Windsor Park's West Stand redevelopment gets approval

Approval is granted for the rebuilding of the West Stand at Windsor Park
Approval is granted for the rebuilding of the West Stand at Windsor Park

The Irish FA have received approval to rebuild the West Stand at Windsor Park.

The former Kop Stand will have a 3,400 capacity and will be open in time for Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifier against San Marino on 10 October 2016.

A refurbishment of the stand was interrupted when structural problems were highlighted during work on a neighbouring development in March.

IFA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson said the new stand will be "even better than what was there before".

Approval is granted for the rebuilding of the West Stand at Windsor Park
Approval is granted for the rebuilding of the West Stand at Windsor Park

A refurbishment of the West Stand was included in the initial plans for the redevelopment of the ground, before the identification of structural problems meant it needed to be made safe by demolition and rebuilt.

The redevelopment is being funded by DCAL and the Northern Ireland Executive and costs will be met by insurance, meaning that there is no significant impact on the project budget.

New stand will add to 'legendary atmosphere'

Nelson confirmed work on the rebuilding of the West Stand will start in the coming weeks.

"With improved sightlines, more comfort for fans and one viewing platform, the new stand will only add to the noise and the legendary atmosphere at that end of the ground," Nelson said.

"As we have seen in recent weeks, the new National Football Stadium is already a fantastic sporting arena.

"When complete, it will be the envy of many other Associations around the world and will be a modern, state-of-the-art home for football in Northern Ireland."

Northern Ireland will participate in the European Championship Finals for the first time next year with Michael O'Neill's side successful qualifying campaign culminating in a home victory against Greece last month.

The team continue their build-up to next summer's tournament in France with a friendly against Latvia on Friday 13 November at Windsor Park.

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