Brentford aim to move into new Lionel Road stadium in December 2019

Lionel Road
Brentford's new stadium at Lionel Road will have a capacity of 17,250

Brentford want to be in their new stadium at Lionel Road by December 2019, says chairman Cliff Crown.

The Bees have set a move-in date for the 17,250-seat stadium after breaking ground at the west London site.

The Championship club are leaving Griffin Park, where they have been based since 1904.

"Everybody is working to a timeline and a deadline which sees the stadium completed around October 2019," Crown told BBC Radio London.

"We then have to have some test events and have the relevant certificates to play there, so we think December 2019 is very doable."

Lionel Road
The entrance to the south stand of the new Lionel Road stadium

Building work will start in April, with the stadium taking around 18 months to complete. It will mean Dean Smith's side have to change grounds in the middle of the 2019-20 season.

Crown added the club are "very hopeful" a ground-share with Premiership rugby union side London Irish will be agreed in the coming months.

Irish have already been granted a licence by Hounslow Borough Council to play at the new stadium, which will also include residential and office developments.

'Bridging the financial gap'

While Griffin Park has a capacity of 12,763 and only has room for 50 premium seats, the new stadium will be able to accommodate 2,000 people in more expensive seats.

Brentford chief executive Mark Devlin believes the move will attract new fans, turning the average home attendance from 10,000 to around 15,000, and increase club's turnover by 50%.

The main entrance to the new stadium
The main entrance to the new stadium

Although the Bees were forced to submit new revised plans, reducing the proposed capacity from 20,000 to 17,250, Crown says the move will help "bridge the financial gap" as Brentford target promotion to the Premier League.

"The move helps us financially first and foremost because it gives us the opportunity to sell more tickets," he said.

"Whilst we're in the Championship the new stadium will give us the opportunity to significantly increase our income and bridge the financial gap to some extent.

"Obviously when you get into the Premier League you should be making money, and therefore you should be sustainable.

"But we need to help ourselves get into the Premier League on a financial basis, as well as on a football basis, and we believe this will do that."

Brentford, who have finished fifth, ninth and 10th in the past three Championship campaigns, are currently 11th, seven points adrift of the play-off places with eight matches remaining.

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