Newport County will temporarily increase the capacity of the club’s stadium, Rodney Parade, ahead of a mammoth double-header to end January. Wrexham and Manchester United will both profit from the decision after Newport booked their place in the FA Cup fourth round on Tuesday.
The Exiles defeated Eastleigh 3-1 at the Silverlake Stadium, having been held to a 1-1 draw at home in the third round proper despite the National League outfit playing with 10 men.
Jubilant Newport manager Graham Coughlan described United’s visit to South Wales as the biggest match in the League Two club’s history.
He added: “They have some unbelievable names in their team, and just to have Manchester United Football Club coming to Rodney Parade, it’s unbelievable and a hell of an achievement.”
Preparations have commenced for the Red Devils’ trip to Rodney Parade and the Welsh derby against Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s Wrexham a week earlier.
Newport have announced that they will erect a temporary stand behind the North Terrace to house an extra 1,000 home supporters for both fixtures.
Construction of the uncovered stand started today and will be in place for Saturday’s sold-out league clash against Wrexham.
It will remain at Rodney Parade in anticipation of the United tie, scheduled for 4:30pm next Sunday, January 28.
Newport add that the decision has tested the margins of the club’s budget, with the additional ticket sales only just covering the costs.
The club “felt it was important to offer as many people as possible from the local community the opportunity to sample big game football at Rodney Parade – and help build momentum for the future.”
In good news for Wrexham and United, Newport are also adding 400 seats to the away stand to meet the FA’s allocation guidelines in the FA Cup.
It means 1,010 tickets out of the 7,850 capacity will go to travelling supporters, a major boost for both clubs.
The extra away capacity will remain in place for the League Two clashes against Swindon Town and Notts County in February to cover costs.
Wrexham are also in FA Cup action a day after Newport and United lock horns, travelling to Championship side Blackburn Rovers.
They visit Rodney Parade after winning six of their last seven games in all competitions. Newport have lost just once in their previous nine outings.
Wrexham triumphed 2-0 in the reverse fixture at the Racecourse Ground in December. Before that, the two clubs hadn’t met in a league derby since 1988.