Are you ready for new Old Traf­ford?

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - By JAMES ROB­SON james.rob­ @james­rob­sonMEN

UNITED own­ers the Glazer fam­ily have been steadily buy­ing up land around Old Traf­ford since tak­ing own­er­ship of the club in 2005.

At a cost of mil­lions of pounds, the Amer­i­cans have car­ried out a sus­tained and tar­geted cam­paign to take con­trol of sur­round­ing real es­tate, which could pro­vide fu­ture de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for the sta­dium and im­proved club fa­cil­i­ties.

Tot­ten­ham’s new sta­dium – built on the doorstep of their for­mer White Hart Lane home is an ex­am­ple of what United could do, should they de­cide to re­build, rather than ex­tend Old Traf­ford in the fu­ture.

Al­ter­na­tively, across Manch­ester, the Eti­had cam­pus is re­al­i­sa­tion of City’s Abu Dhabi own­ers’ vi­sion of cre­at­ing a state-of-the-art academy and train­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

The Glaz­ers’ de­ter­mi­na­tion to max­imise United’s full com­mer­cial po­ten­tial could also see them ex­plore other lu­cra­tive projects, not nec­es­sar­ily linked to foot­ball.

M.E.N. Sport con­sid­ers some of the op­tions... A NEW STA­DIUM United have con­tin­ued to ex­pand Old Traf­ford as the club’s pop­u­lar­ity has soared.

But new high-tech sta­dia has left sec­tions of sup­port­ers be­liev­ing the fa­mous ground has be­come dated by com­par­i­son.

The Sir Bobby Charl­ton stand hasn’t been de­vel­oped in keep­ing with the rest of the tiered stands, with the rail­way and pri­vate hous­ing be­yond pre­sent­ing is­sues. United spent £8.2m buy­ing up land in 2011.

While a move away from the The­atre of Dreams would be con­tro­ver­sial, they do have the room to re­build a state-ofthe-art sta­dium on the same site in the man­ner of Spurs, with fewer con­straints. A MINI OLD TRAF­FORD A 5000-10,000-seater sta­dium was considered as part of United’s deep­rooted re­view of their academy set-up.

The ground would be home to the club’s un­der-23s, who cur­rently play at Leigh Sports Vil­lage, and other age groups based at Car­ring­ton.

City have their own academy sta­dium as part of the Eti­had Cam­pus, which has helped to at­tract some of the best emerg­ing tal­ent in Manch­ester and around the globe. TRAIN­ING GROUND United’s Car­ring­ton train­ing base – re­named the Aon Train­ing Com­plex – was a source of im­mense pride to Sir Alex Fer­gu­son when opened in 2000, and has been fre­quently up­dated since.

But a chance to start from scratch at a new site would be an op­por­tu­nity to de­ploy the very lat­est tech­nol­ogy and med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties. A MINI MANCH­ESTER ARENA A pur­pose-built arena was planned in the 1980s when United had their own bas­ket­ball team.

Some 30-plus years on and a sim­i­lar idea could be a com­mer­cial gold mine for the Glaz­ers – as well as at­tract­ing other sports back to Old Traf­ford.

The Manch­ester Arena has be­come the go-to venue for the world’s big­gest mu­sic acts, as well as ma­jor world ti­tle box­ing. A smaller ver­sion would be a vi­able al­ter­na­tive for both.

Box­ing pro­mot­ers have been forced to ex­plore venues such as the Bolton Arena and Bowlers to stage the sport within the city, or close off large sec­tions of the Arena.

United could well cre­ate their own niche un­less they wanted to go di­rectly in com­pe­ti­tion with the Arena.

The Glazer fam­ily have been buy­ing up land around Old Traf­ford

Sir Alex Fer­gu­son at Car­ring­ton

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