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Luton Town: Premier League preparations are ‘a whirlwind’

Luton Town: Premier League preparations are ‘a whirlwind’

A general view of a stand at Luton's Kenilworth Road
Kenilworth Road was opened in 1905

Luton Town chief executive Gary Sweet says it is a “whirlwind” trying to get the club’s Kenilworth Road ground ready for the Premier League.

They will play in the top flight of English football for the first time since 1991-92.

“We love a challenge and this is quite a steep one,” Sweet told BBC Look East about ongoing stadium improvements.

Kenilworth Road has a capacity of just 10,073, making it the smallest ground to host Premier League football – taking that record from Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium which has a capacity of 11,379.

Luton announced in May they are set to move to a new stadium – Power Court – and hope the project will have been completed by 2026.

However, in the meantime they are required to make upgrades to their current home to ensure it meets the criteria required for top-flight football.

Sweet said: “We’ve got to spend at least [£12m] on facilities and that’s increasing. It’s all the media facilities and a huge gantry, we’ve got to put 50 camera positions into the stadium.

“We’re also having to upgrade the floodlights, get new technical areas, dugouts, VAR points and monitors. There’s an awful lot of tech.

“Every stand is going to have something done to it. We need to improve the disability facilities and make improvements to the away end.

“We can’t meet the media broadcast demand at the moment but we’re working on that.”

Luton begin their campaign away from home against Brighton on 11 August with their first home fixture coming against Burnley on 19 August.

The financial boost of being a top-flight club has also afforded the Hatters the opportunity to go full steam ahead with their Power Court plans.

“It has enabled us to create some of the desirable features that we want that are crucial,” Sweet said.

“We would have had them down the line but they are costly and now we can do them quicker. It was always going to happen but now we are hoping to do it a little bit quicker.

“There is already work being done but a proverbial brick being laid should be some time later this year.”

Recruitment is also high on the agenda but Luton are no strangers to a busy summer, with at least eight summer additions in each of the last two seasons – and Sweet expects that trend to continue.

Sweet said: “We’ve kept in touch with all of our players. The window is open now and we start trading.

“It would be arrogant to presume we had everything ready to be a Premier League club so we’ve been working on recruitment strategies.”

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