Town CEO insists Power Court will be a 'very, very unique' stadium for the Hatters

Detailed plan expected for the new ground in the first half of 2022

By Mike Simmonds
Friday, 31st December 2021, 8:55 am
How Luton's new ground at Power Court could look - pic: Leslie Jones Architecture
How Luton's new ground at Power Court could look - pic: Leslie Jones Architecture

Luton chief executive Gary Sweet has insisted that the club's new home at Power Court will be a ‘very, very unique’ stadium.

The Hatters originally received planning permission for the new ground back in January 2019, but have seen the development delayed by first Brexit and then the coronavirus pandemic.

2020 Developments, Town's property arm, had fresh outline proposals submitted for the site, without the stadium included, that were unanimously passed by a Luton Council development management committee in October.

Luton also announced before Christmas they had sold their Newlands Park site, which had been bought for around £10m, to an investment fund advised by Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI) and the UK developer Wrenbridge, which will provide much of the finance for the stadium.

Sweet confirmed that a detailed plan for Power Court would be revealed next year, and when speaking to BBC Three Counties about what supporters could expect to see when made public, he said: “It will be very very unique.

“It’s fair to say there are elements of other football stadiums around the country where we think ‘I like that a little bit,’ but there isn’t a single football stadium out there we look at and think, ‘we’d love one of those.’

“We want our own, our own stadium with our own characteristics, we want to take some of the intensity that we've got at Kenilworth Road over and that’s a difficult thing to do, but we really want to carry that over.

“Kenilworth Road is such a tired old girl, but it's beautiful, it's got some great, great features in that stadium and a fantastic atmosphere.”

Sweet is also hopeful that, where some new stadiums have left feeling fans disconnected from the action, that won’t happen at Power Court, as he continued: "It’s not actually about recognising the good elements and things we like about a stadium, it's also recognising the things we don't like and bringing the first and the last row as close as possible to the pitch is a huge characteristic we want to include in there.

"I'm so impressed with the people we've been working with, the detail we're going through at the moment is so impressive, and it does take time, you can't microwave this thing.

“We've been waiting since 1957, the first time it was muted we were going to move, so when we do move it's got to be right.

"It's not about rushing this, it's about getting it right, but we do want to get into that new place.”

With Town mid-table in the Championship, there have been talks of a push for the play-offs in the second half of the campaign, although with a fixture backlog to clear after a Christmas without football, that could now be a tall order.

Should the Hatters achieve the unthinkable and actually reach the Premier League, Sweet believes the club would be able to take the step up, adding: “A lot of work we'd have to do, as most clubs that are in the Championship would, but the pitch is the same size, so we'd play.

“I'd love the idea of Man City coming to the away dressing room at Kenilworth Road, I really would like that, it would be a fantastic thing.

“People say when’s the ideal time to get to the Premier League and surely it's when we move to Power Court.

“Obviously the ideal time is as soon as possible, whether that's at Kenilworth Road or Power Court, and it would be beautiful if we had our last season at Kenilworth Road in the Premier League.

“We're not ready yet for the Premier League, but we could be in a year or two, so that is obviously our adjective, that's our aim and we will be going there, but we'll take it when it com