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Luton Town dealt Kenilworth Road blow ahead of Premier League debut

Long before the end of last season there was a lot of chatter on social media around Luton Town and their Kenilworth Road ground; most of that focussed on a ‘bantering’ of “this ground could be a Premier League stadium next season”.

Well, that prospect became a reality as Luton won promotion from the Championship but now the wait to actually see Kenilworth Road as a top flight stadium will have to wait a little longer. News broke today of the Hatters requesting their first home game of the campaign was postponed and that has now been confirmed by the Premier League.

Why can't Luton play at Kenilworth Road?

In a nutshell, Luton have been forced to postpone their inaugural Premier League home game because Kenilworth Road isn’t ready. The club have invested big money over the summer to power through a list of stadium “must do’s” to be compliant with English top flight regulations but, essentially, there is now major concern that those improvements won’t be made in time for August 19th when they were due to host fellow promoted side Burnley.

Despite the cancellation, Luton have been quick to defend the situation they find themselves in. The club’s Chief Executive, Gary Sweet, has hailed the “amazing progress” and insisted the stadium changes are on schedule. The issue is that they have “no additional contingency” in the development timeline meaning one delay would blow that opening game. That meant a “cast-iron” promise couldn’t be given to Premier League bosses.

The good news here is that it does look like only being one game. That means Luton’s first home match of the campaign will be against West Ham on September 1st. Of course, their curtain raiser, which is away from home against Brighton on August 12th will still go ahead.

How did Luton get here?

Luton Town have been a team on a positive trajectory over the last few years where things on the pitch have been concerned. Their stadium, Kenilworth Road, however, has been somewhat neglected over the years.

Kenilworth Road

The stadium, which has a capacity of just 10,356, is filled with character and old school charm hence the fanfare around their Premier League debut but, in reality, it’s not close to being a top flight ground. That’s not new news though. In fact, the club hierarchy have had their eyes on a stadium relocation for a number of years with a move to “Power Court” still very much the plan.

The problem Luton face though is that they’ve overlooked the here and now where their stadium is concerned. Winning promotion to the Premier League is a money spinning and historic achievement for the club but it comes at a price. Top flight stadiums are held to a much higher standard. As such, Luton have invested £10m since May to deliver key improvements such as food lighting enhancements, media suites and an improved WiFi service around the ground – much of which is needed to facilitate the mass television coverage that comes with Premier League football. That has proved just a touch too much to land in time for an August start. 1


Ash Munson

Ash specialises in the SEO content writing niche with a focus on sports - predominantly football. His journey as a sports journalist has seen him provide regular articles for a host of online publications including Colossus Bets, Football Whispers, Pundit Feed and many more.

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