Time to consider an increased capacity

PUBLISHED: 10:14 03 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:58 10 September 2010

Norwich City shareholders arrive for the club's annual meeting at Carrow Road. Picture: Simon Finlay

Norwich City shareholders arrive for the club's annual meeting at Carrow Road. Picture: Simon Finlay

Norwich City are to look at ways of increasing the capacity of Carrow Road. However, substantial and expensive redevelopment work will only happen should the club reach the promised land of the Premier League.

Norwich City are to look at ways of increasing the capacity of Carrow Road. However, substantial and expensive redevelopment work will only happen should the club reach the promised land of the Premier League.

City are boasting average crowds of more than 24,000, but it's a figure which has remained stable for several years now - and falls below the average for the Premier League by around 10,000.

"We do believe we could probably put another 2,000 or 3,000 seats into the existing ground," said chairman Alan Bowkett.

"We need to get into the Premier League to think about putting another 7,000 or 8,000 on the crowds."

Should City return to the top flight any time soon, then the City Stand is the one area perhaps ripe for development, although Bowkett admitted it was something of a chicken and egg situation.

"We would be thinking about looking at the City Stand and that could cost more than £15m," he said. "At the moment clearly we have not got that available. This year every Premier League club will get £40m, so there is the trade-off, there is the risk. We have to be sensible and educated in taking that risk."

However, a suggestion at last night's annual general meeting that the club might consider selling the stadium and land at Carrow Road for development and building a new stadium was dismissed.

"The economics don't work," said Bowkett. "We have looked at it and it doesn't work. When we are talking about ground expansion it is a strategic vision, it is not within our three-year plan and it would only be possible if we were in the Premier League or in and out of the Premier League. We are not going to gamble with this club. We would have to do a great deal of due diligence to investigate if we could attract 35,000 fans. If we get the football right I am confident we can solve everything else."

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