Fri, Feb 29, 2008 - Page 24 News List

Lord's cricket ground to receive huge facelift

AFP , LONDON

Lord's cricket ground is set for a £200 million (US$394.3 million) facelift, the owners, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), said on Wednesday.

The northwest London venue, the self-styled "home of cricket," is one of the sport's most famous grounds with the Victorian pavilion -- whose exterior will remain unaltered despite the proposed changes to other parts of the ground -- a particular landmark.

Now, following consultation with its 18,000 members, MCC have asked 18 leading architects to present their plans for a new-look Lord's which will see five stands redeveloped and could also include plans for a hotel, a new academy and retractable floodlights.

Such is the scale of what is being proposed, the redevelopment as a whole could take a decade to complete.

MCC also hope that the ground's relatively modest capacity, in comparison with leading grounds in Australia and India, will be increased by 10,000 to more than 38,000 without spoiling the atmosphere of Lord's.

"We are in the process of appointing a masterplan architect who will be tasked with preparing a development plan which will provide an overall approach to the design and layout for the entire Lord's site," MCC project director David Batt said. "A shortlist of architects will be announced in the next few weeks."

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