Are you sure it's this way? Welcome to Kenilworth Road (2023)

Kenilworth Road is easy to miss when walking along Dunstable Road, a hub of shops and restaurants to the west of Luton’s town centre. It shows itself at the top of the adjoining streets but is soon hidden again by the houses that man-mark three of its four sides.

Luton Town’s home is small enough to be concealed by houses, yet with just one more Luton win, in the Championship play-off final against Coventry City at Wembley this weekend, it will be staging Premier League football.


Manager Rob Edwards called that reality “surreal” after Kenilworth Road had rocked throughout the semi-final win over Sunderland last Tuesday and he was not wrong. A stadium first opened in 1905, with a capacity currently capped at just over 10,000, might end up hosting some of the biggest names in European football when a new season begins in August. Some of them will have never seen the like.

Kenilworth Road would become the Premier League’s smallest-ever ground and, importantly, will also require a rapid summer upgrade if the cards fall in favour of Luton.

Somewhere between £8million and £10million ($10million to $12.4million) will need to be spent sprucing up the ground, with revamped press facilities, new broadcast units and floodlights all demanded by the Premier League.

The side currently made up entirely of 28 executive boxes, formerly the Bobbers Stand until 1986, has been earmarked for the greatest renovation and will effectively be rebuilt inside three hectic months.

Are you sure it's this way? Welcome to Kenilworth Road (1)

The former Bobbers Stand (Photo: Shaun Botterill via Getty Images)


None of this will happen if the play-off final ends in defeat to Coventry. It is hoped a new, purpose-built home will be ready ahead of the 2026-27 season and there is little sense in investing in a ground whose days are numbered.

Premier League football, though, would provide Kenilworth Road with a romantic swansong. Not since Luton’s relegation in the spring of 1992, a few months before the Premier League began, has it hosted top-flight football and little has changed at the ground in that time; there have been cosmetic alterations but the old charm remains.

So, too, does the entrance to the Oak Road Stand (main picture), with its turnstiles built into a row of terraced houses, then to a walkway that leads fans up metal steps and over residents’ back gardens. Or the plastic benches at the foot of the Main Stand, with its wooden-floored upper tier. Or the Eric Morecambe Suite, a hospitality lounge named after the entertainer and the club’s most famous fan.

Are you sure it's this way? Welcome to Kenilworth Road (2)

The entrance to the Eric Morecambe Suite (Photo: Philip Buckingham)

It is a warren of tight corridors and low ceilings. Steel girders typically obstruct views and, as one mindless supporter proved with a shove on Sunderland’s on-loan winger Amad Diallo last week, those in the front row can reach out and touch players.


The shortcomings of Kenilworth Road, however, also hold its appeal.

“I think it’ll be an asset to the Premier League,” says Luton’s chief executive Gary Sweet. “This is proper, real life, real football. It’s history and tradition happening right here. This isn’t a sterile bowl of a stadium. This is lively, this is emotion, it’s white knuckles, tears and joy. If you can’t embrace it, you don’t love football.

“It annoys and makes me giggle at the same time when you get all this social media content about the entrance to the away end, going through gardens and all that. It’s been like that since World War Two. Or even before. Why is it being raised now? Just because we might be going into the Premier League.

(Video) Luton Town FC - A Stadium Like No Other ⚽️ | Newsround

“Haaland’s not going to walk through that entrance. He is going to walk through the other sh*t entrance we’ve got. There is no great entrance here. Embrace it. And we will. People might take the mickey but it doesn’t bother us. We’ve got thick skins here and, actually, it shows a little bit of fear.”

Are you sure it's this way? Welcome to Kenilworth Road (3)

A banner at Kenilworth Road (Photo: Philip Buckingham)

Luton have been preparing for the renovation work that would need to begin within days of winning at Wembley. A provisional plan was put in place last season before losing to Huddersfield Town in the play-off semi-final 12 months ago, with planning submissions handed over to the local council. There will be no time to waste.

“If anyone can (do it in time), we can,” says Sweet, who estimates the costs of the planning so far to be about £500,000.

What might yet end up being Kenilworth Road’s final Championship game, against Sunderland last week, was a demonstration of the challenges Luton could face this summer. The stands were bouncing but it was a venue that struggled to cope.

The 29 press box seats were all taken, with a further 13 journalists housed in an overflow section on the front row of the directors’ box. Three TV journalists could not even be given a seat such was the demand for the play-off semi-final second leg, with them instead asked to watch the action from the screens behind the Main Stand.

Are you sure it's this way? Welcome to Kenilworth Road (4)

(Photo: Tony Marshall via Getty Images)

(Video) Luton Town The Premier League stadium in somebody's back garden No clickbait ⚽️🤯

That will need to change. The Premier League has a raft of demands for accommodating media and the vast international interest, detailed in Rule K of their handbook.


