the green light to commence early in the New Year, club officials have confirmed.
The ambitious plans aim to transform Sandy Park, a venue for the 2015 World Cup and the host of this season's LV= Cup final, into a state-of-the-art stadium. It will see the ground capacity doubled to around 20,600, and will involve the building of three new grandstands, a 1,000-seater auditorium and an expansion of the conference and banqueting facilities.
An initial investment target of £7.5million was set through the Exeter Chiefs 2020 Bond, and that target was met earlier this week - allowing the club to proceed to the first stage of the stadium's development. Phase One of development will see additional seating added to the West Grandstand at either end, while the car park will be enlarged and the main pitch re-laid. Upgrades will also be made to the club's conference and banqueting facilities.
It is a huge step forward for a team which only achieved promotion into the top-flight of English domestic rugby in 2010. And Exeter Rugby Group chairman Tony Rowe OBE was quick to emphasise this point, and also play down any fears the Sandy Park redevelopment may take vital resources away from the club's on-field success.
Rowe told the official club website: "These are very exciting times for the club - both on and off the field - and the instigation of these works demonstrates that we are continuing to build for what we hope will be a hugely successful future"
"I am delighted that so many people share the same vision and passion that I have for the club and for Sandy Park. Like anything, it will take time and a lot of effort by plenty of people, but I can assure everyone that everything will be carried out in the right manner and at the right time, thus ensuring that whilst we look to build off the field, we remain a competitive force on the field both in the Premiership and in Europe."
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