Cobblers chairman David Cardoza has spoken of an ‘exciting time of change’ for the club after unveiling new artist impressions of the redevelopment work to the east and west stands at Sixfields.
Cardoza unveiled the artwork at Sixfields on Friday, and as well as talking of his excitement at the development, went on to explain the thinking behind what the club is trying to achieve.
There has been criticism from some supporters about the decision to not increase capacity at the stadium by as much as was originally stated, and also how long things appear to be taking.
But Cardoza insists this redevelopment is just the beginning, and that more can, and will, be done in the future if the team’s fortunes improve on the pitch.
“We are as frustrated as supporters that these images have taken such a long time to be ready,” said Cardoza.
“However this has not held anything up as builders work from plans not graphics, and we thank supporters for their trust and patience.
“It is an exciting time of change for the club and we have worked really hard to ensure that the income generated from this redevelopment helps lift the club’s infrastructure on to another level.
“The redevelopment will bring increased capacity, but there was no point in sacrificing some facilities to build extra seats.
“There was no business sense in building extra seats if the club wasn’t going to able to generate the income to deliver a team that was capable of filling them, either now or in the future.
“This initial redevelopment is about improving the club’s infrastructure and giving the club solid, sustainable income streams, both on matchday and non-matchdays meaning that ultimately the club won’t have to rely on the ups and downs of football fortune or the support of any one individual.
“We have plans where we can increase the capacity again if and when we are as successful as we all hope we will be.
“The club won’t be held back by that.”
A club statement also outlined exactly what supporters can expect from the redevelopment.
It read: “The new east stand will house a large supporters concourse area including an indoor village for fans which will contain an interactive family fun area for supporters, bars, food outlets and the Legends Lounge.
“There will also be a commercially operated gym as part of the stand.
“Seating capacity in the new east stand will increase from around 1,800 to 3,100, and an elevated wheelchair supporters viewing area is in front of the glassed doors.
“There will be a small number of seats that have a restricted view of certain parts of the pitch in the new stand, but these will be less than the impression shows.
“The west stand will see the luxury suites added, with the club’s hotel and conference centre being built adjacent to the stand.
“A planning application for the conference centre will be made in September and the club anticipate this being operational within six months, possibly less.
“Also included in the new west stand is a new club shop, new club offices, new dressing rooms for home and away teams and new changing facilities for the match officials, a new office for the manager, a players’ gymnasium, a players’ medical area, an away supporters’ bar, a home supporters’ bar and a media room.
“Some of these facilities will not be operational for the start of the season, but will become operational when the club’s conference centre opens.
“Other, general improvements to the stadium include new, improved floodlights, new seats in all stands and a new, improved PA system.”