Manchester United officials are looking at ways to expand the capacity of Old Trafford to 88,000.
The proposed increase of more than 12,000 seats from the present capacity of 75,643 would be achieved by extending the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand, formerly known as the South Stand.
Old Trafford is already the largest club stadium in Britain, but this would almost take it onto a par with Wembley Stadium, which holds 90,000 spectators.
It would also see Old Trafford’s capacity overtake the San Siro, Bernabeu, Stade de France and Westfalenstadion on the continent.
United are giving strong consideration to the long-term expansion plans because a new section for disabled fans – expected to be completed by 2020 – would lead to a reduction in capacity to around 73,300.
Previously, the railway line at the back of the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand meant expanding it would require a costly tunnel and the demolition of a number of houses.
However, advances in stadium technology mean this may no longer be a problem and 7,500 more seats could be added.
United would then look at adding quadrants in the two corners of the stand to raise the capacity to 88,000, meaning the ground would be behind only Barcelona’s Nou Camp (99,354) and Wembley in Europe.
A safe-standing area may also feature in the development with United fans in favour of the concept, which would require a change in the current legislation for stadiums.
It comes as United are set to appoint full-time ticket tout officers to clamp down on the black market sale of thousands of tickets.
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