Celtic chief Peter Lawwell has updated supporters on the planned renovations to the club’s stadium.
Speaking as part of a wide-ranging interview with the Celtic Underground, Lawwell confirmed that the Hoops would be spending around £5 million on a variety of improvements, including an upgrade of the Parkhead pitch.
Brendan Rodgers admitted 15 months ago that he was keen to see a hybrid playing surface at Celtic Park, saying at the time: “It’s an old pitch here, so we need to modernise the field. We actually go away to some grounds and play better because the pitch is better. This here slows us down.”
The club has been working on renovations for some time, with the avenue in front of the stadium from London Road to the front steps of the arena being transformed into The Celtic Way; a 150 metre-long walkway that honours Celtic’s history.
And Lawwell has revealed details of what the rest of the £5 million will be spent on.
As well as the installation of a new hybrid pitch, the club are putting in new floodlights, plus new LED lighting and sound in a major revamp of the entertainment system.
It is hoped the new additions will help Celtic Park rival the likes of the Amsterdam ArenA, home of Ajax, and Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena.
Lawwell also revealed that, over the summer, the South Stand would be getting a new roof, while new gable end projects had been planned for the east and west sides of the stadium.
Hinting that renovations and upgrades at the Lennoxtown and Barrowfield training facilities would be next in line, Lawwell added: “These projects are extremely important to ensure that we keep taking the club forward and making us better. Many are legacy projects.
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“In the short term we are spending nearly £5 million in projects around the stadium, as we continue to invest in the stadium to hopefully give our supporters the best matchday experience.”
The Celtic chief revealed the club were “assessing options” around the so-called Master Plan, which concerns blueprints for a hotel, museum, new superstore and ticket office.
He continued: “At the moment we are going out to the market, we’ve had expressions of interest. We are looking at what is best for Celtic, the best structure then looking at financing. Hopefully there will be a positive outcome.
“We are always looking to the future, always looking to develop, to get better. Clearly it’s a question of resources, do you put money into the first team or into infrastructure projects?
“I think that, to date, we’ve got that balance right - and we’ll continue to do that.”