Legalities of building a new football stadium

Football clubs moving to new stadiums

In recent years there has been a trend of football clubs moving to completely newly developed stadiums. One of the main reasons behind this is that they have been playing in the same stadium since their inception more than 100 years ago in some cases. Obviously they have been able to improve the old stadium over the years but in many cases a move to a new stadium is the desired option.

Why would a club wish to move to a new stadium?

Often the existing stadium which a football club plays their home games at is located within a residential area meaning that it is extremely difficult to add to the existing structure to increase the capacity of the stadium.

Why would a football club wish to increase the capacity of the stadium?

One of the biggest revenue streams for a football club is through ticket sales for match days. If a popular club has a small stadium but a huge demand for tickets it follows that in order to generate the income which their fan base allows, the capacity of the stadium would need to be increased.

Would a football team need permission to increase the capacity of an already existing stadium?

If a football team were to wish to increase the capacity of an already existing statement they would need to obtain planning permission to do this.

Is it likely to be granted?

In a lot of cases planning permission from the local council will be granted. However, in certain circumstances there will be certain issues which may affect the building of the stadium such as already existing structures as housing located near the stadium and railways. If the building structure is likely to affect the living conditions of local residents then it is likely that the planning permission will not be granted, unless the club agrees to improve the conditions of the local residents.

If this is the case the football club may feel that it is a desirable position to build a new stadium elsewhere.

How will this be done?

In order for this to be done the football club will have to decide on a plot of land and will have to purchase that plot of land with a view to building the stadium there.

Does planning permission have to be granted for the stadium to be built?

When a football club wishes to build a new stadium they will need to obtain planning permission from the UK Government before they can go ahead and build the structure.

What department will they need to obtain permission from?

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For more information on:

  • What are these issues?
  • What is meant by regeneration?
  • Will a new stadium be refused planning permission on the grounds of regeneration?
  • How will a club finance building a new stadium?
  • Will the club sell their old stadium?