Rob McElhenney & Ryan Reynolds reveal Wrexham's plans for 55,000 capacity stadium

  • Rob McElhenney shares plans for ambitious Racecourse development
  • Wrexham's ground is more than 200 years old
  • Ryan Reynolds: "The whole town could come to a game"
Wrexham have plans to build up the Racecourse Ground
Wrexham have plans to build up the Racecourse Ground / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Wrexham co-owner Rob McElhenney has shared the club's ambition to make their historic Racecourse Ground one of the largest stadiums in British football.

The venue dates back to 1807 and was first used for football in 1864 when Wrexham were formed in the adjacent pub, made internationally famous in recent years for featuring in Welcome to Wrexham.

After financial uncertainty in the first two decades of the 21st century, Wrexham purchased the freehold for the Racecourse from the local university in 2022 following the takeover by McElhenney and fellow actor and co-owner Ryan Reynolds.

It has signalled a bright new era for the club, having recently enjoyed a second successive promotion to leap from the fifth tier National League into third tier League One in the space of two years. But the Racecourse has been a relic of the past, with the famous Kop, unusable since 2008 because of safety concerns, torn down in January 2023 after plans had been approved to build a brand new all-seater stand with a 5,500 capacity, hospitality lounge, office and retail space.

Delays to that project led to a temporary stand being erected this season, opening in December. But overall ambitions from the club hierarchy are firmly pointing towards the sky as McElhenney targets a long-term stand by stand renovation project.

Wrexham's Kop Stand was torn down in 2023
Wrexham's Kop Stand was torn down in 2023 / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

"We have a plan in place right now that would work from stand to stand so eventually you get all four sides," the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia star told entertainment website Collider

"It's hard to say for sure, but we think we could get between 45,000 and 55,000 people in there."

Reynolds even quipped in the same interview: "The whole town could come to a game," referring to the current population of Wrexham coming in at just under 45,000.

A 55,000-capacity stadium is bigger than the Premier League venues like St James' Park, Stamford Bridge and Villa Park, as well as matching the current size of the Etihad Stadium.

Despite playing half a season with only three operable stands at the Racecourse, Wrexham have enjoyed healthy attendances. Their average crowd over 23 home games was 11,210, the second largest in League Two behind only Bradford City's 17,547. It was also a bigger number than 18 clubs in League One, one in the Championship and two (Luton and Bournemouth) in the Premier League.