Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney Reveal Massive Wrexham Expansion Plan


Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are most known in the United States for their acting work, but in the U.K., the two stars’ reputation lies with Welsh soccer team Wrexham A.F.C. They took over the Wrexham brand in 2020 and have been helping to elevate the team’s profile and success in recent years. Now, they’re dreaming even bigger. 

In an April 30 interview with Collider, Reynolds and McElhenney explained that they want to greatly expand Wrexham’s STōK Racecourse, where the team currently plays, and nearly quadruple the venue in size. The Racecourse is the world’s oldest international soccer stadium still in use with its first game dating back to 1877. 

There have been quite a few obstacles they’ve had to overcome to try to renovate the stadium, however. This includes putting up a temporary stand behind one of the goals and the dream of going from 12,600 seats to as many as 55,000. 

“We have a plan in place right now that would work from stand to stand so eventually you get all four sides,” McElhenney said. “It’s hard to say for sure, but we think we could get between 45,000 and 55,000 people in there.”

“It is definitely a comedic point of consternation in the show how often we’re running up against bureaucracy,” McElhenney added. “All those regulations are there in place for a reason, but then there are some things that just seem like hurdles for hurdle’s sake. It’s a lot harder to build in the U.K. than, I found, almost anywhere else in the world.”

Reynolds echoed a similar sentiment. “Yeah, I think the thick buttress of bureaucracy is the biggest f–king problem,” he said. “In Wales, it really is a lot of red tape, and it’s just sort of figuring out ways to tick all those boxes and make sure that every single bureaucrat is happy.”

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The duo’s “ultimate goal,” McElhenney said, is to get Wrexham into the prestigious Premier League—but with a catch. “[We’re] only doing it in a fashion that the community supports because there are all sorts of ways to succeed,” he reassured locals. “We feel that there are only a few paths to be ethically viable to do so.”

Season 3 of the popular Welcome to Wrexham docuseries chronicling Reynolds and McElhenney’s work behind the scenes on the soccer club begins airing on FX on May 2 and streams the next day on Hulu. 

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