Broadhall Way

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Lamex Stadium
Stevenagenight.jpg
View from the South Stand
Full name The Lamex Stadium
Location Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Opened 1980
Expanded 2001
Owner Stevenage F.C.
Operator Stevenage F.C.
Surface Grass
Capacity
6,722[1]
Field size
110 x 70 yards[2]
Tenants
Stevenage Town F.C. (1961–1968)
Stevenage Athletic F.C. (1968–1976)
Stevenage F.C. (1980–present)

Broadhall Way, known as The Lamex Stadium for sponsorship purposes, is an association football stadium in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. It has been the home ground of Stevenage (formerly Stevenage Borough) since 1980, and has a capacity of 6,722 people, including 3,142 seats.[2]

History[edit]

The club plays at Broadhall Way, previously home to Stevenage Town and Stevenage Athletic. Following the bankruptcy of the town's former club, the stadium was not used for three years.[1] The newly formed Stevenage Borough had planned on playing Hitchin Town Youth at Broadhall Way in November 1976 as a "curtain-raiser" for the new venture.[3] Volunteers prepared the pitch in anticipation, but their plans were scuppered when the ex-chairman of Stevenage Athletic — and stadium lease-holder — desecrated the playing surface at Broadhall Way by digging a trench across the full length of the pitch.[3] However, the club eventually moved into Broadhall Way in 1980 as a result of the council re-purchasing the stadium, and allowed the football club to become its tenant.[4][5][6]

Following Stevenage's successful 1995–96 Conference National campaign, the Hertfordshire side were denied promotion to the Football League because of insufficient ground capacity and facilities.[1] Consequently, in the early 2000s, the ground was upgraded, with a new £600,000 stand opening,[1] and work on a £5million training facility was announced for nearby Shephalbury Park — which subsequently opened in Autumn 2002.[6] In June 2011, the club secured a 40-acre former sports ground in Bragbury End[7] — with the intention of developing the site into a new training complex.[7] Work began on the development in the summer of 2011,[7] and the staff began to use the complex towards the latter stages of the 2012–13 season.

In January 2009, Stevenage announced that they had signed a seven-figure sponsorship deal with the Lamex Food Group, resulting in the renaming of Broadhall Way to The Lamex Stadium.[6] As a result of the club securing promotion as league champions during the club's 2009–10 campaign, Broadhall Way hosted League football for the first ever time during the 2010–11 season.[8] The stadium now has a capacity of 6,722 people, including 3,142 seats.[9] The capacity was reduced from 7,100 following the club's promotion to the Football League.[10]

Structure and facilities[edit]

Plan of Broadhall Way

The ground's pitch includes four stands – the East Terrace, the North Terrace, the West (Main) Stand, and South Stand.[6] The West Stand is all-seated and covered, and covers the length of the pitch, although it has open corners to either side of the stand. At the back of the stand there are a number of glass-fronted areas to various club offices and executive boxes.[1] The club shop is situated next to the West Stand, opposite to the club's official car-park.[11] Parts of the West Stand were refurbished after the 2011–12 season, with the club widening the car park behind the stand, as well as extending the entrance into the executive boxes in the stand.[12] Opposite to the West Stand is the East Terrace, which is a covered terrace for home supporters. The terrace has a gable with a clock sitting on its roof above the half-way line,[1] as well as holding a television gantry on its roof.[4]

The North Terrace is situated behind the goal at the north end of the ground and is just seven steps deep.[1] Three-quarters of the terrace is covered, whilst one-quarter is open and without cover.[6] The stand can hold a capacity of 700 people,[6] and also offers facilities for disabled fans.[1] Opposite the North Terrace is the South Stand, which is a single tiered, all-seated covered stand. The stand was built in 2001, costing £600,000 and includes an executive suite underneath.[6] The South Stand is reserved for away supporters and can hold a capacity of 1,400.[6] From 2001 until 2011, the stand was known for sponsorships reasons as the Buildbase Stand. The stand also has an electronic scoreboard in the centre of the roof, making it visible to home supporters.[1] The scoreboard was replaced in October 2011.[13] Behind the stand is the supporters' club.[14] A new set of floodlights were installed before the start of the club's 2007–08 campaign.[2]

Other uses[edit]

The stadium hosted the England C team, who represent England at non-League level, in January 2003, for a friendly against an Italy XI outfit.[15] The stadium was also used for an England U20 match against Czech Republic U20 in October 2003.[16] The game ended 2–0 to England.[16] In July 2012, the stadium hosted a warm-up friendly between Senegal U23 and South Korea U23, ahead of the 2012 Summer Olympics, with South Korea winning the match 3–0.[17][18] Additionally, for five years, the ground played host to the Tottenham Hotspur reserve side,[19] but the North London club opted to use Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road for the start of the 2007–08 season due to its more convenient geographical location.[20]

