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Plans unveiled to turn the Oval into England's largest cricket ground

Plans unveiled to turn the Oval into England's largest cricket ground

The Oval is set to become the largest cricket ground in England under new plans to expand the venue to hold 40,000 spectators, up from 25,500 at present.
 
Surrey County Cricket Club plans to increase capacity by extending the OCS Stand and also replacing the Bedser Stand with a new 8,000-seat stand.
 
The plans have been developed due to the high amount of cricket being played at the south London venue and the demand for tickets. 
 
Surrey chief executive Richard Thompson said: "This summer we have seen unprecedented levels of demand for cricket at the Kia Oval, whether it be for the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy, the 100th Test which takes place in July, or to watch Surrey CCC in the NatWest T20 Blast.
 
"We need to build on this success and have a ground that can satisfy the unprecedented demand we have created."
 
Planning permission is already in place for 1 Oval Square, a development next to the pavilion, and if the club gets the green light for the planned new developments, work could start in 2019 just after the ICC Word Cup and be finished in time for the 2023 Ashes. 
 
The venue will still be smaller than many overseas venues - the largest in the world being the 90,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground - but it will dwarf Lord's across London, which is presently being redeveloped and will eventually hold 32,000.
 
Redevelopment work has also taken place at other grounds across England in recent years and more are on the way, with Headingley in Leeds set to get a new double-sided stand to provide new spectator facilities facing the cricket arena on one side and the rugby pitch on the other.
 
Leeds City Council recently brokered a £35 million deal to raise the necessary funds, after the original finance plans fell through. Leeds Rhinos rugby league club had been planning to sell land owned by the club for housing, but were unable to proceed as the two plots in question are located on green belt land.

Image: Wikicommons

 

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