After 86 years at Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace Football Club could be returning to its original home at the National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace Park.
The club, which has come under new ownership after going into administration last year, unveiled plans to move to a new 40,000 seater stadium at a press conference yesterday.
The building costs of the new stadium are expected to be up to £50 million. The ambitious proposal includes a new indoor aquatic centre, new community athletics facility and a reconfigured indoor sports complex within the existing structure. The principle funding will arise from the sale and redevelopment of Selhurst Park while the main income will be generated by ticket and merchandise sales, the club said.
The capacity of the stadium is dependent on the future success of the team, the club said, and may open with a reduced 25,000. Crystal Palace are currently struggling near the bottom of the Championship.
Despite the current state of the club, fans have welcomed the relocation plan. Having the right structure and building could be a more important step than gaining promotion to the Premier League, fans said yesterday.
Lifelong fan Philip Solomon, whose great grandfather played for the club at Crystal Palace Park, said he is totally confident in the managing and business skills of the new owners. “You have to think positively if you’re going to be a success,” he said. “That way, when the success happens you’re ready for it. Otherwise you can’t capitalise.
Fortunately we have owners here that are all proven businessmen”.
The project is expected to bring new life to Crystal Palace park and give south London a new focal point for development.
‘The project will bring significant regeneration to the surrounding areas of the stadium which are quite tired. It really could do with some improvement’, said the club’s Co-Chairman Steve Parish.