Ipswich Town building for Premier League future

Work taking place at Portman Road below Ipswich Town signImage source, Luke Deal/BBC
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Ipswich Town fans will experience a revamped Portman Road when the Premier League season starts

  • Published

Ipswich Town fans will have to wait another nine weeks before they can see Premier League stars on the pitch.

But they can already see Premier League improvements taking shape at Portman Road.

Rich Carpenter, Ipswich's head of operations, said there was a to-do list of about 30 projects to bring the stadium up to standard.

"There is an awful lot of work to bring us up to speed," he told BBC Radio Suffolk.

"We have not been in the Premier League for a while so the stadium needs to be better."

Image source, Luke Deal/BBC
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Workers are creating more space for away fans at Portman Road

Mr Carpenter said there were certain Premier League requirements the club had to meet.

Seats are being added, floodlighting is changing, media facilities are being expanded, a corridor is being extended and work is being done around the players' tunnel.

The club estimates that refurbishments - paid for by investment and the Premier League cash windfall as a result of their promotion from the Championship - will cost millions.

Image source, Luke Deal/BBC
Image caption,

Work will take place on creating a new television studio above the control room at Portman Road

Five changes fans will see:

  • Extension of the West Stand corridor and new executive lounges created

  • About 750 Cobbold Stand season ticket holders being relocated to new seats elsewhere

  • Capacity for away fans increased by 10% - close to 3,000 supporters. Mr Carpenter said more safe standing, external would be added and accessibility for fans with disabilities would be improved

  • Expansion of media facilities

  • Television changes: More than 40 camera positions created around the stadium - as opposed to the "nine or 10" Mr Carpenter said were there last season

Image source, Luke Deal/BBC
Image caption,

Mr Carpenter said people were working "very hard" behind the scenes

Mr Carpenter said Luton Town had to make similar improvements, external following their promotion 12 months ago.

Image source, Luke Deal/BBC
Image caption,

Work is under way to install new cabling around Portman Road

"Every morning I wake up I have got a bigger to do list," he said.

"[But] we will get it done in time.

"There's a lot of people behind the scenes working very hard."

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