At least 50 media seats need to be in place, as well as a media conference room capable of hosting up to 70 people. Luton’s post-match press conferences are currently held in the Nick Owen Lounge, a popular bar area used by supporters before games and at half-time.

Luton’s television gantry would also need improvements for broadcasting in the Premier League. At least 15 TV commentary points are required, on top of space for support staff. Another 15 radio commentary points are also necessary, along with seven pitchside presentation places. Provisions for VAR cameras, a system Kenilworth Road has never used, would be another requirement.

The strength of the floodlights will also require improvement. There are currently seven pylons to light up the pitch but lack the necessary lux and uniformity the Premier League asks for. These things have to be calculated. All signed off and certified.

Are you sure it's this way? Welcome to Kenilworth Road (5)

(Photo: Alex Pantling via Getty Images)

“This is work we’ve got to undertake,” explains Sweet. “We’re not being told what to do, we’ve got to do it. We have no complaints about that. It’s going to cost £10million-ish. If we’re going to do it, let’s do it properly, so we will.”

He adds: “In all of this, we’re trying to see what we can use that is transferable to the new stadium. We hate waste. What’s the point in doing all this for three years.”

Regardless of the variety it might offer to the Premier League, Kenilworth Road’s days are numbered. At long last, a new home is close to being built for Luton.

(Video) Coventry 1-1 Luton (6-5 on pens) | WE ARE PREMIER LEAGUE!!!

Are you sure it's this way? Welcome to Kenilworth Road (6)

The main stand at Kenilworth Road (Photo: Philip Buckingham)

The club has been giving thought to leaving Kenilworth Road for over half a century. A series of sites and designs have been proposed, including one in the 1990s with a retractable roof, yet a spade has not yet been planted.

The Power Court site, a former electricity substation situated in the centre of Luton, has been the preferred location for a new ground since 2015, with planning permission granted as far back as 2019. However, the 19,200-seat stadium, a capacity which will be able to be increased, remains locked at the planning phase.


Construction is yet to begin and gets no cheaper in the age of spiralling costs. Premier League football would provide enormous financial support. The budget for Luton’s new stadium is said to be approaching £100million.

“We expect to get a decision on that by the end of the year,” says Sweet. “The day we get a decision on that, within a few days, weeks, we’ll be starting work. Promotion may not be able to accelerate it because it’s moving at a very rapid pace anyway.”

Luton already have a waiting list of 6,000 supporters wanting season tickets and it has been said this week that as many as 60,000 fans would have bought tickets for Wembley on Saturday had space allowed it. The demand is there and so is the acceptance that Kenilworth Road cannot be part of Luton’s long-term future. They fully intend to cherish it while it’s still standing.

Additional reporting: Michael Bailey

(Top photo: Tony Marshall via Getty Images)

(Video) This is OUR story. We are Premier League 💥


Is Kenilworth Road OK for Premier League? ›

The Hatters beat Coventry City 6-5 on penalties at Wembley on Saturday to earn promotion to the Premier League for the first time. But the club's stadium at Kenilworth Road does not meet the league's requirements for broadcast specifications.

What are the upgrades on Kenilworth Road? ›

As a result, the 118-year-old ground will require newly installed floodlights, with six new positions added around Kenilworth Road. These include two on top of the Kenilworth Stand, two the Oak Road End, and two on the Bobbers Stand. The five existing floodlights also need to be upgraded with high power LEDs.

Who owns Kenilworth Road? ›

Kenilworth Road
OwnerLuton Borough Council
OperatorLuton Town F.C.
Field size110 by 72 yards (100.6 m × 65.8 m)
10 more rows

Why did Luton lose 30 points? ›

The club was docked 30 points at the start of the season; 10 by The Football Association for irregular matters involving player transfers, and 20 by the Football League for breaking rules on exiting administration. As a result, the club finished bottom of the league and was relegated to the Conference Premier.

What are the smallest towns to play in Premier League? ›

The smallest in the four divisions of Premier League plus Nationwide is certainly Irthlingborough - home of Rushden and Diamonds. The biggest town/city never to have had a team in Football League Div 1 or Premier League is usually alleged to be Hull.

What does Kenilworth Road hold? ›

Kenilworth Road - home of the Hatters since 1905

The stadium is situated just outside the town centre in the Bury Park district of Luton. The official seated capacity at Kenilworth Road is 10,073.

What is the point of in place upgrade? ›

An in-place upgrade allows you to go from an older operating system to a newer one while keeping your settings, server roles, and data intact.

How old is Kenilworth Road? ›

There has been speculation as to whether Kenilworth Road, where Luton have played since 1905, is fit to host Premier League football. Its 10,356 capacity exceeds the league's minimum requirement of 5,000, but it does not meet standards for media and other facilities.

