Work on the new East Stand at Exeter Chief’s Sandy Park is progressing ahead of the upcoming Premiership Rugby season.

The expansion of the new multi-million pound East Stand is now well underway and is the next stage of Exeter Rugby Club’s long-term development which, once completed, will result in a further 1,948 covered seats, improved facilities and a raised stadium capacity of 15,600.

Leading UK events infrastructure provider, GL Events UK, have been formally appointed to deliver the design and construction of the Premiership club’s new East Stand.

Work on the project began in March and will comprise a number of stages. Stage One has already been completed with Stage 2 set for completion next month and the final Stage 3 continuing thereafter.

The completion of Stage 2 will provide Exeter Chiefs with a steel frame structure, ground works and infrastructure, with the lower terrace re-installed ahead of the new season, which kicks-off with a pre-season friendly against Munster on Saturday, September 11.

The commencement of Stage 3 will then trigger the internal fit out works and envelope construction.

The redevelopment will retain the existing lower terrace, while extending the rear to create a second seated tier, which can be accessed via a mid-tier walkway. The new rear extension will provide internal concession and toilet facilities to enhance the overall spectator experience at Sandy Park.

Owing to the topography of the site and proximity to the motorway, a specialist cantilevered steel frame structure will be used to overcome the natural site gradient, along with a network of augured piles and pad foundations.

Scott Jameson, UK group managing director for GL events, commented: 

We are delighted to have been appointed to deliver this contract, and we very much look forward to working alongside Exeter Rugby Club and providing a truly outstanding design and build for them.

The GL events Seating and Stadia team has developed a strong reputation over a number of years not just for the highest quality and specification temporary event seating, but also for its technical and specialist development of permanent stadia builds, encompassing design, construction and project management.

Our in-house team of expert structural engineers and project managers means we really are a one stop shop for clubs needing a supplier who can understand their needs, offer practical and robust designs and translate these into on-time and on-budget delivery.

These sentiments are re-enforced by chairman and chief executive of Exeter Rugby Club, Tony Rowe OBE, who added: 

For some time there has been an obvious need for us to have what you would call, additional prime seats for supporters coming to Sandy Park on match-days.

That has been the driver for us in looking to expand the capacity, particularly in the East Stand. As I’ve said many times before, as a club we have to be seen to be moving forward all the time, not just on the field, but very much off it as well.

This new East Stand, I believe, will help take Exeter Rugby Club onto bigger and better things – and further establish ourselves as one of the leading clubs in both the English and European game.

Last month, Exeter Rugby Club launched their 150th Anniversary East Stand Debenture scheme, which was set up to make available 500 prime seats to those who put in a £5,000 investment.

Image courtesy of Exeter Chiefs