Twickenham stadium

Twickenham stadium. Image: Flickr: Alessio Bragadini

RFU leaked plans: Was Twickenham Stadium almost demolished?

Twickenham Stadium is getting a makeover! The RFU scraps sale plans and commits to upgrading the legendary fan experience.

Twickenham stadium

Twickenham stadium. Image: Flickr: Alessio Bragadini

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has made a bold decision to shelve a controversial plan to sell Twickenham Stadium. It seems the legendary home of English rugby is here to stay. Instead of selling, major renovations are on the horizon to preserve the stadium’s legacy.

Twickenham Sale Considered in Leaked Documents

News of the potential sale shocked the rugby world. Leaked documents revealed that a “leave” option was on the table. Selling Twickenham and acquiring a 50% share in Wembley Stadium could have radically reshaped the future of English rugby. The plans were detailed in the “Twickenham Stadium Masterplan Programme.”

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No formal talks ever took place with the Football Association (FA). Ultimately, the RFU opted against this dramatic change.

What’s in Store

The preferred “stay” option promises sweeping renovations of Twickenham. In their masterplan, the RFU explains:

“While the Masterplan Programme Team has focused efforts on developing the PWF [preferred way forward] ‘Stay’ option …This was based on a board-approved recommendation (March 2023) to retain the Leave option as a reserve but defer formal engagement…”

Plans focus on revitalizing all four stands, the roof, and even adjacent car parks. The goal is to ensure Twickenham Stadium offers the world-class fan experience it’s renowned for.

Why Did the RFU Keep Twickenham?

Though initially drawn to the potential of a bigger venue, a complete overhaul of Twickenham seemed out of reach at a price tag of £663 million (R12.5 billion). Still, a hefty £300 million (R5.7 billion) will be directed toward essential works soon. Larger loans will involve the RFU Council’s approval.

With work slated to begin after 2027, some England rugby matches will need alternative venues while Twickenham gets its essential refurbishment. The RFU statement reassures the public:

“Our long-term masterplan for Twickenham Stadium is being developed to ensure England’s national rugby stadium stays up to date…and continues to generate revenue for reinvestment into the community and professional game.”