Watford to extend new East Stand by another 800 seats

This Is Local London: The East Stand taken before the game with Blackpool two weeks ago. Picture: Dave Peters The East Stand taken before the game with Blackpool two weeks ago. Picture: Dave Peters

The new East Stand at Vicarage Road will not be open this season as planned after the Hornets decided to extend the structure by a further 800 seats, the Watford Observer understands.

Watford had initially hoped to have part of the new stand open early this year with the second section in full use by Spring.

That then became March and June late last year before further delays and bad weather meant the club had accepted they would only be able to have part of the structure open during the 2013/14 campaign.

However, we understand that will no longer be happening and the club now plan to have the stand fully completed before opening at the start of next season.

The plans submitted last summer followed the old designs from before the Pozzos’ takeover, which resulted in the stand ending in line with the penalty spot at the Vicarage Road end.

But the club has now decided it wants the new structure to run the whole length of the pitch for aesthetic reasons and has contacted Watford Borough Council about the alterations.

We understand this would increase the capacity of the East Stand by around another 800 seats, taking the capacity of the whole structure to more than 3,000 – it was due to be 2,600.

Before the late redesign, the capacity at Vicarage Road would have been more than 20,000 but only if the restricted view seats are included. Now more than 20,500 will have full sight of the pitch.

The change has seen the cost increase from £3m to around £3.5m.

The stand will have a semi-temporary design. The base and rows will be concrete but the framework will be made of steel which can easily be dismantled, should an extension take place.

The original East Stand was built in 1922 and extended in 1969, but has not been in use by fans since the summer of 2008, although the media continued to use the facilities until late last year.

Watford Borough Council had previously granted permission for two other East Stand developments that were not built; a 4,289-seater stand in April 2002 and a 5,000-seat structure in May 2008. Permission for the last project was renewed again in April 2011.

Chief executive Scott Duxbury said shortly after his arrival last year that an East Stand would be built once the average attendance was around the 15,000-mark, with the Vicarage Road capacity in the region of 17,000 if restricted view seats are excluded. And the average in the Championship this season has been 15,525.

Contracts with local demolition firm Gaywoods and stadia construction specialists GL Events were signed in September and demolition began in the first week of October, with artist impressions released a month later.

The new structure will consist of 17 rows and provide one of the best views in the stadium due to the 50cm gap between each row – which is similar to the Upper Rous.

Despite only having 17 rows, the roof of the stand will almost be the same height as the Rookery End, which has more than 40 rows.

The cladding and roofing are to be a dark grey rather than the light colour indicated in the artist impressions and other ‘club finishing’ will be added to the stand.

Pre-fabricated food kiosks will be slotted into the 3m-high gap between the ground and the steel framework of the stand and can be changed with relative ease.

The players’ and officials’ changing rooms, a small medical centre and other rooms such as the manager’s office will be housed under the East Stand.

The tunnel to the pitch will now be on the half-way line, as will the broadcast gantry and media facilities.

Access to the stand will be via turnstiles on Occupation Road and the current, unused, turnstile blocks will be reinstated. The steel staircases will be prefabricated and descend down to the concourse area and supporters will access their seats from pitch side on steel staircases.

The first row of seats will be more than one metre above pitch level. Plans suggest the first row at the north end of the stand will be 1.29m above pitch level with it rising to 1.9m at the south end.

The additional space at the front of the stand will be used to house disabled supporters, who will enter the ground at the same south-east entrance as those who sit in the Rookery End, and potentially photographers.

Comments (23)

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7:06am Fri 14 Mar 14

SAHornet says...

I really hope that our on-field plans for next season are as confident and progressive as our off-field plans seem to be. Kudos to The Pozzos for this.
I really hope that our on-field plans for next season are as confident and progressive as our off-field plans seem to be. Kudos to The Pozzos for this. SAHornet
  • Score: 39

8:23am Fri 14 Mar 14

gloryhornet4 says...

The club is long overdue a cup game against a Prem side that fills the ground.

At least our annual trips to Man C have been whilst we have had no stand on the East side.
The club is long overdue a cup game against a Prem side that fills the ground. At least our annual trips to Man C have been whilst we have had no stand on the East side. gloryhornet4
  • Score: 16

8:23am Fri 14 Mar 14

The BestTrip2011 says...

This makes absolute sense.
I could never understand why the original design plans had the new structure stopping in line with the edge of the penalty area at the Vic end.
I'm glad the whole stand will be completed before being officially opened.
We've waited long enough - another few months won't hurt.
This makes absolute sense. I could never understand why the original design plans had the new structure stopping in line with the edge of the penalty area at the Vic end. I'm glad the whole stand will be completed before being officially opened. We've waited long enough - another few months won't hurt. The BestTrip2011
  • Score: 52

9:06am Fri 14 Mar 14

HornetJJ says...

