Quins aim to boost Stoop capacity to 20,000
August 3, 2014
The Stoop currently has room for 14,800 spectators © Getty Images
Harlequins have revealed plans to boost capacity at the Twickenham Stoop to 20,000.
Buoyed by record season ticket sales, which have hit 8,000 five weeks ahead of the new season, Harlequins have begun planning for a rebuild of the northern end of the ground within three years.
Capacity at the Stoop will initially rise from 14,800 to 16,800, but with Harlequins set to turn a profit within two years, the aim is to expand the ground to the 20,000 mark within a decade.
"We're on track to be in a good financial position next year and, including the works we want to do over the next three years, we'll be in a good position thereafter," Harlequins chief executive David Ellis told the Rugby Paper.
"We're asking people to draw up artist impressions for a new North Stand and you'd look to add another 2,000 seats. We're at 14,800 now and bumping at around 90% capacity, so we're beginning to look at that.
"Longer-term, although there are a lot of hurdles to jump, in principle the footprint at the Stoop means we could get up to around 20,000. So when it's time and we're ready, we'd like to get there over the next 10 years."
Bath have also announced plans to expand their ground, with an additional 2,000 temporary seats boosting capacity at the Rec to 14,000. The Westcountry club is also enjoying bumper season ticket sales, closing in on the 7,000 mark.
"There's much more confidence in the market," Bath chief executive Nick Blofeld said. "Everyone's still a bit cautious but they're not scared anymore and we're seeing a lot more people comitting.
"We're already above our record season ticket sale, which was 6,200, and we're aiming to go above 7,000."
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