UK and Ireland 2030 World Cup Bid Gains Momentum

Posted on 08 March 2021

If Boris Johnson's vision becomes a reality, football fans may witness the long-awaited return of the World Cup to the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2030. The possibility of this event has already ignited the enthusiasm of football supporters, who are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to watch the games live in the stadiums. The 48-team tournament will require 16 stadiums that can accommodate at least 40,000 fans, with larger venues holding up to 80,000 for the final match and 60,000 for the semi-finals. Naturally, Wembley, the Millennium Stadium, and London's Olympic Stadium will be among the venues selected to host the matches, along with Old Trafford, The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and the Aviva Stadium in Ireland (which will require a new name due to FIFA's sponsorship guidelines). Several stadium projects are underway to construct new stadiums or expand existing ones, increasing the likelihood of a successful bid.

Everton Stadium

Everton Football Club's ambitious plans for a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock have received the green light from Liverpool City Council's planning committee. The eagerly awaited construction of the 52,000-seater stadium is now set to commence. However, the LCC report stipulates several conditions, including the redevelopment of Goodison Park within three years of the first use of Bramley-Moore Dock, the repair of the hydraulic engine house, and the implementation of agreed ecological mitigation measures. 

The report emphasises the need for fans to utilise sustainable modes of transportation when travelling to the new stadium. The club is hopeful of hosting games at the Bramley-Moore Dock site as early as 2024, providing ample time to prepare for the 2030 World Cup. The proposed stadium, designed by MEIS architects and engineers BuroHappold, is expected to be built by Laing O'Rourke, subject to approval. The stadium has been specifically engineered to withstand floods for the next century, ensuring a safe and sustainable venue for fans to enjoy for generations to come.

Stamford Bridge

The redevelopment of Stamford Bridge, Chelsea Football Club's stadium, remains stalled. However, changes to planning legislation last year mean that the club's planning permission is still valid for a few more months, though a swift decision is necessary to restart the project. Unfortunately, work has not commenced at the site since Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich withdrew the project due to an estimated cost increase from £500,000 to around £1 billion. The original plan by WSP involved demolishing the existing 41,600-seater stadium in west London and replacing it with a new 60,000-capacity football stadium and an ancillary stadium, making it a potential candidate for hosting semi-finals. The site spans over 6.2 hectares, bordered by the London Underground's District line to the northwest and the Southern mainline railway to the east. 

To increase the stadium's capacity, decks will be constructed over the open-air cuttings of these lines. The stadium's roof will be supported by 264 radial steel roof trusses spanning 50 meters over the stadium bowl, which will be held up by a steel tension ring arrangement supported by the same number of vertical concrete columns around the stadium's perimeter. These columns will be covered in the brick cladding.

St James’ Park

St James' Park is widely regarded as the true home of football, and the thought of a World Cup without it is unbearable. The stadium's current capacity of 52,000 would make it a leading contender to host matches in its present state, but there are ambitious expansion plans in the works. If a takeover were to occur, it is believed that demolition and rebuilding of the ground could soon follow. The idea, conceived by engineer and architect John Henry, involves tearing down the existing structure, reorienting it by 90 degrees, and constructing a 70,000-seat development in the style of Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium. It's been reported that the plans were shared with Amanda Staveley during the lengthy takeover saga that ultimately fizzled out to no avail. Whether or not other potential bidders for the club would be interested in pursuing these plans remains to be seen.

Hampden Park

The Scottish stadium has a rich history of hosting some of the most memorable football matches in Europe. One of the most notable moments in the stadium's history was in 1937 when Scotland played against England in front of an incredible crowd of 149,547 spectators, setting the European record for the highest-ever attendance at a football match.

The stadium's future is looking bright, as it is set to undergo a series of renovations to modernise the facilities and provide an even better experience for fans. One of the major changes being implemented is the lowering of the pitch to bring the stands closer to the action, which will create a more intimate atmosphere and provide a better view for spectators. This change is sure to be well received by fans, who will be able to feel even more connected to the game and their favourite teams.

Elland Road

Leeds United's return to the Premier League has been nothing short of triumphant, much to the delight of football fans all around the world. Marcelo Biesla's team has been captivating audiences with their attacking style of play, and the team's success has been a source of great pride for the city of Leeds. While some are not fans of the team's style of play, most people are enjoying watching the team in action and are eagerly anticipating what the future holds for this historic football club.

The club has established a comprehensive strategy for gradually renovating Elland Road. This involves constructing new stands as part of a gradual renovation plan, with the ultimate goal of increasing the stadium's capacity to an impressive 50,000. This would not only bring the stadium up to par with other top-flight clubs but would also give the club a major boost in their ambitions of hosting international events like the World Cup.


Anfield, the historic home ground of Liverpool Football Club, has undergone a series of redevelopment projects in recent years that have significantly enhanced its capacity and modernised its facilities. Liverpool FC's management has demonstrated a keen commitment to continually improving the club's home stadium, and this has been evident in the numerous renovation initiatives they have undertaken.

The club has commissioned Mott MacDonald to lead the rebuilding of the Anfield Road stand, which is set to significantly increase the stadium's capacity to over 61,000 spectators. This expansion will mark a major milestone in Anfield's evolution and ensure that the stadium remains one of the most iconic venues in world football.


Manchester City's Etihad Stadium, which currently has a seating capacity of 55,000, is likely to be used as a World Cup venue as it stands. Expansion plans that were previously halted indefinitely may be revisited to elevate the stadium's prominence on the global stage. As they are expected to become Premier League champions this season, Manchester City has a good chance of hosting matches during the World Cup, and the addition of more seats could further enhance their prospects.

The club had previously expressed its interest in expanding the stadium's north stand after adding an extra 6,000 seats to the east stand. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was put on hold by Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak. The Etihad Stadium has been City's home since 2003, having been originally built to host the 2002 Commonwealth Games. If the additional 8,000 seats are added, the stadium would be eligible to host semi-final matches during the World Cup, which could be a driving factor for the club's owners to revisit the expansion plans sooner rather than later.

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