Rangers CEO James Bisgrove outlines Ibrox expansion options - with plans to increase stadium capacity to 60,000
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New Rangers chief executive James Bisgrove has outlined three “medium to long term” options to significantly increase the capacity of Ibrox with around 10,000 fans on the season ticket waiting list.
Speaking at a CEO Fan Forum event at the club’s newly-opened Edmiston House complex on Wednesday evening, Bisgrove confirmed the Light Blues have been actively looking at different avenues to increase the overall size of the 50,817 seater venue in Govan.
Rangers revealed plans to upgrade and improve facilities for disabled supporters at an AGM earlier this year and with demand for season tickets at an all-time high, club officials are considering several options to ensure they can generate more revenue. In order for expansion of Ibrox to be approved feasibly, The National claim studies have reportedly shown it would have to be backed with ‘a significant initial outlay’.
Glasgow rivals Celtic already have a massive financial edge with their ground holding a capacity of 60,411, but schemes to increase the size of Ibrox are being regularly discussed.
According to Bisgrove, the most cost-effective option would be to add 1,300 seats to each ‘TV screen’ corner of the stadium at a cost of between £3-4 million per area. Any plan to remove the big screens and fill in the corners between the Sandy Jardine Stand and Broomloan and Copland Road stands would add approximately 3,000-4,000 seats at a cost of around £20-25m.
The final option on the table is lowering the pitch, adding 4,500 seats. This would require major investment and is likely to cost more than £20-25m. However, work could not be completed in a summer during the off-season, meaning Rangers would be forced to move to another stadium while the work was carried out.
It has been reported that work to add in state-of-the-art disabled facilities (adding roughly 700 seats) will take place over the next three summers. Rangers Disability Access Officer, John Spiers, said: “These fantastic plans will provide Rangers’ disabled supporters with some truly world-class accessible facilities.
“The club are aware our current offering for disabled supporters is not good enough for a club of our standing, however, these works will ensure that Rangers will provide the highest standard of accessibility for our disabled supporters. They will be able to attend matches in significantly more comfort, with hugely improved access to the stadium, as well as fully accessible facilities and views of the match.
“I look forward to the completion of these works and to welcoming so many more disabled supporters to Ibrox in the coming seasons.”
It comes after the club splashed out to build the Gordon Ramsay inspired Blue Sky Lounge restaurant and New Edmiston House.