Sweet: Power Court would be a perfect World Cup venue
Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet believes that a new stadium at Power Court would be the perfect venue to stage a World Cup game in 2030 should England win the bid to host the tournament.
Prime Minister Theresa May has backed the idea of the UK hosting the World Cup in 12 years’ time, with the FAs of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern and Ireland discussing the idea before deciding whether to launch a joint campaign.
The Hatters are hoping to have their Power Court stadium up and running well in advance of that date with a capacity of up to 23,000 and on the chances of hosting a game at the venue, Sweet said: “It’s about time the home of football hosted another World Cup – it would be great to see.
“As to whether Luton could take part by being one of the host cities, absolutely, yes it could.
“Technically, as one of the most modern stadiums in the country, Power Court has been designed in a very flexible way enabling us to temporarily expand it for large events, if ever we had the opportunity.
“This would also mean it could scale back to its optimum capacity for the club’s continued use without worrying about the legacy being a burden or Luton Town thinking about how to fill thousands of empty seats every week.
“We’d have no waste.”
When asked how much it would mean for the club and town to have a game of such magnitude on their doorstep, Sweet continued: “It would be huge without a doubt, in terms of economic impact, aspiration, opportunity, image; it would be another game-changer for us.
“Economically, it has been reported that this summer’s World Cup event added over £30bn to Russia’s GDP overall.
“A small share of that would greatly positively impact every single one of us, businesses, retailers, the airport, we’d also have Newlands Park too.
“But it’s not just about our economy, it would be much more than that.
“Luton would be seen as being an aspirational and ambitious town in a way we could show our hospitality and culture which too many outsiders don’t see.
“For one of the UK’s most multi-cultural places it’s very befitting that it could become a stage for the globe’s most multi-cultural event.”
Sweet also thinks that the ground at Power Court would be the perfect surroundings for the biggest football tournament on the planet, saying: “There won’t be many stadia that will be as well-located or technically-facilitated as ours.
“It’ll be unique in design to many other stadia too – it won’t be a soulless bowl. We’re in a perfect position to do so.
“Not just with a brand new stadium situated within a vibrant, modern environment of Power Court that would already contain a music venue and a fan-zone, but Luton is very well positioned with an airport that will have an increased capacity, one of the best rail routes in and out of London, great road links, ample hotel rooms.”
To even stand a chance of hosting such a game, then Town will need their stadium plans are passed by the council, which it is hoped will happen in the not too distant future.
Once that happens, Sweet believes the town could really put itself on the map, adding: “We need our planning application approved first, naturally.
“But ultimately, the people of Luton would decide if they wanted to take part or not and I don’t think their ambitions for our town would disappoint.
“If Luton wanted to host the greatest show in world, Luton Town’s venue could deliver that.
“And a lot of things can happen over the next few years.
“We could hopefully even be delivering an elite venue for a city that has already received city cultural status, who knows?”