I've tried to make it conform to Newstairs' proposal, change the title obviously if it isn't fully compatible.
Link.Lord’s takes on massive facelift with £200 million masterplan
Lord’s, the most famous cricket ground in the world, is to be radically redeveloped over the next ten years at a cost of more than £200 million. The proposed masterplan will extend to the replacement of five stands. A list of internationally renowned architects is being drawn up this week to submit plans for buildings that will complete a transformation of the venue, apart from the listed Victorian pavilion.
The initial estimated sum for the venture, which has been devised to take in retractable floodlights and possibly a hotel, a new academy that might be sited where the grounds-man’s house stands at present, an underground real tennis court and the repositioning of the museum, was £100 million.
That has had to be revised on account of plans to rebuild the Allen and Warner Stands, sited either side of the pavilion and constructed in 1935 and 1958 respectively; the Tavern Stand in front of St John’s Wood Road, constructed in 1967, and the Compton and Edrich Stands at the Nursery End, built only 17 years ago.
Building on this scale has been attempted only in piecemeal stages in the past. Each stand would take 18 months to construct, the plan being that only one of the five would be out of bounds during the season. The capacity of the ground would then increase by about 10,000 to 38,500, still less than some foremost Test venues in the world but which would provide considerable additional revenue.
MCC, which owns Lord’s, is reckoning on taking 12 months to obtain planning permission. Funding will come from the sale of 2,600 debentures in the Mound Stand and Grandstand - 1,000 remain at a cost of between £8,000 and £12,000 for a seat for eight years - as well as from the expected building of apartments inside Wellington Road, overlooking the Nursery End. Knight Frank, the estate agent, sells such prime residential space in St John’s Wood for sums in excess of £2,000 per square foot. Negotiations are continuing with RLP, a firm of property developers that has acquired this strip of land from Network Rail. “We want to come to an agreement with them,” David Batts, who is in charge of the redevelopment, said.
“We do not want to create a stadium. And we have to be mindful of how many people will be able to walk around the ground during a Test match to buy food and drink. The walkways can be congested already, so we have to work out how many boxes and bars we put into the stands to enable spectators to eat in the stands, which is particularly necessary for the short Twenty20 matches.
“Recently I visited the covered Staples Centre in Los Angeles, where ice hockey and basketball are played, and I want to send some of our staff there so as to help improve the standard of our fast-food catering.”
MCC’s plans come at a time when bids have to be declared for staging agreements for Test cricket from 2010, when work will commence on the stands, subject to planning permission from Westminster City Council and the backing of members, who will be called to a special general meeting.
MCC is particularly concerned that it does not lose its second, profitable Test match each summer now that it faces strong competition from revamped venues such as Sophia Gardens in Cardiff and the Rose Bowl in Southampton.