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Luton Town forced to postpone first Premier League home game

Luton Town have been forced to postpone their first Premier League home fixture of the 2023-24 season after failing to guarantee that the £10 million ($13.1m) upgrade of their Kenilworth Road stadium will be completed in time.

Luton, who were promoted from the National League — England’s fifth tier — in 2014, defeated Coventry City in the EFL Championship playoff final at Wembley Stadium in May to secure a place in the Premier League for the first time.

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But despite the club insisting at the time that the building work at their 10,356-capacity stadium — the smallest ground ever to host Premier League fixtures — would be done before the start of the season, their scheduled home game against Burnley on Aug. 19 has now been postponed because of concerns over the progress of the construction work.

A Premier League statement said: “The Premier League match between Luton Town FC and Burnley FC, scheduled to take place on Saturday 19 August, will now be postponed.

“Luton Town FC were unable to offer the League and Burnley FC a guarantee that ongoing work to Kenilworth Road would not impact the scheduling of this match at late notice for supporters.”

Luton will travel to Brighton & Hove Albion on the opening weekend of the Premier League season on Aug. 12, but the club said they were forced to request the postponement of the Burnley game, despite saying that the building work is ahead of schedule.

“Kenilworth Road is undergoing a programme of extensive ground improvements to be ready to host Premier League football, including the construction of a new stand to meet broadcast and media requirements,” a Luton Town statement said.

“Whilst ongoing work is progressing extremely well and currently ahead of schedule, the Premier League understandably requires guarantees to its fixture schedule within sufficient time to advise supporters and broadcasters of any changes in advance.

“Due to the extent of the project, the Club cannot absolutely guarantee supporters that any future unforeseen issues would not cause any delay potentially impacting upon the scheduled opening game at home.

“Therefore, together with the Premier League and Burnley FC, all parties felt this was a sensible outcome which gives supporters of both teams sufficient time to plan for what will now be a free weekend and subsequently make arrangements for travel for the new date.”

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