£200 million redevelopment for Lord's
A report in today's Times says that the MCC is planning to spend up to £200 million on redeveloping Lord's over the next decade. Every stand, other than the listed 1890 pavilion, the new Grandstand and Mound Stand, would be replaced.
Initial plans were costed at £100 million, but these have now been expanded to include rebuilding of the Warner Stand (1958), the Compton and Edrich Stands (1991), the Tavern (1967) and the Allen Stand (1935). The changes are likely to boost the capacity to between 38,000 and 39,000, still less than half of some of the biggest grounds in the world, but still by far the largest in England. Other changes could include an underground Real Tennis court, an academy, floodlights and a hotel.
The report added that leading architects were being approached, though even after their appointments, obtaining planning consent would take at least a year.
Funding for the project would be raised from debentures and possibly by building apartments on the northern perimeter at the far end of the Nursery Ground. That would probably signal the end of the Nursery, which has increasingly been eroded by a series of developments, as a cricket pitch.
"We do not want to create a stadium," David Batts, who is in charge of the redevelopment, told The Times. "We have to be mindful of how many people will be able to walk around the ground during a Test match to buy food and drink. The walkways can be congested already, so we have to work out how many boxes and bars we put into the stands to enable spectators to eat in the stands, which is particularly necessary for the short Twenty20 matches."
The plans are part of the MCC's attempt to move forward, aware that there is pressure on the ECB to take one of its two annual Tests away and award it to another venue.