Sweet hails 'miraculous' efforts to upgrade Kenilworth Road as Hatters list new features for home fans
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Luton chief executive Gary Sweet has hailed the ‘miraculous’ efforts the club have undertaken in order to get Kenilworth Road ready for a first game of the season this evening.
With the Hatters winning promotion to the Premier League last term, a £12-13m upgrade was needed to ensure the ground was ready to host top flight football, including rebuilding the Bobbers Stand, as Town were given under three months in which to complete it.
They have somehow done so ahead of their Carabao Cup second round tie with Gillingham that kicks off at 7.45pm this evening, as speaking to the club’s official website, Sweet said: “The last 13 weeks since Wembley have gone by in a flash.
"The work undertaken around the ground has been nothing short of miraculous.
“We have worked around the clock in order to get Kenilworth Road into the shape it is to welcome you tonight.
"There will be operational snags here and there, and tonight areas which you will be accustomed to using will be unavailable and in these situations we ask for your patience and understanding.
“However, while it has been a necessity to upgrade facilities for our friends in the media, we have also invested in amenities for supporters in order to enhance their matchday experience and to compensate for the changes.
“Our thanks go to all residents and staff who have endured the last three months. Most importantly come and enjoy your evening.”
The club have also noted the main changes that supporters will face, as they are listed below.
Access in and around the ground
- The biggest change you will notice is on your approach to the Kenilworth Road end where a new concourse awaits with a new ticket office and food and drink stalls.
- Beech Path remains open for access pre-match as usual.
- Fans who have tickets for the test event inside the Bobbers Stand can only access this area from the turnstiles on Beech Path.
- Supporters who have tickets for the Bobbers must access the turnstiles from Ivy Road, Beech Road, Ash Road and Kenilworth Road.
- A new external stairwell outside the Kenilworth Road stand is for media access only and not for supporters’ use.
- You will notice a contractors’ compound in Kenilworth Road, storing equipment to continue work on Wednesday.
Food and drink
- The Kenilworth Road concourse will now house three new concession stands, opening at 6pm.
- These will be available to supporters pre-match and at half-time (until early in the second half) to those sitting in the main stand and Kenilworth Road end.
- New partner The Kenny Henny – offering Southern Fried Chicken, loaded chips and vegetarian options with a Hatters-themed menu, which will also be shared with an area selling beer.
- Norm’s Caribbean shack – Norm's going nowhere! He's now got a new building, which he will share with Leighton Buzzard Brewery and Kelchner, a brewery from Ampthill.
- An additional unit offering beer, soft drinks and crisps.
- The Nick Owen bar is no longer available to supporters. However, the kiosk underneath the David Preece Stand has been flipped, with service hatches facing the concourse, serving beers, hot drinks and hot food.
- Just for tonight’s match the bar underneath the Kenilworth Road end will not be open.
- All other catering areas will be open as usual.
- We apologise that the old Bobbers Club bar, situated underneath the Oak Road end will not be available to supporters for this game.
- A new matchday ticket office will be located on the Kenilworth Road concourse. This opens at 4pm for ticket collections and queries.
- The existing ticket office in Oak Road will close at 5pm as usual.
- Any supporter who has requested press gate passes for means of access can email [email protected] to reinstate this pass for the coming season
- Two new areas for disabled fans have been created to increase the capacity for supporters; one in the Oak Road end for away supporters, plus one underneath the David Preece stand.
- Supporters requiring audio sets for commentary can collect headsets from the Kenilworth Road ticket office from 4pm.
- Supporters who used to collect theirs from main reception can now do so from the Oak Road ticket office.
- The club shop will open at 6pm.
- Any retail collections can be picked up from the Oak Road ticket office until 4pm and then at the matchday ticket office between 4-6pm before the main club shop opens.