The BestTrip2011 wrote:
This makes absolute sense.
I could never understand why the original design plans had the new structure stopping in line with the edge of the penalty area at the Vic end.
I'm glad the whole stand will be completed before being officially opened.
We've waited long enough - another few months won't hurt.
I think the idea was to fill in the corner with a structure similar to that between The Rookery and Rous stands. This may happen in the future but it makes sense to go the full length of the pitch especially with it being a structure that can be altered.
[quote][p][bold]The BestTrip2011[/bold] wrote: This makes absolute sense. I could never understand why the original design plans had the new structure stopping in line with the edge of the penalty area at the Vic end. I'm glad the whole stand will be completed before being officially opened. We've waited long enough - another few months won't hurt.[/p][/quote]I think the idea was to fill in the corner with a structure similar to that between The Rookery and Rous stands. This may happen in the future but it makes sense to go the full length of the pitch especially with it being a structure that can be altered. HornetJJ
  • Score: 18

9:07am Fri 14 Mar 14

Hornankey says...

A four-sided stadium filled to capacity and football of a quality to match....roll on next season!
A four-sided stadium filled to capacity and football of a quality to match....roll on next season! Hornankey
  • Score: 39

9:54am Fri 14 Mar 14

JohnnyHornet says...

SAHornet wrote:
I really hope that our on-field plans for next season are as confident and progressive as our off-field plans seem to be. Kudos to The Pozzos for this.
Despite the relative poor season on the pitch, we are in a far superior place than 2 years ago, So when this year long pre season is over we can look forward to a great one next year. Credit to the Pozzo Family.
[quote][p][bold]SAHornet[/bold] wrote: I really hope that our on-field plans for next season are as confident and progressive as our off-field plans seem to be. Kudos to The Pozzos for this.[/p][/quote]Despite the relative poor season on the pitch, we are in a far superior place than 2 years ago, So when this year long pre season is over we can look forward to a great one next year. Credit to the Pozzo Family. JohnnyHornet
  • Score: 48

10:24am Fri 14 Mar 14

HornetJJ says...

A four sided stadium, a settled squad and hopefully a good end to this season will set us up nicely for next year.
A four sided stadium, a settled squad and hopefully a good end to this season will set us up nicely for next year. HornetJJ
  • Score: 23

11:00am Fri 14 Mar 14

D.unstable says...

Excellent news, although ultimately the only thing that will fill it will be the success on the pitch, otherwise you are always down to the 11K hardcore base that go no matter what.

Will be great the see the place full, as even during the 80's the East side was always a bit of a mish mash.

Well done Mr Pozzo
Excellent news, although ultimately the only thing that will fill it will be the success on the pitch, otherwise you are always down to the 11K hardcore base that go no matter what. Will be great the see the place full, as even during the 80's the East side was always a bit of a mish mash. Well done Mr Pozzo D.unstable
  • Score: 27

12:54pm Fri 14 Mar 14

demerit says...

SAHornet wrote:
I really hope that our on-field plans for next season are as confident and progressive as our off-field plans seem to be. Kudos to The Pozzos for this.
Yep, as I replied to your previous post, they're getting ready for net season in the premiership!
[quote][p][bold]SAHornet[/bold] wrote: I really hope that our on-field plans for next season are as confident and progressive as our off-field plans seem to be. Kudos to The Pozzos for this.[/p][/quote]Yep, as I replied to your previous post, they're getting ready for net season in the premiership! demerit
  • Score: 2

1:18pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Andrew1963 says...

Makes sense to do it now as the extra seats work out at another £625 each, compared to the original cost of nearly twice that a seat. The best part of this news is that it shows that the owners are prepared to continue investing in the club, finding an extra £1/2 million is not easy for any business with our income. I wonder if it also gives more flexibility in arranging the stadium seating zones and the ability to bring in a different set of prices for different areas.
Makes sense to do it now as the extra seats work out at another £625 each, compared to the original cost of nearly twice that a seat. The best part of this news is that it shows that the owners are prepared to continue investing in the club, finding an extra £1/2 million is not easy for any business with our income. I wonder if it also gives more flexibility in arranging the stadium seating zones and the ability to bring in a different set of prices for different areas. Andrew1963
  • Score: 8

1:18pm Fri 14 Mar 14

rayman01 says...

HornetJJ wrote:
A four sided stadium, a settled squad and hopefully a good end to this season will set us up nicely for next year.
Let's just try and enjoy the end of season as no pressure now. Hope Sannino sticks around and learns some pidgin English. We need to add more stamina to see out games, better on field discipline and greater consistency. Four sided ground important to improve the atmosphere. Could be good next season. Luv the Horns!
[quote][p][bold]HornetJJ[/bold] wrote: A four sided stadium, a settled squad and hopefully a good end to this season will set us up nicely for next year.[/p][/quote]Let's just try and enjoy the end of season as no pressure now. Hope Sannino sticks around and learns some pidgin English. We need to add more stamina to see out games, better on field discipline and greater consistency. Four sided ground important to improve the atmosphere. Could be good next season. Luv the Horns! rayman01
  • Score: 8

1:55pm Fri 14 Mar 14

WE8BR says...

