The world will finally get a closer look at Luton Town’s Kenilworth Road stadium on Friday 1 September when the Hatters host West Ham United, following the completion of their redevelopment of the Bobbers Stand.
The stadium, which has been the club’s home since 1905, required significant development after the club’s promotion in May to comply with Premier League regulations.
In recent months, Kenilworth Road has attracted plenty of attention from fellow football fans for its tradition, charm, and proximity to and positioning within the residential area.
In particular, the Oak Road Stand has given visiting supporters plenty of photo opportunities, with the stand built around a block of houses and its only entrance being under some residences and through the back garden of a local resident.
The Bobbers Stand, which had housed executive boxes as well as television gantries, was redeveloped, a project that was not completed by the date of their first home fixture against Burnley, which had to be postponed.
Last night, the stand was open and trialled in Luton’s EFL Cup clash against Gillingham, operating at 75 per cent capacity after receiving an interim safety certificate.
At the point of their promotion earlier this year, Kenilworth Road had a capacity of 10,356, which would have made it the Premier League’s lowest-ever stadium capacity.
However, after the successful redevelopment, they will marginally surpass the 11,307 capacity of AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, according to the club’s CEO Gary Sweet.
Ahead of the stand's opening, Sweet spoke proudly about the club’s recent growth and the continuing redevelopment of their historic stadium.
“The cup tie and test event in the Bobbers represents a significant landmark in the development of this side of Kenilworth Road ahead of the planning for our first home game in the Premier League next week.
“Given the huge demands and the time and space constraints placed under us, we appreciate supporters’ patience in waiting for information.”
Meanwhile, the club’s ambitions to move to their new 26,000-seat Power Court Stadium continue to progress, with a target for completion of 2026.