10,000 extra seats in innovative proposal May 18, 2007

MCC reveals ambitious plans for Lord's

Cricinfo staff

A restaurant, apartments and an ice rink are all plans being proposed by MCC © Martin Williamson

MCC is preparing plans to redevelop Lord's and add an additional 10,000 seats according to The Times.

Keith Bradshaw, the newly installed Australian secretary and chief executive of MCC, which owns Lord's, is keen to expand the capacity of the London ground whose space currently holds 28,500. This is dramatically short of most other grounds in the world, particularly those in Bradshaw's Australia, but the additional concern is to retain Lord's famed and unique atmosphere which, it is feared, might be lost.

"We've been shown plans that could increase the ground capacity to 35,000 or 40,000 - although that might be too many in case the character and ambience of the ground is altered and it becomes difficult for people to circulate around the ground during a match," Bradshaw told The Times.

Another of Bradshaw's innovative plans is to relocate MCC's museum, which holds the Ashes urn, to its own premises on St John's Wood Road, thus opening up a section of the perimeter wall to enable easier access to the ground. And Bradshaw also revealed that Lord's could be used for purposes other than cricket: apartments, an ice rink in winter and a restaurant are all plans being mooted.

"The outcome will be a hybrid of everything presented to us and we have to engage the members," Bradshaw said. "I am not for or against apartments and moving the museum will give the public greater access to it. We could start tours of Lord's from there."