In the early 1990’s, Arsenal Football Club, faced with limited room for expansion on its Highbury site, began the process of looking for another urban London location for its new stadium. With seating for only 38,419 fans, the existing Arsenal facility had significantly lower capacity than almost all comparable European football clubs; and its season ticket waiting list of more than 20,000 suggested the stadium size was severely restricting potential income. The eventual location of a nearby Ashburton Grove site for the new 60,000-seat facility added even more complexity to the project—in particular, the required relocation of 80 businesses and much needed regeneration of the run-down industrial site. Originally retained as project and cost managers for the new stadium, ARCADIS UK saw its role expand rapidly to legal support, leading infrastructure negotiation and assistance in the purchase and sale of residential developments. This in turn, brought about opportunities for cross funding through commercial and residential developments on a number of other sites throughout Islington.
Ultimately providing in excess of 2,500 new homes, including the redevelopment of the existing Highbury Stadium, as well as new waste and recycling center for the Islington Borough, the project made substantial improvements to the community beyond the stadium walls. Within its walls, the new 60,000-SF sports facility offers 60,000 seats with unobstructed views, seated dining for 7,000 spectators, 150 executive boxes and fully automated access control. It was delivered for the start of the 2006/07 football season two weeks ahead of schedule and on budget.