Exeter Chiefs members back Sandy Park expansion plans

Sandy Park
Sandy Park, which opened in 2006, has a capacity of 10,744

Plans to expand Exeter Chiefs' Sandy Park home have been approved at the club's annual general meeting.

Chief executive Tony Rowe wants to almost double the ground's capacity to 20,000 so it can to host matches in the later stages of European competition.

"This decision by the members is yet another important milestone in the history of our great club," Rowe said.

Members also approved plans that ensured that they would continue to have a controlling stake in the club.

"Over the last few years we have made great strides in developing the club. But we are keen to push forward even further and make ourselves a force within not only the English game, but also the European game," Rowe added.

Sandy Park is currently the second smallest ground in the Premiership behind Newcastle's Kingston Park which holds 10,200.

But should its capacity increase to 20,000 it would be the third biggest after the Madejski Stadium, home of London Irish, and Welford Road in Leicester.

The Chiefs also announced that they almost doubled their income in the first season in the Premiership.

Exeter made £8.26m from their inaugural Premiership campaign compared to £4.62m in their final year in the Championship.

"After expenditure, this has resulted in a net profit of £630,399, which is fantastic and demonstrates that we are more than holding our own in what is very challenging economic times," said finance director Alan Quantick.