Adams Park

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For the municipal park in Nebraska, see Adams Park (Omaha, Nebraska).
Adams Park
Adams Park from a northerly direction.JPG
Former names Causeway Stadium
(sponsored name 2003–2006)
Location Hillbottom Road,
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Coordinates 51°37′50″N 0°48′1″W / 51.63056°N 0.80028°W / 51.63056; -0.80028Coordinates: 51°37′50″N 0°48′1″W / 51.63056°N 0.80028°W / 51.63056; -0.80028
Opened 1990
Expanded 1996, 2001
Owner Wycombe Wanderers Football Club
Surface Desso GrassMaster
Construction cost £3.5m originally
Capacity 10,284 (for football)
10,516 (for rugby)[1]
Tenants
Wycombe Wanderers F.C. (1990 - )
London Wasps RUFC (2002 - )

Adams Park is a football stadium in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Built in 1990, it is the home ground of Wycombe Wanderers F.C. and Rugby Union club London Wasps.

Between 2003 and 2006, the stadium was known as The Causeway Stadium under a naming rights deal, before reverting to its traditional name.

History[edit]

Opening match on 9 August 1990, against Nottingham Forest.

Pre construction[edit]

Wycombe Wanderers had sought to leave their home ground at Loakes Park since the 1960s as the site had been earmarked for the site of development of the adjacent Wycombe General Hospital. The club were able to sell the land to the health authority, which almost solely funded the construction of Adams Park.[citation needed]

Opening[edit]

The ground has a picturesque, rural setting, sitting as it does in a valley at the end of the Sands Industrial Estate, surrounded by green hills on three sides. Whereas Wycombe's previous Loakes Park ground was very close to the town centre, Adams Park is two miles due west of High Wycombe and not hugely accessible either by public or private transport.

The stadium was opened in time for the 1990–91 season, and had a capacity of 6,000 with 1,267 seats in the Main Stand. The ground was named Adams Park in honour of benefactor and former captain Frank Adams. Adams had bought the former ground Loakes Park for the club, whose sale financed the move to the stadium named after him.[citation needed]The new stadium coincided with an upturn in the club's fortunes as, under the guidance of Martin O'Neill, they won the FA Trophy at Wembley thanks to a 2–1 win over Kidderminster Harriers.

Renovations[edit]

1990s[edit]

A few months after entering the Football League in 1993, the crush barriers on the terraces at Adams Park were upgraded, taking the capacity to almost 10,000. In the summer of 1996 the 4,990-seater Woodlands Stand was built on the hill behind the erstwhile Woodlands Terrace. The Hillbottom Road end, where the visiting fans are accommodated, was seated, reducing its capacity from well over 2,000 standing spaces to 1,049 seats. The latter development had created problems when large amounts of visiting fans came to the ground, outstripping the supply of seats in that end when sides like Watford, Birmingham City and Manchester City visited.[citation needed]The capacity of the stadium was fixed at 10,000 to comply with council regulations, as the positioning of the stadium on a dead-end road was leading to problems when large crowds were leaving the ground, particularly with parking cars in the streets of the nearby residential suburb of Sands.[citation needed]

2001[edit]

In the summer of 2001 the Hillbottom Road end was extended by an extra 977 seats to take the capacity to 2,026. This was done mainly to be able to accommodate more away fans in one place when the need arose. However, the capacity was kept at 10,000 by reducing the official capacity of the standing areas at the Valley End and on the paddock in front of the main stand.

2002[edit]

In 2002, the successful rugby union team from Sudbury, London Wasps, became tenants to Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park after losing their previous groundsharing agreement with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

2005[edit]

In July 2005, the crowd was officially recorded as a full-to-capacity 10,000 for the first time, when Premiership champions Chelsea brought team to play Wycombe in a pre-season friendly. It was during this season that the idea that Adams Park would be further expanded was mooted by senior figures at Wycombe Wanderers and Wasps so that it can comply to the Rugby Football Union regulations for Premiership grounds in the future. These stipulate that stadia must have a capacity of at least 12,000 by 2007/08. It was initially suggested that a stand identical to the Woodlands Stand be built where the Main Stand is currently situated, though this would also require a large amount of road building to solve the current access difficulties. These plans never came to fruition, with the two clubs now exploring extending the Valley End of the stadium instead. In whichever form it was to take, expansion was definitely on the cards as Wasps signed an agreement that extends their stay in South Buckinghamshire by another two years, with a view to extending it long-term to 20 years afterwards.

2013[edit]

On 6 March 2013, Adams Park will host rugby league for the first time after London Broncos were forced to move their game against Bradford Bulls to High Wycombe due to pitch problems at their usual home ground the Twickenham Stoop.[2]

New name[edit]

In 2003 the stadium was rebranded as The Causeway Stadium. For £100,000 over three years local technology company Causeway bought the naming rights to the ground. This caused some anger amongst fans as [3] the ground was named Adams Park in honour of benefactor and former captain Frank Adams. Adams had bought the former ground Loakes Park for the club, whose sale financed the move to the stadium named after him. The Causeway Technologies sponsorship expired at the end of the 2005–06 season and the ground name has reverted to Adams Park.

New stadium[edit]

Wycombe District Council also outlined long-term plans for the regeneration of the Abbey Barn area of the town which include a possible 20,000 capacity stadium near the current site of the Wycombe Heights dry ski slope.

