Brewery Field

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The Brewery Field
Brewery Field main stand-geograph-1606369.jpg
Location Bridgend, Wales
Coordinates 51°30′36″N 3°34′54″W / 51.51000°N 3.58167°W / 51.51000; -3.58167Coordinates: 51°30′36″N 3°34′54″W / 51.51000°N 3.58167°W / 51.51000; -3.58167
Opened 1920
Owner Bridgend Ravens
Operator The Brewery Field Ltd
Surface Grass
Capacity 8,000
Tenants
Bridgend Ravens (1920-1929, 1935-1949 and 1957-present)
Brewery Field main stand

Brewery Field (also known as The Bridgend Ford Brewery Field for sponsorship purposes) is an 8,000 capacity sports stadium in Bridgend, Wales 1,100 of which is seated capacity. It is the home ground of the Welsh Principality Premiership rugby union team Bridgend Ravens.

Bridgend RFC[edit]

Bridgend Ravens moved to The Brewery Field in 1920 after their former home Quarella Ground was acquired for building purposes. The club's first stay at the Brewery Field ended in the 1928/29 season, when the ground was purchased by a Greyhound Racing Syndicate. They returned in 1935 only to go into exile yet again in May 1949 after being evicted after a rugby league team had signed up to take the lease of the ground, but eventually returned in 1957 with the ground in a poor state of repair. Most of the outside fencing was laid to the ground, essential servies including water, heating, lighting and drainage were wrecked and needed to be completely re-installed. Other repairs and building work took place over several months and just in time for the 1957/8 season and the club have remained there ever since.

Bridgend Town FC[edit]

Bridgend Town FC moved to the Brewery Field in 2009 after the consortium that the club was part of, purchased the ground. The club had been without a home since leaving Coychurch Road in 2007 to make way for a supermarket development. They had ground-shared with Porthcawl Town F.C. until 2008 and then moved to the University of Glamorgan playing fields in Treforest Industrial Estate. The club played their first game at the Brewery Field in September 2009, when they beat Aberaman Athletic 1-0.

The club have merged with local rivals Bryntirion Athletic to form Pen-y-Bont FC and will be based out of Bryntirion Park, meaning football will no longer be played the Brewery Field.

Celtic Warriors[edit]

Celtic Warriors played most of their home matches at the ground in their only season in 2003–04. The team was formed during the advent of regional rugby at the top level of rugby union in Wales and was the partnership of Bridgend RFC and Pontypridd RFC. The ground hosted all but 3 of the club's home games. A then capacity-crowd of 10,000 saw the team host London Wasps in the Heineken Cup competition. The club was culled after just one season due to financial difficulties by the Welsh Rugby Union, neither Bridgend or Pontypridd had any sort of ownership of the region at the time of closure.

Bridgend Blue Bulls RLFC[edit]

Rugby league team Bridgend Blue Bulls played at the ground in 2005, winning all their home games, including the RLC Welsh Grand Final 56-16 against Torfaen Tigers. The ground also hosted the Harry Jepson Cup final, which the club reached and ran out 60-10 winners over Leeds Akkies. The club didn't remain at the ground beyond the 2005 season and are now based at Porthcawl RFC.

Celtic Crusaders RLFC[edit]

Crusaders played their first four seasons of their existence at the ground, to which they had ownership of, between 2006 and 2009. The team played in the lower leagues of professional rugby league during their first few years, before they were given a franchise to operate in Super League, the elite rugby league competition in Europe, from 2009 to 2011. They played their first Super League home game at the stadium on February 21, 2009 against Hull. The Crusaders won their first Super League game at Brewery Field on 13 June 2009 with a shock win against the Wigan Warriors. They re-located to The Racecourse Ground in Wrexham at the end of 2009 and disbanded two years later. It was also the headquarters of Wales Rugby League and home of the Wales national rugby league team, but they have since re-located.

Ownership[edit]

The ground changed ownership in 2009. Before this change the long-term lease was owned by the Crusaders and the Bridgend Ravens had to rent the ground from the Crusaders throughout the winter. Now it is owned by a consortium of the Bridgend Ravens and Bridgend Town FC.[1]

In July 2010, a story was published that many misunderstood to mean Bridgend Ravens had sole ownership of the famous ground. In fact the story was only reporting that Bridgend Ravens had finally purchased their half of the lease for the Brewery Field from Bridgend Town having not been financially able to at the original transfer of ownership. The ground remains in 50/50 ownership between Bridgend Ravens and Bridgend Town Football Club.[2]

Other uses[edit]

The stadium held a Bryan Adams concert in 2006, which was organised by the Celtic Crusaders and was seen as a huge success with over 15,000 in attendance.

2010 saw the ground host all of Wales national women's rugby union team home matches in the 2010 Women's Six Nations Championship.

The 2010 Welsh Women's Cup final between Cardiff City Ladies and UWIC Ladies was played on the ground.

International football arrived at the ground for the first time in October 2010, with the venue hosting two games from the 2011 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship qualification, with Wales hosting their group. The first game was played on 22 October, when Turkey U19s recorded a 5-1 victory over Kazakhstan U19s. The second game at the venue was between Kazakhstan U19s and Wales U19s on 25 October which ended in a 1-1 draw and ensured Wales finished second in the group and qualified for the next stage of the qualification process.

The Ospreys rugby union team played their LV Cup home game at the Brewery Field versus Leicester Tigers achieving a record crowd for them in that competition of 6,632 on a very wet and windy Friday night, with a match against London Wasps played a few months later. The Ospreys returned to the ground to play matches against Northampton Saints and Newport Gwent Dragons in season 2011–12.

The ground has been named as a potential venue for when Wales hosts the 2013 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Control of Bridgend's Brewery Field changes hands walesonline.co.uk
  2. ^ [1] walesonline.co.uk