Ivan Gazidis has provided an update on the Arsenal stadium expansion, which is due to start in May and will add up to 780 extra seats.

Gazidis has informed shareholders that Arsenal’s plans for expanding their stadium by almost 800 seats at club level are progressing nicely.

“We are making strides on the proposed Emirates Stadium development which will start in May,” said Gazidis. “We plan to add approximately 780 extra seats to club level.

“It will involve adding an extra row to the front of club level and will take our capacity to just over 60,600. Construction will be completed in two stages during the summers of 2018 and 2019.

“Alongside this work, we plan to upgrade and refurbish additional areas of club level over the next two years.

“The first upgrade will be to Dial Square in the summer of 2018, which will see the area transformed to celebrate the club’s original name of Dial Square Football Club.”

What’s the plan?

Back in September, an Arsenal spokesperson confirmed that the Gunners were about to embark on a project called ‘Operation Saturn’.

This involves pushing the Emirates’ capacity back towards 60,000 seats, which was originally how many it was supposed to hold. However, due to various projects and making room for other facilities, this number has fallen to 59,867.

Therefore, the club wants to build this up again.

empty emirates
(Paul Childs/Reuters)

“We are working with Islington Council to assess viable options to increase our capacity at Emirates Stadium,” an Arsenal spokesperson told Football.London.

“As a result of a number of required stadium projects, our capacity has decreased over the last few years and we are looking at ways to bring this figure back up to allow more supporters to watch the team play at Emirates Stadium.

“We will communicate further details at a later date as these plans develop.”

To be fair, the news doesn’t effect most Gooners as the expansion is happening at club level. However, it does suggest that the club are at least trying to keep up with other Premier League stadiums.

Tottenham Hotspur, for example, are currently building a 61,000 capacity stadium.

Of course, let’s face it, it’s also to do with making money.

Club level is pretty pricey with a season ticket at the half-way line going for £5925 (including VAT).

Therefore, even though money has to be spent on the expansion, I highly doubt Arsenal will lose out.