Brentford Community Stadium

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Brentford Community Stadium
Brentford Community Stadium 2020.jpg
View from the exterior of the stadium (2020)
Full nameBrentford Community Stadium
LocationLionel Road, Brentford
Public transitLondon Underground Kew Bridge
OperatorBrentford F.C. and London Irish
Capacity17,250[4]
Record attendance0 (Brentford F.C. - Wycombe Wanderers F.C., 6th September 2020)
Field size105 x 68 m (association football)
110 x 66m (rugby union)
SurfaceDesso Grassmaster
Construction
Broke ground25 March 2017
BuiltSpring 2018–Summer 2020
OpenedAugust 2020[1][2]
Construction cost£71 million
ArchitectAFL Architects[3]
Tenants
Brentford F.C. (2020–present)
London Irish (2020–present)

Brentford Community Stadium is a stadium in Brentford, West London that is the new home of Brentford F.C. and London Irish rugby club from 2020. It has a capacity of 17,250 and will be used in both Association Football and Rugby Union matches. The new stadium is at the heart of plans to regenerate the surrounding area, including new homes and commercial opportunities.

Background[edit]

In October 2002, following several years of speculation about a possible relocation, Brentford Football Club announced plans to move to a 20,000-capacity stadium near Kew Bridge. This included an ambitious monorail proposal, which was later dropped from the scheme. After several years of uncertainty, the project was suddenly brought back to public attention in late 2007 when the club announced that it had secured an option on the site.[5]

This was followed up in February 2008 when a partnership deal with Barratt Homes to develop the site was announced.[6]

The club's plan to move to a new community stadium took a massive step forward when, on 28 June 2012, the club bought the 7.6-acre (31,000 m2) site in Lionel Road, Brentford, from Barratt Homes who had originally acquired the site in January 2008. The club aimed to build a 20,000-capacity stadium on the land in time for the 2016–17 season, with the option of extending to 25,000 seats. In December 2013 the club was given approval for the new stadium by Hounslow Council with further approval sought and received from the Mayor of London and the government in early 2014.[7]

Attention then shifted to acquiring the remaining land, required for the enabling development of flats, and completing the development agreement. A Compulsory Purchase Order was approved for the remaining land in the summer of 2014[8] and although negotiations continued, a number of objections to the CPO resulted in a further hearing in September 2015.[9] The development agreement was signed with Willmott Dixon in December 2014.[10] The CPO was approved in April 2016 and the process completed on 1 September 2016.[11]

On 15 August 2016, rugby union club London Irish announced that discussions were ongoing with the borough for a move to the new stadium. Irish played in Reading, Berkshire but are moving back to the capital.[12] An amended application to use the stadium for rugby in addition to football was passed on 9 February 2017, effectively allowing London Irish to move to the new stadium from its opening season.[13] It was later confirmed they would move to Brentford from its opening season[14][15]

Work on the new stadium officially started on 24 March 2017 with site clearance and preliminary works.[16] The main works began in spring 2018.[17]

Opening[edit]

On 30 August 2020, Brentford confirmed that the stadium was complete and ready to host matches.[18]

The first football match at the stadium took place on 1 September 2020 when Brentford drew 2–2 against Oxford United in a pre-season friendly.[19] Sergi Canos scored both Brentford goals to give the home side a 2–0 lead before Oxford United staged a late comeback. The first competitive match took place on 6 September when Brentford hosted Wycombe Wanderers in the first round of the EFL Cup.[20] The match finished 1–1 after normal time, with Brentford's Ethan Pinnock opening the scoring. It took a penalty shoot-out to decide the match, which Brentford won 4–2.

Location[edit]

The stadium is located on a 7.6 acres (31,000 m2) site off Lionel Road, adjacent to Kew Bridge railway station. It stands in the middle of a triangle of railway lines, predominantly used for freight. Hounslow Council has been pushing a proposal for an extension of Crossrail to Hounslow via Kew Bridge, using one of these freight lines. The outline document suggested a station could be built to serve the Lionel Road site. The proposal is unlikely to make it into the first phase of the Crossrail project, but might be a later addition to the route.[21] The nearest London Underground Tube station is Gunnersbury, served on both the District Line and London Overground.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Brentford FC move in to new home". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  2. ^ "Brentford FC to move home in summer 2020 as new stadium nears completion". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Brentford Community Stadium". AFL Architects. 20 June 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  4. ^ https://newstadium.brentfordfc.com/
  5. ^ "Brentford given new stadium boost". BBC News. 7 December 2007.
  6. ^ "BRENTFORD FOOTBALL CLUB AND BARRATT HOMES TEAM UP TO ACQUIRE LAND FOR NEW COMMUNITY STADIUM – Brentford – News – Latest News – Latest News". Archived from the original on 29 April 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Brentford Football Club given Lionel Road stadium go-ahead". BBC News. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  8. ^ "Compulsory purchase plans approved to secure Brentford stadium site". Get West London. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Public inquiry over Brentford FC stadium set for September". Get West London. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Brentford FC and Willmott Dixon sign Development Agreement for Brentford Community Stadium". Brentford FC. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  11. ^ "News | Brentford Community Stadium". Brentford Community Stadium. Brentford FC Ltd. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  12. ^ Hyde, Nathan. "London Irish could soon leave Madejski Stadium". Get Reading. Trinity Mirror Southern. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Approval for rugby". Brentford Community Stadium. Retrieved 10 February 2017..
  14. ^ "Back in Town — The Irish are Returning to London!". London Irish. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  15. ^ "London Irish to move to Brentford Community Stadium in 2020". 18 December 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  16. ^ "Work Underway". Brentford Community Stadium. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Brentford new groundbreaking stadium: one year on". Pitchcare. 7 April 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  18. ^ "Brentford FC move in to new home". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Oxford United the visitors tomorrow for first game at new stadium". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  20. ^ "Opening competitive fixture at new stadium chosen for TV coverage". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  21. ^ "CORRIDOR 7: CROSSRAIL TO HOUNSLOW – A Proposal by the London Borough of Hounslow in Response to Consultation by Cross London Rail Links Ltd" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2019.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′26.97″N 0°17′19.32″W / 51.4908250°N 0.2887000°W / 51.4908250; -0.2887000