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Herzog & de Meuron's Portsmouth arena mothballed

Portsmouth Football Club has mothballed plans to build a new stadium, designed by Herzog & de Meuron

The club has blamed the credit crunch and access issues for the decision to delay the project to build a 45,000-seat arena on the Horsea Island site near Port Solent.

It now intends to redevelop its existing Fratton Park ground, pushing back the construction of the Herzog and de Meuron scheme until at least 2018 – seven years after the club had hoped to complete the new ground.

A statement from the club, which was developing the mixed-use stadium, leisure and residential complex alongside the Sellar Property Group, said that the scheme had run into a number of hurdles, including the need for new bridges and lack of financial backing.

‘Over the past year it has become increasingly apparent that this may take considerably longer to achieve.’

The club said it would now be taking forward a two-step approach with the main focus on expanding Fratton Park to a capacity of 30,000 by the 2011/2012 season (see phasing document right).

James Sellar, of the Sellar Property Group added: ‘Given the current economic climate, Portsmouth FC and Sellar Property Group have decided upon a more rational two-stage approach in order to bring long-term value to the city of Portsmouth and to the club. We believe this strategy is a linchpin of a realistic plan and will
allow us to fully deliver the project in the longer term’.

The announcement marks the latest set back for the Swiss practice in its attempt to build Portsmouth FC a glamorous new home. The firm had originally proposed a £600 million dockside stadium for a plot on The Hard, on Portsmouth seafront, but had to reconsider its site following concerns from the Royal Navy (see AJ 29.10.07) .


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