Why It Is Undoubtedly Time For The Celtic Board To Look At The Expansion Of The Stadium

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The news that we have, again, almost sold out our season tickets before the waiting list fans are even offered a chance at them re-opens an old debate at our club; is it time to consider spending a few quid and increasing the stadium capacity?

The argument against this has always been the same one; how often, realistically, could you expect to fill a stadium of 75,000 plus fans for Scottish football matches? I’ve always felt that the answer is the same one Fergus knew about way back when; if you build it, they will come.

There are games in the campaign just past when we’d have sold it out, and if Champions League Group Stage football is about to become the norm – and changes at UEFA mean that it’s more than likely – you know we’d fill it for those games.

I think we’d fill it for most games.

Adding 15,000 onto the gate would also give us yet another massive structural advantage over our rivals, making our stadium 50% larger than theirs. That is a permanent, unshakable, unalterable advantage of quite significant proportions.

We already make between £5 and £10 million more than they do from having a 60,000 all-seater to their 50,000 … we could double that at a stroke and that translates into a spending differential which they will struggle to make up even in a good year.

The naysayers will do what they always do and talk about how unfeasible the project is, and cast doubts on its viability. But that’s what they said when Fergus unveiled his plans for the current stadium, when our season ticket base was virtually non-existent.

There was never any question in his mind that we would fill the stadium every week, just as I don’t have any doubts that we could sell those 15,000 extra seats quite easily.

The debate ought to be had. All we’re doing is limiting our own potential, and this club should be thinking bigger than that. Stadium expansion is only one element of that, but it’s one that would be guaranteed to generate additional income in perpetuity.

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  • Johnnie says:

    Totally agree. But we know Mr Bankier is the last main figure of the old guard who is against stadium expansion. It was only 1 or 2 AGM’s back when he made the outrageous claim that ‘the norm in Europe is actually to downsize’, in response to a stadium expansion question. Anyway, Bankier is on his way out, thankfully.

  • Johnnie says:

    Also, if we’re going yo do it, we my as well go yhe whole hog and future-proof it. Go to 80K. We would absolutely fill it and it would pay for itself very quickly.

    At the same time as construction is ongoing, its time we re-done all the steelwork which has been weathering for 25 years. Remove the stadium art which has also seen better days and replace the cladding. Perhaps even have something more modern than cladding, like an LED skin of sorts. Who knows? The sooner the better IMHO.

    But you do know we will probbaly have to qualify for the UCL again the following season before they’ll open the purse strings for a project like this.

    In fact, I think the Hotel/Ticket Office/Museum complex is further up the agenda for the Board than stadium expansion.

  • Timbhoy163 says:

    If you look at the photo,the 2 ends of the front stand could be a start surly it wouldn’t cost a fortune to upgrade them ends ,but you have to be honest with this present Irishman and this old antique board who all need replaced ,not one off them own the club ,so for progress they need to be replaced,but how?

  • John Jordan says:

    I know that an additional large number of people would snap the extra capacity up. Traveling Tims from UK Ireland and further afield would have the tickets. Man United have season ticket holders who have them just for the prestige the same is 100% true for Celtic. Build it and we will come. A share offering to finance it would be a double benefit to fans and club.

  • John says:

    Make it bigger and allow schools to bring busloads children every home game with their parents for free I am sure Celtic could afford the bus and get future generations to support the club away from the tv

    • Henry says:

      My thoughts entirely. Have a £5 gate for kids but higher prices for CL and Sevco games.

  • Gerry Paterson says:

    Totally agree new stand required but I am led to believe that the South stand is owned by the investors who built the cantilever stand roof with zero stantions to obstruct the veiw. Happy to be corrected Hailhail

  • Mikey McRepublican says:

    They have had planning in for hotel shop etc at front for years what chance has this got as much as I would love it

  • MR P MCMURRAY says:

    Yes I do think it be a wise move I one looking for a season ticket which is difficult to come buy so with 75000 stadium massive and I sure we would fill it every game celtic play there.beautifull.stadium atmosphere and you could imagine more fans in massive club celtic.this would be best move forward so Desmond dermot you been successful business man now your investment there would double or treble

  • Ian Heneghan says:

    Great idea and a retractable roof HH

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