Hearts to stay at Tynecastle home

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Hearts are to stay at Tynecastle Stadium, after the club revealed plans to increase its’ capacity.

Ann Budge, the owner of the Scottish Premiership club, announced plans to redevelop the Main Stand, which should expand the stadium’s capacity to at least 20,000 seats.

Budge, who took over the club last year, admitted her initial preference was to move to a new stadium. “It was a preference driven by a desire from the majority of supporters to stay at Tynecastle”.

The plan is to rebuild the Main Stand on McLeod Street. Budge revealed that the club has the financial backing to commit to the project. The total budget will be over £7 million.

“Financially, we completely out performed our financial plan and our turnover has risen from £5,098m to £7,077m and a half million pounds improvement on the bottom line and this does not include the donations from the Foundation of Hearts”, Budge said.

The club is also planning to purchase land behind the Main Stand, which Budge sees as part of an overall regeneration of the Tynecastle area.

The plans are seen as reflective of the increased demand for tickets, amidst the club’s recent success on the pitch.

George Foulkes, former club chairman, said: “We have sold out at every recent home game and I think we have the potential to get match attendance up to 25,000 rather than 16-17,000 we have at the moment”.

Hearts midfielder Miguel Pallardo said plans for redevelopment were good news for the players: “Football players enjoy playing with more supporters. This work could be beneficial for Hearts”.

Tynecastle’s current capacity stands at 17,529 seats, which makes it the seventh largest football stadium in Scotland. The new stand will be close to that the 20,421 seats at Easter Road, the home of city rivals Hibernian.

The club celebrated the centenary of the Main Stand in 2014.

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