If the pitch is flat (assumption) why will new stand slant from north to south? Surely it will be built flat as per pitch? I now rous is on ****, but why the new east stand? Just curious, great its being built and cant wait to be at a full house vic next season! U horns!!!
If the pitch is flat (assumption) why will new stand slant from north to south? Surely it will be built flat as per pitch? I now rous is on ****, but why the new east stand? Just curious, great its being built and cant wait to be at a full house vic next season! U horns!!! WE8BR
  • Score: -9

2:05pm Fri 14 Mar 14

HornetJJ says...

WE8BR wrote:
If the pitch is flat (assumption) why will new stand slant from north to south? Surely it will be built flat as per pitch? I now rous is on ****, but why the new east stand? Just curious, great its being built and cant wait to be at a full house vic next season! U horns!!!
You what?
[quote][p][bold]WE8BR[/bold] wrote: If the pitch is flat (assumption) why will new stand slant from north to south? Surely it will be built flat as per pitch? I now rous is on ****, but why the new east stand? Just curious, great its being built and cant wait to be at a full house vic next season! U horns!!![/p][/quote]You what? HornetJJ
  • Score: 7

2:19pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Goldenboy1960 says...

HornetJJ wrote:
WE8BR wrote:
If the pitch is flat (assumption) why will new stand slant from north to south? Surely it will be built flat as per pitch? I now rous is on ****, but why the new east stand? Just curious, great its being built and cant wait to be at a full house vic next season! U horns!!!
You what?
In English, the pitch gently drops towards the Rookery and always has done....
[quote][p][bold]HornetJJ[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]WE8BR[/bold] wrote: If the pitch is flat (assumption) why will new stand slant from north to south? Surely it will be built flat as per pitch? I now rous is on ****, but why the new east stand? Just curious, great its being built and cant wait to be at a full house vic next season! U horns!!![/p][/quote]You what?[/p][/quote]In English, the pitch gently drops towards the Rookery and always has done.... Goldenboy1960
  • Score: 7

2:26pm Fri 14 Mar 14

sueinspain says...

WE8BR. I understand the pitch does drop a couple of feet from the vic end to the rookery. The general lie of the land is downward from Vicarage Road to Cardiff Road.
WE8BR. I understand the pitch does drop a couple of feet from the vic end to the rookery. The general lie of the land is downward from Vicarage Road to Cardiff Road. sueinspain
  • Score: 4

3:16pm Fri 14 Mar 14

not a regular says...

I think this shows two things: firstly the Pozzos / Duxbury feel that we are in no rush to open up the stand this year - the season feels like it's fizzling out (even though I remain optimistic) and perhaps the six-game STs didn't sell as many as intended? Still, I'd have liked it to open this season and give some free tickets away to local schools for the last game.

Secondly, it also shows, in my opinion, that there are plans for the summer that will excite us in terms of ambition. Otherwise there would be no reason to increase the capacity.

Either that or the building work has delayed so much that adding 800 seats costs relatively little enough in order to save face for not being ready on time!
I think this shows two things: firstly the Pozzos / Duxbury feel that we are in no rush to open up the stand this year - the season feels like it's fizzling out (even though I remain optimistic) and perhaps the six-game STs didn't sell as many as intended? Still, I'd have liked it to open this season and give some free tickets away to local schools for the last game. Secondly, it also shows, in my opinion, that there are plans for the summer that will excite us in terms of ambition. Otherwise there would be no reason to increase the capacity. Either that or the building work has delayed so much that adding 800 seats costs relatively little enough in order to save face for not being ready on time! not a regular
  • Score: -7

7:03pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Apsley Ralph says...

Sure new season ticket prices will come out soon as always but would be nice to know details about moving in groups from current seats, how many ex East Stand fans have first refusal etc
Sure new season ticket prices will come out soon as always but would be nice to know details about moving in groups from current seats, how many ex East Stand fans have first refusal etc Apsley Ralph
  • Score: 1

7:40pm Fri 14 Mar 14

micksolly says...

First game of the season is going to be a bit special, after all these years and I for one thought we would never see it happen you orns
First game of the season is going to be a bit special, after all these years and I for one thought we would never see it happen you orns micksolly
  • Score: 8

8:04pm Fri 14 Mar 14

MainStandShambles says...

When we read news of so many clubs at our level posting such awful end of year accounts with huge losses up and down the country i, for one, am mighty glad that we're owned by such sensible business people as the Pozzos (for football anyway).

