UPDATE: Fratton Park latest as Portsmouth's £11.5m redevelopment continues this summer

Pompey’s £11.5m Fratton Park redevelopment remains on schedule.

By Jordan Cross
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 4:55 am

And chief executive Andy Cullen has reported positive supporter feedback, from those who have been given a taste of what to expect in the North Stand next season.

But Cullen explained there are still challenges to overcome, to ensure supporters are satisfied over seating arrangements in the South Stand moving forward.

Work is continuing this summer with the upgrade ultimately seeing the capacity of Pompey’s home taken above 20,000 and facilities improved.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

Work is continuing on the South Stand this summer. Pic: Robin Jones.

Significantly, essential work is also being carried out which could have seen Fratton Park’s capacity slashed to 10,000 if it had not taken place.

The North Stand lower work will see an increase of 600 seats, with work taking place through the summer.

Many fans who sat in that section of the ground raised fears about how that hike would impact leg room.

But with Pompey keen to engage with supporters impacted, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Work is continuing on the South Stand this summer. Pic: Robin Jones.

Cullen said: ‘We’re bang on target.

‘The seats are out of the South Stand and the truss is revealed.

‘It’s a real building site at the moment, and we can’t go in there when the builders and contractors are off site.

‘But we were able to bring season-ticket holders into the north lower to check the seats they’ve been allocated are okay.

‘So people have had a sneak preview of how things look.

‘All the seats in the North Stand blocks F to K, so the right section closest to the Milton End, have been taken out.

‘We need to reprofile the concrete, so there’s a lot of work going on there.

‘We have additional seats in the north lower, so if people were split up on the first allocation we’ve been able to resolve that issue.

‘The big thing, I think, is people were very sceptical about the leg room they would get, because the equation was more seats going in with there very generous legroom before.

‘People thought they’d be really cramped and crushed up, but the reaction so far has been “wow that’s so much better than anticipated”.

‘That’s a good positive as to where we are.’

Work on the South Stand is another major focus this summer, with an entirely new seating structure installed and a focus on revitalising the Archibald Leitch truss.

The plan is for a pre-season friendly to be played which will allow Pompey to gain a safety certificate, although a request has been made for the first game of the new season to be away from PO4.

Cullen explained the work taking place on the South Stand does present different issues to overcome.

He added: ‘A big challenge for us will be the South Stand, because we’re getting less seats there.

‘That’s because of the way the hanging basket and underhang works.

‘With rows becoming profiled, people will also see a small shift in their positions, and we haven’t got the same degree of flexibility from having more seats like the north lower.

‘So that will be a real challenge to keep everyone happy, but that’s why we were determined not to sell any new season tickets in the South Stand until we’ve got everyone into a good place.’