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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 March 2007, 10:33 GMT
Cardiff reduce stadium capacity
Cardiff City's new stadium plans
The new plans follow Southampton's stadium design
Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale said plans for a new stadium had to be scaled down to ensure the long-awaited project finally goes ahead.

The new proposals reduce the stadium capacity by 5,000 to 25,000, and have been approved by Cardiff Council.

Work on the 60-acre site is set to start next month, with the stadium due to be ready by February 2009.

"We've designed a stadium with a single tier on three sides with a double tier on the main West Stand," said Ridsdale.

"But we have the ability to put a second tier on any of the other three sides without taking the roof off, so it's the best of both worlds.

"Anyone who was at St Mary's in Southampton on Tuesday will know they've got a similar design and it's a outstanding stadium."

We've now got plans, not dreams, that are reality and we've got the money in the bank to pay for it.

Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale

The development at Leckwith, which includes a retail park, suffered years of delays as the club failed to convince the local authority to they could cover the cost.

But a financial restructuring in January, which saw Ridsdale replace Sam Hammam in charge, has put the club on a firmer financial footing and the council has now given the plan the green light.

"The [original] plans were great but they didn't have the money to build it," Ridsdale told BBC Wales Sport.

"What we've done is the other way around - we've got the money and we're building a stadium within the budget we've got.

"It'll be a superb stadium and hopefully it will house Premiership football.

"There's an eight-week window between December 2008 and the end of February 2009 when the stadium will be finished.

"Everyone keeps asking 'when will it be finished' - the most important thing for me is we've started.

"We've now got plans, not dreams, that are reality and we've got the money in the bank to pay for it."

Cardiff have agreed a fixed price contract with contractors Laing O'Rourke, believed to be about 38m, and Ridsdale said: "They've got an impressive track record.

"They're being driven by a local office based in Cardiff and the man driving it is a Cardiff City supporter."

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