Stoke City announce expansion plans for newly-named bet365 Stadium
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 21/04/16 11:44am
Stoke City have announced expansion plans after agreeing a deal to rename their home ground the bet365 Stadium.
The Britannia Stadium, the club's home since 1997, will be renamed at the end of the current campaign, while the locally-based online gambling company have also agreed to extend their shirt sponsorship by a further three years.
Stoke have also confirmed plans to redevelop the stadium, filling in one of the corners to add 1,800 extra seats and take the capacity above the 30,000 mark - that work is scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the 2017/18 season.
"The Premier League is constantly evolving and to ensure that Stoke City remain as competitive as possible it's important we explore as many ways as possible of generating revenue," The club's chief executive Tony Scholes said in a statement.
"As supporters are no doubt aware the Britannia brand no longer exists and it was important that we attracted a new stadium naming rights partner.
"The Premier League is watched around the world and bet365 are a truly global company. We are delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement with them over the stadium naming rights for an initial six year period, along with the extension of their shirt sponsorship agreement.
"bet365 are taking over from Britannia and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Britannia and the Co-operative Bank for their tremendous support over the past 19 years.
"We also felt the time was right to redevelop the corner of the ground between the DPD and Marston's Pedigree Stands. Planning permission has been in place for some time but it was important we carried out the work when we felt the club was ready for an increase in seat capacity."