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New Bournemouth stadium: Plans to leave Vitality Stadium

AFC Bournemouth owner Bill Foley has outlined his intentions to move the Premier League club into a new stadium by the summer of 2027.

The Cherries have the second-smallest stadium in England's top-flight with a current capacity of 11,307 at the Vitality Stadium. This is only larger than newly promoted Luton Town's Kenilworth Road, which holds 10,265.

So, what will the capacity of a new Bournemouth stadium be? What else will the plans involve except capacity expansion?

New Bournemouth stadium: The key details

  • The planned completion date is the summer of 2027.
  • The new Bournemouth stadium will have a capacity of 18,500.
  • Bournemouth owner Bill Foley told The Athletic he expects the total cost of a Bournemouth new stadium to be £80-90 million.
  • The Cherries are also building a new training centre, costing £32 million, which will be completed in October 2024.

History of the Vitality Stadium

Widely considered one of the worst stadiums in the Premier League, the Vitality Stadium replaced the old Dean Court, which had stood for 91 years. It has been AFC Bournemouth's home since 2001.

Vitality Stadium, home of Bournemouth | New Bournemouth stadium
Vitality Stadium, home of Bournemouth | Photo by Icon Sport

New Bournemouth stadium capacity

Talking to The Athletic in May 2023, Bournemouth owner Bill Foley said: “The current plan envisions a capacity of 18,500, which may not seem like a big change, but it will provide proper facilities, good restaurants, and be a significant upgrade.”

When will the Bournemouth new stadium be completed?

Bill Foley has stated a hopeful completion date of the summer of 2027, but there are some hurdles to overcome.

The new Bournemouth stadium will be constructed on the land currently occupied by the Bournemouth training facility. So, the club needs to complete its move to a new training complex at Canford Magna to then start construction on a new stadium. The hope is this will be done in October 2024, giving the Cherries eight months to get plans for the new stadium solidified and approved by the local council if they are to do this as quickly as possible.

There is one other issue. Bournemouth don't actually own the Vitality Stadium. When the club had major financial troubles in 2005, they sold the stadium and leased it back. However, there is what's called a ‘sporting covenant' on the land at Dean Court, meaning the land can only be used for sporting purposes. Effectively, the land has to have a stadium on it. It can't be knocked down in favour of new houses.

So, Foley expects the current landlors Structadene to come to a reasonable agreement with Bournemouth, who have only five years left on the lease at the Vitality.

“The clock is ticking,” he said. “We know they'll see us the stadium at a reasonable price, and that price gets more reasonable the longer we wait.

“If we move out, I guess they could go back to the council and say ‘We’ll tear it down and build affordable housing’, which is fine but that could take a while, so time is on our side.”

Harry Robinson

A freelance writer and broadcaster, Harry has worked for or featured in/on Manchester United, FourFourTwo, The Independent, The Manchester Mill, UEFA, United We Stand and many others. He's the author of The Men Who Made Manchester United and hosts the Manchester United Weekly Podcast and United Through Time. A Stretford End season ticket holder, Harry travels around Europe to watch his team.

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