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Luton Town Soars into EPL & Housing Prices Around Unique Stadium Follow Suit

Matthew Glazier for Bookies.com

Matthew Glazier  | 6 mins

Luton Town Soars into EPL & Housing Prices Around Unique Stadium Follow Suit

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In 2014, Luton Town returned to the Football League after several years in the wilderness. The Hatters had experienced the sort of financial difficulties that had previously seen them tumbling down the English football pyramid and they had been a fifth-tier outfit from 2009 before finally starting their resurgence.

Nearly ten years down the line, the Bedfordshire side have become the newest member of the Premier League. Luton claimed the final spot in next season’s top tier by winning the Championship play-offs, overcoming Middlesbrough over two legs before edging out Coventry City in a penalty shoot-out.

It's a tremendous story with one small issue: The Hatters' stadium, which holds just 10,356 people. Man U's Old Trafford Stadium holds more than 74,000, while middle-of-the-pack Elland Road houses about 37,000 fans, for comparison.

But that's not the main thing that makes it unique, or the main reason housing prices around the stadium are soaring.

Kenilworth Road: The Most Unique Stadium in the EPL

While manager Rob Edwards now turns his attention towards building a squad who are capable of being competitive in the Premier League next season, there has been much discussion regarding Luton Town’s stadium.

It’s fair to say that Kenilworth Road is a million miles away from shiny new stadiums such as the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (capacity: 62,850) and the away end in particular has been receiving plenty of attention on social media.

Why?

Those familiar with Lambeau Field's surrounding area will understand. The home of the Green Bay Packers seems to appear out of nowhere amongst a quiet family-friendly neighborhood. Kenilworth Road makes Lambeau Field's surrounding area look like London, or New York City.

As someone who has occupied this away end on a number of occasions, it’s certainly a unique experience. Situated on Oak Road, it’s very much a case of “blink and you’ll miss it." with the turnstiles positioned slap-bang in the middle of a row of terraced houses. 

Once passing through the turnstiles, you then ascend some steps and can practically see through the first-floor windows of the residents who live there. For visiting Premier League supporters, it will certainly be a different experience when they head to the Oak Road End to watch their team in action. 

Naturally, the residents have become accustomed to football fans congregating outside their houses on match day, with Oak Road running parallel to Kenilworth Road along with Ivy Road, Beech Road, and Ash Road.

As far as Oak Road is concerned, the sheer volume of terraced houses means that various residents have come and gone over the past few years. It’s also noticeable that the property values have risen significantly as Luton Town have continued their lofty ascent from the National League to the Premier League.

When the Hatters were promoted back to the Football League in 2014, 78 Oak Road exchanged hands for £107,000. While we’re not sure that the prospective buyer was a Luton Town fan or not, their two-bed terraced house more than doubled in the space of eight years.

When the same house was sold in May 2022, shortly after Luton lost to Huddersfield in the Championship play-off semi-finals, the agreed price was £220,000. That was a 106% increase in price and certainly enough to buy a corporate box at Kenilworth Road several times over in the Premier League!

Similarly, 106 Oak Road fetched £225,000 when this semi-detached house was sold in August 2022 after the sellers had previously bought the same property for £95,000 in March 2004. This 137% increase was again well beyond inflation although perhaps the exploding house prices in London had a knock-on effect in this neck of the woods.

Has Oak Road enjoyed more pulling power with prospective buyers due to having that infamous away end as part of the attraction? It’s hard to ascertain, although the corresponding Beech Road suggests that there might be a certain allure to being situated on a street where Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal fans will be searching for in the coming months.

52 Beech Road was acquired for the sum of £100,000 in November 2014, with Luton Town playing in League Two at this time, having been promoted from the National League just a few months previously. Wind the clock forward to February 2021 and this two-bed terraced property exchanged hands for £180,000 which was a reasonable 80% increase on the original price.

The area in which Kenilworth Road is situated is a far cry from the King’s Road in London where you might take a stroll before visiting Stamford Bridge. The former ground is in the Bury Park area of the town, with the stadium uniquely positioned among people’s homes, while there is also a mosque on the corner of Oak Road where that unique away end is situated.

Indeed, it’s fair to say that Luton has a sizeable Muslim fanbase due to the demographic make-up of the town, although Kenilworth Road will need to make some significant improvements ahead of the 2023/24 season in order to meet the Premier League requirements and it’s thought that around £10 million will need to be invested.

Unique Atmosphere at Kenilworth Won't Last Long

Furthermore, there will shortly come a time where Luton Town supporters will have to wave goodbye to “The Kennel” as the Bedfordshire outfit move to a brand new stadium which is roughly a mile away from where they currently play their football. 

Power Court is in the process of being built, with the capacity thought to be in the region of 19,500 after the first phase of development although with the scope to rise to 23,000. That’s more than double the amount of fans that Kenilworth Road can take which currently stands at 10,356.

Nevertheless, the 2023/24 season will still see visiting Premier League supporters take to social media with pictures of people’s back gardens as they visit this tightly-packed ground to see their team face a Luton Town side who will be determined to make their stay in the top flight a long one.

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About the Author

Matthew Glazier for Bookies.com
Matthew Glazier
Matthew Glazier, the former Head of Marketing at bet365, is a veteran in the online betting industry and contributes to Bookies.com.