2006[edit]

April[edit]

Planning permission is given for a new club shop, on 2 April 2006, to be built in the summer to replace the current one housed in a large portable building. This will be joined onto the offices in the back of the old main stand and free up space in the lower carpark. Plans were also announced for a, much needed, new front pedestrian entrance alongside the main vehicle front gates.

July[edit]

Plans are also afoot at London Wasps for a new access route to the ground, allowing the expansion up to 15,000. Plans were handed over to WWFC by Wasps for expansion plans in July 2006. They include adding two tiers of seating onto the back of the existing Valley End terrace with them filling in the corner round to the large Woodlands Stand enclosing that section of the ground. The capacity will rise to 15,000 with this building work. There is also a revised access route planned to allow the safety certificate to let the extra 5,000 people in and out. The single access currently allows no more than 10,000 people in the ground regardless of the actual capacity. Costs for the expansion are put at between £4–5 million. Additionally, a new club shop and offices were constructed in 2006.

2007[edit]

February[edit]

Update on Wasps stadium expansion plans at the London Wasps fans forum in Twickenham. The plans were altered after receiving comments from the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) & the modified plans are currently being considered by SAG. Once they've approved the plans they will go to WWFC for final approval. At this point the Club will need to consider how & when to submit the plans for outline planning permission.

August[edit]

At a WWFC fans forum CEO Steve Hayes announces plans to build a new stadium in the High Wycombe area, with a capacity of 17,000 – 20,000 and to be the first UK stadium in modern times to have terracing. The new stadium would be joint owned by WWFC, London Wasps and Wycombe District Council. It will share a site with retail outlets, a hotel and conference facilities. Formal plans should be expected in 2 years, meaning if proceeded with the new complex would open in 2012.

2008[edit]

April[edit]

The stadium land is taken out of the Green Belt by a Government inspector meaning the land value rises from £4,000 per acre to £1,000,000 per acre, giving a better resale value if required. It also allows additional stands, permanent or temporary, to be constructed to gain the 12,500 capacity required by London Wasps under Guinness Premiership regulations for the coming season. However, the main problem of access still remains, and until a new road is built, or the existing hillbottom road widened, speculation as to whether Wycombe Wanderers and Wasps will remain at Adams Park will continue to be rife.

2011[edit]

January[edit]

Steve Hayes has announced his intentions to build a new stadium for Wanderers and Wasps at Booker, just up the road from Adams park. There is large support and opposition from various groups, to the plans which currently show very little other than the stadium will be between 15,000-20,000 and include terracing. There may be a hotel and retail complex to support the stadium and pay some of the cost. As it stands Adams Park has changed little since April 2008. The club shop has reduced in size by 50% in order for larger offices to accommodate Wasps staff at the ground.

Structure[edit]

Beechdean Stand (North)[edit]

Looking towards the Beechdean Stand at Adams Park

Built in 1990 the stand has a capacity of 1,267, all seated. There is additional space for 232 standing spectators in the paddock at the front of this stand, for London Wasps matches only. For Wycombe Wanderers matches, spectators may only stand here if they already have a valid seat ticket. The stand also contains the club offices, changing rooms, club shop, and catering facilities.

Panache Stand (East)[edit]

The Panache stand was built as a terrace in 1990, became all-seater in 1996 before being doubled in size to the current 2,053 all-seated capacity, with a space for 10 wheelchairs. This stand is designated as the away end for football matches.

Frank Adams Stand / NHS Choose Well Stand (South)[edit]

Originally a single level terrace, this stand was expanded into a two-tier unit in 1996. Now with a capacity of 4,990 (2,842 in the Upper Tier, 1,738 plus 50 wheelchair spaces in the Lower Tier) the South Stand contains boxes for corporate hospitality and is designated as the stadium's Family Stand.

Greene King IPA Terrace (West)[edit]

The Greene King IPA Terrace at Adams Park

With a capacity of 1,974 the Green King IPA terrace is the home supporters' end for football matches, and the only remaining terrace in the stadium.

Facilities[edit]

The stadium contains two hospitality suites. The Vere Suite, located in the Beechdean stand, is named after the Vere family who own and run the Verco furniture company based in High Wycombe. Verco was the Wanderers main sponsor when the ground was opened. The Woodlands Suite is situated on the Executive Box level of the Frank Adams / NHS Choose Well stand

The ground also contains a bar, called Scores, and since 2006 a club shop in the corner of the ground between the Beechdean and Panache stands.

Significant matches[edit]

  • 17/11/92 - England U19s 2-1 Turkey U19s
  • 16/11/05 - England U19s 2-0 Switzerland U19s
  • 06/03/06 - FA Women's Premier League Cup Final (Arsenal 1-2 Charlton Athletic)
  • 13/05/06 - League Two Playoff Semi-Final First Leg (Wycombe 0-0 Cheltenham Town)
  • 10/01/07 - League Cup Semi-Final First Leg (Wycombe 1-1 Chelsea)
  • 02/05/09 - Wycombe promoted to Football League One (Wycombe 1-2 Notts County)
  • 07/05/11 - Wycombe promoted to Football League One (Wycombe 3-1 Southend United)
  • 21/03/13 - England U21s 3-0 Romania U21s
  • 06/04/13 - First Super League match at Adams Park (London Broncos 20-46 Bradford Bulls)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wycombe Wanderers FC Saefty Certificate". Idoxwam.wycombe.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  2. ^ 14:50 GMT (2013-03-30). "BBC Sport - London Broncos move Bradford Bulls clash to Adams Park". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 
  3. ^ "New Name For Stadium Revealed". Thisishertfordshire.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-28. 

External links[edit]