Portsmouth have unveiled plans to move out of their Fratton Park stadium into a new 36,000-seat waterside venue. The £600m stadium has been designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, who were responsible for the Allianz Arena in Munich and the Olympic Stadium in Beijing. The £600m bill for the stadium will come from the sale of the club’s 17-acre Fratton Park site for housing and from the Sellar Property Group.
If the planning permission is given the club hope to be playing at their new home on reclaimed dock land overlooking the English Channel in time for the 2011-12 season. “This will be an iconic stadium and not just great for Portsmouth Football Club but also the city,” the club’s chief executive Peter Storrie told reporters at the London launch of the project.
“It will have a real wow factor and if we want to become one of the big boys of English football we know that we have to move into a modern new stadium. Portsmouth is moving into a new dawn and these are very exciting times for the club both on and off the field.”
The new stadium will sit next to the city’s historic naval dockyards and would include one million square feet of residential units and commercial and leisure facilities.
“If you are going to become a big club or going to maintain your status as a Premier League club you need a stadium that holds more than 20,000 people otherwise you are just relying on a sugar daddy pumping money in, and nobody’s going to keep doing that unless there’s some return,” said Portsmouth FC manager Harry Redknapp.
Planning applications for the development will be submitted in the autumn. Work is scheduled to begin in 2008.