Premiership Side Northampton Seeking $7.4M Loan For New Stand At Franklin's Gardens
Premiership rugby side Northampton Saints will enter formal negotiations with its local council over a £5M ($7.4M) loan to "fund the construction of a new north stand that would turn Franklin's Gardens into a 15,500 capacity stadium," according to the PA. The proposed expansion "would take Franklin's Gardens above the minimum capacity requirement" for staging a Heineken Cup quarterfinal. The Saints board has "agreed to submit a full planning application with a view to the new stand being built" in the summer of '15 to capitalize on the Rugby World Cup. Northampton Chair Tony Hewitt said, "By building the new north stand in 2015 we will be ideally placed to reap the rewards of the next Rugby World Cup, which of course has matches being played in Milton Keynes and will see the sport's profile dramatically increase in the area." Northampton Borough Council leader David Mackintosh is "backing the Saints plans" (PA, 7/9).