STADIUMS used at World Cups and European Championships, Formula 1 team headquarters and work at the Old Trafford cricket ground are some of the projects undertaken by Oxford United’s stadium partners.

The U’s are looking to build a new ground at ‘The Triangle’, south of Kidlington Roundabout, with the club’s licence agreement at the Kassam Stadium running out in 2026.

United are working with a series of business partners which will provide support on the project.

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U’s chief executive officer Tim Williams previously told the club website: “We are committed to building a world-class facility and we believe we are working with world-class partners to make this happen.

“All four companies have vast experience, share our commitment to sustainability, inclusivity and innovation and it has been fantastic to get their insights and input as they have joined the project.

“This summer will hopefully see our hopes and plans really start to gather pace and we know we have a fantastic project team who are totally committed to making our supporters’ dreams turn into reality.”

We had a look at some of the work the business partners have been involved in previously.

AFL Architects

AFL was appointed as the lead architect for United’s new stadium.

  • Brentford Community Stadium

The 17,250-seater stadium has been the home of Premier League side Brentford since September 2020.

The AFL website says: “The stadium is surrounded on all sides by the M4 and two railway lines.

“Even with these restrictions, the bowl maximises seat capacity with exceptional views, creates a revenue stream with adjacent residential developments, and leaves room for future expansion.”

Witney Gazette: The Brentford Community StadiumThe Brentford Community Stadium (Image: Ben Whitley/ PA Wire)

  • Lusail Stadium

The 80,000-seater venue for last year’s World Cup final between Argentina and France was the largest stadium at the Qatar tournament.

“The fully coordinated design draws from the strengths of AFL Architects’ diverse teams and the experience of stadium experts across 10 countries, who performed a full creative and technical review of the original iconic concept,” the AFL website states.

Witney Gazette: Argentina beat France at the Lusail Stadium to lift the World Cup last yearArgentina beat France at the Lusail Stadium to lift the World Cup last year (Image: Mike Egerton/ PA Wire)

  • The Den

Millwall’s stadium is undergoing a phased redevelopment, with proposals including a phased expansion to a capacity of 34,000 seats, built as additional upper tiers.

Ridge and Partners LLP

Ridge was appointed by the U’s to provide project management, cost management, health and safety, town and country planning, traffic and transport, and sustainability services. 

Matt Summerill, project management partner for Ridge, previously said: “Oxford United is a historic community asset and in the hearts and minds of thousands of people in Oxfordshire and beyond.

“The new stadium project is essential to securing the club’s sustainable future and its status as the only professional sports club in the county.”

  • Manchester City Football Academy

More than 80 acres of land was developed for use by City’s training academy and corporate headquarters. The project value totalled £130 million and the scheme involved the ‘constraints removal, remediation, and infrastructure provision for the land’.

Since 2008, Ridge has managed various projects at the home of Lancashire Cricket, including: a four-storey players and media facility, comprising changing rooms, television and radio commentary facilities, press conference facilities; two replacement double-tiered seating terraces with a total capacity of 7,000 spectators, and a conservation project to refurbish the Victorian Pavilion.

Witney Gazette: The Old Trafford Cricket GroundThe Old Trafford Cricket Ground (Image: Mike Egerton/ PA Wire)

  • Formula 1 team headquarters

Ridge delivered the original Renault headquarters at Enstone in 1991, with the latest project completed in 2019. Aston Martin are also set to get new headquarters at Silverstone, with a two-floor building containing spaces that relate to the ‘design, development, construction and assembly of Formula 1 cars’.

Mott MacDonald

The engineering consultancy has experience in designing and building stadiums in recent years.

  • Euro 2016

As a technical advisor, Mott MacDonald monitored the design and construction of three of the stadiums built for the Euros seven years ago – Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon, Allianz Riviera in Nice and Matmut Atlantique in Bordeaux.

The company’s website states: “Our teams provided due diligence and independent reviews of business plans, helping to bring each project to a successful commercial and financial close, on budget and on schedule.

“We continue to monitor the operational and sustainability performance of all three stadiums.”

  • Mbombela Stadium

Used during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the Mott MacDonald Africa team worked alongside South African consultants Goba to deliver the structural design.