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RFU sets sights on Twickenham Stadium renovation

RFU sets sights on Twickenham Stadium renovation

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has set its sights on a comprehensive renovation project for Twickenham Stadium starting in 2027, firmly rejecting the notion of relocating English rugby union to Wembley Stadium.

In a board meeting last March, the RFU considered purchasing a 50 percent stake in Wembley from the Football Association, but ultimately decided against pursuing the idea without formally approaching the FA.

“The RFU is focussed on continuing to develop Twickenham,” stated an official RFU release.

The organisation has dismissed previous suggestions of exploring alternative venue options and is now focusing on enhancing Twickenham’s facilities. Major stadium renovations are not expected to commence before 2027.

A detailed 69-page document titled ‘Twickenham Stadium Masterplan Programme’ has been circulated, outlining a comprehensive revitalisation project estimated at £663 million. However, the report acknowledges that such a massive undertaking may not be financially feasible. Instead, essential renovations could be completed at a cost of around £300 million, necessitating a loan.

The proposed overhaul aims to commence between the 2027 and 2028 Six Nations tournaments to minimise disruptions, particularly in World Cup years when Twickenham’s autumn schedule is vacant.

“Our long-term masterplan for Twickenham is being developed to ensure England’s national rugby stadium stays up to date, is compliant with all relevant regulations, provides the best possible experiences for fans and continues to generate revenue for reinvestment into the community and professional game,” the RFU statement affirmed.

Over the next 12 months, efforts will be focused on refining the design plans and evaluating necessary interventions within the existing stadium footprint over the next decade.

While no new redevelopment plans have been approved by the RFU board, all potential options will be thoroughly assessed as part of the long-term strategy. The board and council members will be extensively consulted and engaged in the decision-making process, including discussions on potential funding sources.

In accordance with the RFU constitution, any borrowing exceeding £150 million would require input and approval from council members.

Image credit: Ed Watts

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