Manchester United are reported to be seriously considering expanding the Old Trafford capacity to a staggering 88,000. The increase by more than 12,000 would be likely to start with an extra 7,500 seats in the Sir Bobby Charlton stand, formerly known as the main stand.
Previously, the railway line at the back of the structure meant expansion would require a costly tunnel and the demolition of a number of houses. Advances in construction technology, however, mean this may no longer be an issue.
United would then look at adding quadrants in the two corners of the stand which they would be able to build without reducing capacity while work was ongoing.
Following completion, capacity would stand at about 88,000, putting Old Trafford second only to Barcelona’s 99,354-capacity Nou Camp at club level in Europe. It would be second in this country to Wembley (90,000) and bigger than Real Madrid’s Bernabeu (85,454).
A safe-standing area may also feature in the development and though United fans are in favour this would require a change in legislation.
United fans group MUST has demanded the biggest club stadium in Europe and United managing director Richard Arnold told Sportsmail the club are ‘acutely aware’ of the clamour to increase .
Any development would be likely to include hospitality suites, with United currently using Lancashire County Cricket Club facilities for corporate packages.