Stoke City FC could start the expansion of the Britannia Stadium in the summer following the end of the 2012/13 season.
This is according to chairman Peter Coates who explained to The Sentinel that while there has been no formal discussion take place on the proposed start date he maintained that it may begin during the close season. However, the move hinged on whether the Potters could hold on to their Premier League status and Mr Coates stated that that goal is still very much the priority for Stoke. Once that is achieved then the club will decide on when to increase the capacity of their Britannia Stadium.
"It is very much conditional on us staying in the Premier League. That is the priority. Then, if and when we get to that position, we will look at when we can make a start, if we go ahead with the scheme," Mr Coates went on to add to the news provider.
Stoke have been playing their games at the Britannia Stadium since their move from the Victoria Ground home in 1997. It currently has a capacity for 27,740 but once the expansion is complete it will be able to house over 30,000 spectators putting it on a more even footing with other Premier League teams.
The plans include filling in the scoreboard corner which sits between the South and Seddon Stands and will add an extra 1,780 seats. The scoreboard will be moved to the opposite corner and placed above a new television which will be used by the likes of Sky Sports, ITV and BBC for live broadcasts.
Stoke have previously noted the need for an expansion as they regularly fill their stadium and have had an average attendance of above 26,000 for their previous three seasons in the Premier League.
On the pitch the team is currently flying high in eighth place under the guidance of manager Tony Pulis. They are yet to be beaten at the Britannia and managed to avoid defeat in their last home match against Southampton thanks to a last-minute, 30-yard half volley equaliser from Cameron Jerome to give them a 3-3 draw against the Premier League newcomers.
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