The Gibraltar Football Association (GFA) has retained consulting engineer Ramboll to work up designs for a brand new UEFA-compliant football stadium, which would allow the national team to play its games at home and not have to travel to Faro, Portugal.
The existing Victoria Stadium seats only 2,300, and the GFA wants to turn it into a modern UEFA Category 4 facility with capacity for 8,000 fans.
After a public consultation, the GFA plans to apply for outline planning permission in September, which, if successful, would pave the way for construction to start in the first quarter of 2019, with completion anticipated two years later.
Ramboll’s design, developed with The Stadium Consultancy, must keep a low height profile, however, because the site is right next to the airport.
"This is will be a great facility for the people of Gibraltar and can be a driver for a sustainable society," said Martin Willis, Ramboll’s sports sector head.
He added: "This unique stadium integrates wider community uses along with being a new home of which the teams and fans can be proud."
In 2013, the GFA attained full membership of UEFA but its Victoria Stadium does not comply with UEFA stadium standards, so the national team must go to Faro, 200km away, for international fixtures.
Victoria Stadium is used for domestic matches and as a training ground.
Given the proximity of the airport, height restrictions apply. In order to assess potential impacts on airport operations, a preliminary aeronautical study has been developed, which will be submitted in support of the outline planning application.
Image: Keeping a low profile: A render of the proposed stadium (Ramboll/The Stadium Consultancy)