Portsmouth chief reveals the North Stand vision at centre of Michael Eisner's ambitious Fratton Park plans

Andy Cullen has unveiled his North Stand vision to unlock Fratton Park’s ‘greatest potential’.

Saturday, 19th June 2021, 12:30 pm
The North Stand, as pictured in December 2015, has been identified as crucial to Tornante's Fratton Park vision. Picture: Joe Pepler
The North Stand, as pictured in December 2015, has been identified as crucial to Tornante's Fratton Park vision. Picture: Joe Pepler

However, beyond the next three years, the construction of a new North Stand is firmly on the agenda.

The Blues have spent the past few years buying up land around that area of Fratton Park while already own the existing car park.

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A new North Stand could potentially bolster capacity, introduce executive boxes, add conferencing facilities and provide hotel facilities.

And, according to Pompey’s new chief executive, it’s an ambitious project ranking high on Tornante’s wishlist.

Cullen told The News: ‘I am sure everyone is aware of the dialogue that’s going on in terms of how we can redevelop the other sides of Fratton Park, particularly the North stand.

‘That’s where we have the greatest potential to add capacity and that can then take us beyond 20,000.

‘It is probably sometime in the future because there’s a lot of historical issues which need to be resolved and a lot of work which needs to be done with various stakeholders to get to that particular stage.

‘But that’s the vision.

‘These first three years are going to be all about meeting these safety requirements and getting the capacity up to 20,000.

‘It’s impossible to give you a timeline (for the North Stand). It would be wrong to do that because we’re in a situation with so many parties involved, so many hurdles to overcome, before we can get to the stage where we can give absolute certainty.

‘But, be reassured, it’s a project which is very much on the agenda, and how we can make that work, how we can redevelop the land and everything else behind it to create something really, really special around the city and the area.

‘However, it’s no good increasing your capacity really, really high and having big crowds when the infrastructure around the stadium cannot cope.

‘That’s what is currently causing a bit of angst in terms of how we can resolve those issues.

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‘That’s something to understand and work on – and, hopefully, everyone can work in a collaborative way to achieve the best for the city and the football club.’

During Cullen’s time at Norwich, Carrow Road’s South Stand was replaced by the new 8,000-seat Jarrold Stand in 2003.

While, as executive director at MK Dons for 12 years, he oversaw the League One ground establishing itself as a multi-functional venue.

And he believes such elements can be utilised in Fratton Park’s rebuild.

He added: ‘The commercial team here is fantastic in the way they have already built up some really good, solid partnerships, but they are hampered by lack of hospitality space. There are no executive boxes, for example.

‘Yet there is a trend of people wanting to use match-day hospitality in many different ways, so we have to monitor the market, making sure we design those facilities for what the future holds in store.

‘Particularly with that North Stand development, that is where the opportunity really lies.’

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