Luton Town will have to dig their hands deep into their pockets after sealing promotion to the Premier League – not just in the transfer market. That’s because their old-school stadium Kenilworth Road – treasured by their own supporters and mocked by rival fans – is in desperate need of some renovation as it prepares to host top-flight football next season.
The Hatters booked their place in the promised land after a stunning 6-5 penalty-shootout triumph over Coventry City following a 1-1 draw after 120 exhausting minutes at Wembley.
The Mail have already reported that Luton need to invest up to £10million to renovate their stadium which is nestled right in the heart of the town, to meet Premier League standards.
Thankfully, they will be netting a whopping £170m in prize money which will certainly help their cause ahead of a celebratory trip to Las Vegas next week.
In fact, their famous away end is built within a host of Victorian houses which could now be the subject of some swift building work.
It’s understood the Bobbers Stand is likely to be dismantled with new facilities on the agenda for the Hatters.
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The changes would include the installation of a media centre, TV and data analysis studios, toilets, and a canteen.
The close-knit feel of Kenilworth Road has undoubtedly played into Luton’s hands over the years in their incredible journey from the National League to the Premier League in the past decade.
Hatters fans are notorious for their fierce support and there is a thunderous atmosphere inside the old-fashioned stadium, which has become one of the trickiest places to go in the Championship.
Luton have already mocked their own stadium with a celebratory post-match tweet, which is seemingly referencing a number of viral posts that have been floating about on social media in recent weeks as the Hatters closed in on promotion.
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“Luton Town have just won the Championship play-off final. This is the entrance to our stadium,” the play-off winners said on Twitter, accompanied with a picture of their famous Oak Stand entrance.
“Incredible to think this ground will be in the Premier League next season.”
Luton chief executive Gary Sweet has been left frustrated by the widespread mockery which has started to get under his skin.
Sweet recently told The Mail: “We might have a lick of paint and new signage every so often but let’s embrace this. It annoys me and makes me giggle when you get the social media content about an away end going through gardens.
“It’s been like that since World War II or even before. Why is it raised now, just because we might be going into the Premier League?
“Erling Haaland’s not going to walk through that entrance, he’s going to walk through the other s*** entrance we’ve got. Embrace it.”
Luton’s triumph was somewhat overshadowed by an incident in the first half when stalwart Tom Lockyer appeared to collapse to the ground in worrying scenes.
He has since been admitted to hospital for checks and was conscious when he left the field.
Lockyer was joined by his family who were in the stands and all of his team-mates dedicated their victory to the Welshman, as did manager Rob Edwards.
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