How many away fans does Kenilworth Road have? ›

What is it like for away supporters? Away fans are housed on one side of the Oak Road Stand (on the Executive Stand side) at one end of the ground. Around 1,000 fans can be accommodated in this area. This covered all-seated stand is shared with home supporters with an area of tarpaulin, keeping the fans apart.

How many fans does Kenilworth Road hold? ›

Luton play their home matches at Kenilworth Road, moving into the stadium back in 1905. The venue can hold up to 10,356 people, which would make it the smallest stadium in the Premier League if they were promoted.

What is the biggest football stadium in the world? ›

Located in Pyongyang, North Korea, the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium is the biggest football stadium in the world. The venue has a seating capacity of 150,000. Also known as the Rungrado May Day Stadium, the venue was opened to the public in 1989 and now hosts some of the North Korean football team's matches.

Are Luton Town in debt? ›

Luton only have £6.3m gross financial debt, comprising a £4.5m loan from the EFL and £1.8m owed to group undertakings. Debt in the football club has been very low for many years.

What is Luton infamous for? ›

Luton is renowned for its history of hat making, with over 500 manufacturers based in the town during the 1800s, making it the beating heart of the hat making industry in England. At one stage during the 1930s the town was producing 70million hats per year.

How were Luton betrayed by the FA? ›

Almost 15 years ago, the FA hit Luton with a 10-point deduction for a number of misconduct charges, before, in their wisdom, handing out another 20 points after the club failed to reach a CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement).

Which is the noisiest stadium in EPL? ›

In 2014, Arrowhead Stadium set the Guinness World Record for stadium noise in a game against the New England Patriots when they hit an eardrum-rattling 142.2 decibels in a 41-14 win. That's louder than when a jet airplane takes off.

Which English stadium is most beautiful? ›

Wembley, the United Kingdom

Opened in 1923, Wembley Stadium underwent a significant refurbishment in 2007. With a capacity of 90,000 seats, it is the most beautifully designed football stadium in the United Kingdom.

What is the most hostile Premier League ground? ›

Most Hostile Grounds

“There's no question that the Etihad is the hardest place to visit in the Premier League, if Manchester City win their game in hand, they will continue to have the best home form in the Premier League, winning 12 of their 14 home games so far, one more than league-leaders Arsenal.

What is the biggest club never to play in Premier League? ›

Preston North End are the only former top-flight First Division champions who have never played in the Premier League; they are among a group of fourteen clubs, twelve of which are active, that have played in the old First Division but not in the Premier League.

What is the largest city in England without a soccer team? ›

Bristol has never had a team in the Premier League. Sheffield is the biggest city without a Premier League team.

What is the biggest club outside the Premier League? ›

The Biggest English Clubs Outside the Premier League - Ranked
  • Coventry City.
  • West Brom.
  • Huddersfield Town.
  • Sheffield Wednesday.
  • Derby County.
  • Blackburn Rovers.
  • Sunderland.
  • Nottingham Forest.
Jul 20, 2020

Who is getting promoted to the Premier League 2023? ›

Teams. Twenty teams will compete in the league – the top seventeen teams from the previous season and the three teams promoted from the Championship. The promoted teams are Burnley, Sheffield United and Luton Town, who will return to the top flight after respective absences of one, two and thirty-one years.

Is Luton Town in London? ›

Luton is situated 28 miles north of London and 39 miles southwest of Cambridge. The town forms the core part of the wider Luton/Dunstable Urban Area which includes the nearby towns of Dunstable and Houghton Regis in Central Bedfordshire.

Who got relegated from Premier League 2023? ›

At the end of the 2022/23 EPL season, the clubs relegated were Leicester City (18th), Leeds United (19th) and Southampton (20th). Southampton was the first club to understand its fate, with relegation confirmed weeks earlier.

Is it better to max everything before upgrading town hall? ›

Some players will insist that everything should be maxed whereas others will suggest play how you want to play and upgrade when you're bored or fancy new troops/heroes etc. There isn't a right or wrong answer, but there are a few considerations at each Town Hall level to help you make a decision you don't later regret.

What is the disadvantage of in-place upgrade? ›

With an in-place upgrade, Windows tries to bring everything from the old version to the new version, which results in the accumulation of many old and unused files, registry entries of certain uninstalled programs, and all other types of garbage. In addition, some programs may not be compatible with the new version.

Why do airlines upgrade for free? ›

Upgrading people for free creates goodwill

If a seat would otherwise go out empty, it's a sunk cost at that point. The incremental cost of upgrading someone to a premium cabin is next to nothing, as the airline can no longer monetize that premium seat.

