After more than a decade of false dawns and broken promises, Watford FC will have a new East Stand open during this season after a crucial agreement was signed over the weekend.
The deal to build the grandstand, which will house more than 3,000 fans, was sealed over the weekend when a heads of terms agreement was signed with stadia construction specialists GL Events.
Demolition contracts are already signed and in place with local firm Gaywoods and a schedule of works – likely to commence in the next week – is already in place.
It will be 'a permanent grandstand structure' which will be made of steel within concrete foundations and there will be concrete rows within the stand.
Access to the stand will be via turnstiles from Occupation Road with the option of adding access to the stand at the front.
Hornets’ chief executive Scott Duxbury said: "We are delighted to be building a new East Stand as part of the planned stadium improvement, which includes the decision to house all extra hospitality options in the South West Corner development.
"This means that extra capacity for fans, the demand for which is clear from our first few home games this season, will be the key focus of the new East Stand.
"Working with the expertise of GL Events, I am certain it will be a construction of which we can all be very proud."
Duxbury said shortly after his arrival last year that an East Stand would be built once the average attendance was around the 15,000 mark, with the Vicarage Road capacity around 17,000 if you exclude restricted view seats.
The attendances towards the end of last season suggested there was the demand for a new stand and the average attendance during the four home Championship games so far this campaign has been 15,742.
Negotiations regarding a new stand have been ongoing for several months and minor details continue to be adjusted.
The contract being signed at the weekend was a significant moment for the club after many years of false dawns and previous plans, spanning several regimes.
Watford will demolish the main East Stand structures, including the players' tunnel and changing areas which during the initial plans were going to remain. The media centre, former supporters club building, toilet block and the terracing on the Vicarage Road side of the main building will also be demolished.
The Watford Observer will have exclusive first access to the exact plans, artist’s impressions and other visuals once they are finalised over the next few weeks.