This is further good news as with the average attendance over the 15000 asked for our owners are keeping their promise.

Can anyone seriously doubt that the Pozzos are here for the long-term?
When we read news of so many clubs at our level posting such awful end of year accounts with huge losses up and down the country i, for one, am mighty glad that we're owned by such sensible business people as the Pozzos (for football anyway). This is further good news as with the average attendance over the 15000 asked for our owners are keeping their promise. Can anyone seriously doubt that the Pozzos are here for the long-term? MainStandShambles
  • Score: 15

1:44am Sat 15 Mar 14

keith5190 says...

HELP!!!!!!!! season ticket holder, supporter since 3rd round FA Cup v PNE 1950, even handy bike broght back in team coach from Gillingham, I NEED HELP!!!!! always drive from Kent until Blackpool (H) then came by train. Gagging for a pint in the Red Lion, it was F'IN shut, whats the in pub nowadays? any help appreciated. Anyone remember a Red Lion landlord by the name of Taffy Davies?
HELP!!!!!!!! season ticket holder, supporter since 3rd round FA Cup v PNE 1950, even handy bike broght back in team coach from Gillingham, I NEED HELP!!!!! always drive from Kent until Blackpool (H) then came by train. Gagging for a pint in the Red Lion, it was F'IN shut, whats the in pub nowadays? any help appreciated. Anyone remember a Red Lion landlord by the name of Taffy Davies? keith5190
  • Score: 1

9:19am Sat 15 Mar 14

bristol hornet says...

keith5190 wrote:
HELP!!!!!!!! season ticket holder, supporter since 3rd round FA Cup v PNE 1950, even handy bike broght back in team coach from Gillingham, I NEED HELP!!!!! always drive from Kent until Blackpool (H) then came by train. Gagging for a pint in the Red Lion, it was F'IN shut, whats the in pub nowadays? any help appreciated. Anyone remember a Red Lion landlord by the name of Taffy Davies?
Go to Harry's Bar at the Rookery End my friend.

Good beer and food plus all the latest Sky football updates.....cannot beat it for pre match entertainment.
[quote][p][bold]keith5190[/bold] wrote: HELP!!!!!!!! season ticket holder, supporter since 3rd round FA Cup v PNE 1950, even handy bike broght back in team coach from Gillingham, I NEED HELP!!!!! always drive from Kent until Blackpool (H) then came by train. Gagging for a pint in the Red Lion, it was F'IN shut, whats the in pub nowadays? any help appreciated. Anyone remember a Red Lion landlord by the name of Taffy Davies?[/p][/quote]Go to Harry's Bar at the Rookery End my friend. Good beer and food plus all the latest Sky football updates.....cannot beat it for pre match entertainment. bristol hornet
  • Score: 1

9:45am Sat 15 Mar 14

keith5190 says...

bristol hornet wrote:
keith5190 wrote:
HELP!!!!!!!! season ticket holder, supporter since 3rd round FA Cup v PNE 1950, even handy bike broght back in team coach from Gillingham, I NEED HELP!!!!! always drive from Kent until Blackpool (H) then came by train. Gagging for a pint in the Red Lion, it was F'IN shut, whats the in pub nowadays? any help appreciated. Anyone remember a Red Lion landlord by the name of Taffy Davies?
Go to Harry's Bar at the Rookery End my friend.

Good beer and food plus all the latest Sky football updates.....cannot beat it for pre match entertainment.
Thanks BR
[quote][p][bold]bristol hornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]keith5190[/bold] wrote: HELP!!!!!!!! season ticket holder, supporter since 3rd round FA Cup v PNE 1950, even handy bike broght back in team coach from Gillingham, I NEED HELP!!!!! always drive from Kent until Blackpool (H) then came by train. Gagging for a pint in the Red Lion, it was F'IN shut, whats the in pub nowadays? any help appreciated. Anyone remember a Red Lion landlord by the name of Taffy Davies?[/p][/quote]Go to Harry's Bar at the Rookery End my friend. Good beer and food plus all the latest Sky football updates.....cannot beat it for pre match entertainment.[/p][/quote]Thanks BR keith5190
  • Score: 0

10:53pm Sat 15 Mar 14

lutondown says...

bristol hornet wrote:
buckler wrote:
Can't Wait.. another stand full of mongs!
Takes one to recognise one scummer!

Keep jogging back up the M1 to your beloved non league team!
Ha you're long overdue that promised visit to the salon reverend ilovbas...
[quote][p][bold]bristol hornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]buckler[/bold] wrote: Can't Wait.. another stand full of mongs![/p][/quote]Takes one to recognise one scummer! Keep jogging back up the M1 to your beloved non league team![/p][/quote]Ha you're long overdue that promised visit to the salon reverend ilovbas... lutondown
  • Score: 1

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