Why is it called Kenilworth Road? ›

The first Lord Kenilworth was John Davenport Siddeley (1866-1953) famous for the Armstrong –Siddeley company, manufacturer of cars and aircraft, but he was only created Lord Kenilworth in 1937. The second option is that it was named after a building, namely Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire.

Who built Kenilworth? ›

The first castle was established in the 1120s by the royal chamberlain, Geoffrey de Clinton, who built most of the Norman keep. In the early 13th century King John added an outer circuit of stone walls and a dam to hold back a great lake, so creating one of the most formidable fortresses in the kingdom.

How big is Kenilworth? ›

At the 2021 Census, the population was 22,538. The town is home to the ruins of Kenilworth Castle and Kenilworth Abbey.

When was Kenilworth Road built? ›

What stadiums hold the most fans? ›

Capacity of 100,000 or more
StadiumCapacityCity (state)
Michigan Stadium107,601Ann Arbor, Michigan
Beaver Stadium106,572State College, Pennsylvania
Ohio Stadium102,780Columbus, Ohio
Kyle Field102,733College Station, Texas
7 more rows

How many away fans are allowed at Fleetwood town? ›

Away fans are mostly housed in the Percy Ronson terrace at one end of the stadium, where 831 fans can be accommodated.

What is the biggest fan crowd? ›

At a Scotland v England match 17th April 1937 at Hampden Park, there was officially 149,415 spectators. Sources say that there were more, considering there were a lot of people in the stadium without tickets.

What will happen to Luton Town? ›

"Luton needs something more than just a football ground just there." Plans to build a new home for Luton Town are in the pipeline with the aim for it to be ready by 2026.

Why did Luton change to orange? ›

The club's founding year, 1885, was added in 2008. The badge was altered once more during the 2009–10 pre-season, with the red of the town crest being replaced with orange to better reflect the club colours.

What's the biggest stadium in the US? ›

Michigan Stadium

Who has the biggest NFL stadium in the world? ›

Biggest Capacity NFL Stadium

MetLife Stadium is the biggest NFL stadium with a standard capacity of 82,500. MetLife Stadium opened in 2010 and is located five miles west of New York City in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It's the home of the New York Giants and New York Jets.

Can Luton Town play at Kenilworth Road in the Premier League? ›

Luton Town, whose games have been played at Kenilworth Road since 1905, have managed to return to the Premier League for the first time since 1992. Just a decade ago the club were plying their trade in the Conference alongside the likes of Dartford.

What football team plays at Kenilworth Road? ›

Kenilworth Road - home of the Hatters since 1905

The Kenilworth Stadium, Kenilworth Road or The Kenny as it is affectionately known has been the home of Luton Town Football Club since 1905.

Who plays football at Kenilworth Road? ›

Image of Who plays football at Kenilworth Road?
Luton Town Football Club is a professional football club based in Luton, Bedfordshire, England, that competes in the Premier League, the first tier of English football.

What are the stadium requirements for Premier League? ›

In terms of capacity, Premier League stadium requirements state that any club that plays in the Premier League must have a stadium with a minimum capacity of 5,000, with 2,000 seats at the very least.

How much do you get for being promoted to the Premier League? ›

How much will the winners get for being promoted to the Premier League? Ahead of the 2020 Championship play-off final, Deloitte reported that the victorious club could earn anywhere between £135m and £265m, depending on whether or not they could avoid immediate relegation from the Premier League.

What is the newest stadium in the Premier League? ›

EPL 2023: Luton Town's Kenilworth Road ground steeped in history.

What is the smallest stadium in the Premier League? ›

Smallest Premier League Stadiums Ever by Capacity
1Kenilworth RoadLuton Town
2Vitality StadiumBournemouth
3Boundary ParkOldham Athletic
4County GroundSwindon Town
7 more rows

Is Lutons pitch smaller? ›

It is just one yard smaller than the vast expanses of the Stadium of Light, that Luton struggled to get to grips with at times in the second half when beaten 2-1 by the Black Cats in their first leg encounter.

How hard is it to get tickets to a Premier League game? ›

Why are Premier League tickets so hard to get? The most sought-after Premier League tickets are near-to-impossible to get because club members get first dibs on the stock. For end-of-season matches and intense rivalries, tickets are rarely available to the general public after they have been offered to club members.

Can you be 15 and play in the Premier League? ›

Ethan Nwaneri: Inside the rise of the Arsenal teenager, 15, who became the youngest ever Premier League player.

How old do you have to be to attend a Premier League football match? ›

You can also use the text number text LFC to 64446 to report any discriminatory behaviour. Can my child who is 13 years old go to the game with his cousin who is 16? No. To enter the Stadium all children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult who is aged 18 years or older.


1. Luton Town Are In The Premier League
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6. THE SESSION | Casey Pettit impresses in-front of fans at Kenilworth Road! 🏃‍♂️
(Luton Town Football Club)


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