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Swansea City aim to extend Liberty Stadium by 12,000 seats

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 05, 2012

By Richard Youle

  • Swansea City fans will be delighted if plans to expand the Liberty Stadium by club chairman Huw Jenkins win approval

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PLANS to expand the Liberty Stadium by as much as 12,000 seats are set to be lodged early next year.

Swansea City's chairman Huw Jenkins has given more details about how he wants the stadium to grow.

Mr Jenkins said he hoped to be ready to submit a planning application to Swansea Council early next year to add 11,000 to 12,000 seats to the south, east and north stands.

The club will finance the expansion — and Mr Jenkins stressed that retaining Premier League status was "vitally important".

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The stadium's current capacity is around 20,500, but the high-flying club is missing out on match-day revenue due to the demand to see them live.

"We can do the east (stand) first probably if we want to, then decide on doing one of the other two or both at the same time," said Mr Jenkins.

"But as we all know in football we don't know what's round the corner, so we have got be careful and make sure we do everything within what we can afford.

"It's going to cost, and retaining Premier League status is vitally important. But there's additional money coming in via the TV revenues next season and we have got to make sure we use that wisely, that we do things that are right for the club for years to come.

"I don't know exactly when it would be ready, but I would say a build on the east stand would be started and finished within 12 months, maybe quicker than that."

Mr Jenkins, whose astute managerial appointments and prudent fiscal approach have won him many plaudits, said a lot of work was going on behind the scenes.

"We hope to be ready to put a planning application in by February or March," he said. "The (supporters) trust are helping us to do a survey shortly to see where we are at with the level of interest in additional season tickets.

"We want to get all that in hand, to give us the confidence and to judge where we need to be, because we will be expanding in different phases.

"We are looking to get some feedback. For instance, a lot of the feedback I hear is that a lot of the ground has been more or less sold out for five or six years.

"Naturally families grow and change during that time and people can't get additional seats around them for their own families, so a lot of thought is going to go into how we can adapt certain areas and work our expansion with that.

"The planning application will be for the south, north and east stands to be increased. It will continue the same shape that is already there. That will probably bring in roughly 11,000 or 12,000 seats. It's exciting, but we have got to make sure we do it right. If it needs to be done in stages, we will do it in stages."

Huw Cooze, who serves on the club's board and is also supporters' trust director, said the survey was due to go live on the club's website in the next few days.

The aim, he said, was to give the club confidence in its plans.

"My gut feeling is that we have got the demand there," said Mr Cooze, although he pointed out you'd get a different survey response after a 2-0 defeat of Arsenal than, say, a hammering by Wigan.

Swans fan Simon Jones — a former Vetch regular — said he had found it hard to get hold of match tickets since the Swans' promotion in 2011.

He welcomed the prospect of extra seating but echoed Mr Jenkins's comments about maintaining Premier League status.

The 32-year-old, of West Cross, said away tickets were also hard to come by, adding that he had sat at the home end for Swans matches at Spurs and Aston Villa.

"You wish you were with the Swans fans — they're standing up and singing all the way through," he said.

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  • Philosoraptor  |  December 07 2012, 10:07AM

    So you have resorted to commenting on the spelling mistakes now? Man.. it is time for you to give up already. You said what you said, hoping someone would bite, but you shouldn't try such a tactic when you are just a leopard and the one who bites is a lion. There can only be one outcome and no matter how small the prey, the pack is always following the first hunter and always come in with the killer blows. Those killer blows are the red arrows you see under your comments, the pack are the regular Jacks who frequent this site and lead hunter in this case was me. You could always try the great escape by clambering up a tree, that tree (metaphorically, like all of this comment) is simply admitting that the Swans publicly announced two seasons in a row that they were oversubscribed for Season Ticket requests compared to the total capacity of the stadium.

    Rate   2
  • slagheap  |  December 06 2012, 4:17PM

    Philosoraptor Your tiny brain clearly does not have the ability to read and digest,oh and by the way you do not have the ability to type either 15,000 players I think not.

    Rate   -12
  • hacker_jack  |  December 06 2012, 2:25PM

    Of course it would help if I could tell Eat from West. :/

    Rate   2
  • Philosoraptor  |  December 06 2012, 1:47PM

    Slagheap: 1 - I was the only one to call your troll post out which indicates that you would naturally hold the grudge against me, for embarrassing you. It was glaringly obvious. 2 - "The true gauge of the level of support we can realistically expect will be next Wednesday night,my guess about 15,000 approx."" That there actually says you believe the Swans can only attract 15,000 players. You make no mention that it only applies to the the Cup game, instead you decided that the Cup game is a measure for all games. Hook, Line, Sinker. Bye bye Cardiff troll. Enjoy watching football played by a team that wants to Wrexham, your kind won't find many green upward arrows around these parts sonny jim.

    Rate   5
  • slagheap  |  December 06 2012, 1:23PM

    Philosoraptor How do you know it was you I was referring to as a knuckle dragger,but clearly the cap fits your tiny brain.Oh and if you can actually read I stated that Wednesday nights attendance will be approx 15,000 not ALL games as you are pathetically trying to make out.

    Rate   -6
  • hacker_jack  |  December 06 2012, 12:12PM

    No, the first phase will rightly be the west stand. It is half the extra seats in one go, which is good economically and will also give the chance to confirm we can fill that many first. It will also allow for the upgraded corporate facilities as well. The argument about families in the south stand is mute, there is no restriction on where families can go and it would be a simple job to expand the unofficial family area around the corner into the west stand.

    Rate   2
  • Philosoraptor  |  December 06 2012, 11:55AM

    Jacksy, there were tickets available for those two matches ON THE DAY. Fact!

    Rate   -1
  • Philosoraptor  |  December 06 2012, 11:54AM

    Slagheap, the only knuckle dragger is you who think the Liberty Stadium gets at best 15,000 for every game. Go back to your Cardiff boards.

    Rate   4
  • Jack5y  |  December 06 2012, 11:47AM

    F.A.O philosoraptor - if your point was correct,how is it that tickets for Liverpool and Man Utd sold out in minutes ? 10% of tickets must be made available to purchase, but these go on sale 4 weeks prior to the game. If they sell out straight away, how can there be tickets on sale on match days?

    Rate   4
  • seasolder  |  December 05 2012, 10:16PM

    The first phase should be the "South Stand", where families are generally situated, these are so many children who are desperate for tickets and need an adult to be with them. These youngsters need to be kept away from the adults who constanly need to stand up throughout the game and stop the enjoyment of those behind them, who are unfortuntely too small to see much of the game.

    Rate   4