At the end of the 2005–06 season, Broadhall Way also hosted the Conference South play-off final between St Albans City and Histon; a match that St Albans won 2–0 in front of 3,284 spectators.[21] The following year, the stadium played host to the play-off final once again, where 3,167 were in attendance to watch Salisbury City beat Braintree Town 1–0 to gain promotion to the Conference National.[22] It hosted the final for the third, and last time, in May 2008 when Eastbourne Borough beat Hampton & Richmond Borough 2–0.[22] Moreover, various charity based matches have also taken place at the ground in recent years.

Records[edit]

Stevenage's average league attendances at Broadhall Way from 1994 to 2009.

The highest attendance recorded at the stadium was 8,040 for a match against Newcastle United in the FA Cup fourth-round on 25 January 1998.[23] A temporary stand was erected behind the away end to increase the stadium capacity to 8,100, enough to satisfy the FA.[24] The highest attendance recorded for a competitive league match at Broadhall Way is 7,024, when Stevenage played Luton Town in the Conference National in April 2010, previously beating the 6,520 attendance when Stevenage played Hereford United in the Conference National play-offs in May 2005.[25] The club's lowest attendance whilst playing in the highest tier of non-league football is 879 for a match against Stalybridge Celtic in March 1995.[26] The lowest attendance recorded at the ground for a first-team match is 152 for an Isthmian League match against Billericay Town in August 1987.[27]

The highest seasonal average for Stevenage at Broadhall Way since the club was promoted to the Football Conference in 1994 is 2,748, during the club's 1996–97 campaign.[28] This seasonal average was beaten when the club were promoted into the Football League for the 2010–11 season, averaging 2,960 fans during their first ever season as a Football League team.[29] Attendances continued to improve the following season, in the club's first League One campaign, with the seasonal average sitting at 3,559, the first time the club had averaged over 3,000 spectators.[30] The season was also the first time that over 100,000 fans attended games at Broadhall Way.[31] This figure showed a significant rise in the club's attendances, as it was over double the number of fans who attended games at the stadium during the 2008–09 season.[31] The lowest overall average attendance while the club has been in the top fiver tiers of English football was in the side's first year in the Conference, in 1994–95, averaging 1,415.[26]

Transport[edit]

The ground is located just over a mile away from Stevenage railway station, which is adjacent to the town centre,[32] the station lies on the East Coast Main Line north of King's Cross station.[2]

Future[edit]

In April 2011, Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace confirmed that the club were looking for investment to re-develop the North Stand, which can only currently hold a capacity of 700 people.[33] The new plans involved a 2,000 all-seater stand that Wallace "wants to signify Boro's transition from a former non-league outfit to that of an ambitious, forward-thinking Football League club".[33] It was stated that the new build would look similar to the South Stand from within the stadium — except for being "a few rows deeper".[33] In January 2013, it was announced that the club were due to present plans to replace the existing North Terrace with a new £1.2 million 1,700 seat stand.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Ground of the Week: Broadhall Way". BBC - London. Retrieved 22 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Conference Grounds – Stevenage". Conference Grounds. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "A short history of the club". Stevenage F.C. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Broadhall Way Football Ground". BBC - Beds, Herts and Bucks. Retrieved 21 August 2009. 
  5. ^ Stevenage Borough v Ebbsfleet United matchday programme. Stevenage F.C. 2009. p. 36. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Lamex Stadium". Stevenage F.C. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c "Wallace building for the future". The Comet. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Kidderminster 0–2 Stevenage". BBC Sport. 17 April 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "Important ticket info for Sheffield United clash". Stevenage F.C. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Stevenage – The Lamex Stadium". Football Ground Guide. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  11. ^ "Club information". Stevenage F.C. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  12. ^ "West Stand refurbishment on track". Stevenage F.C. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "The end of an era". Stevenage F.C. 22 October 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "Stevenage FC facilities". Stevenage F.C. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  15. ^ "England Under 23's & England C". Non-league Paper. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  16. ^ a b "England U20 Match Results". England Football Online. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  17. ^ "The Lamex to host Olympic warm up game". Stevenage F.C. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "Arsenal and Celtic stars on target in Korea win". The Comet. 20 July 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  19. ^ "Reserve Team Fixtures and Results – 2007–2008 season". The Independent. Retrieved 2 September 2009. 
  20. ^ Lee, Marcus (12 May 20012). "Stevenage seek to make most of grand stage". London: Spurs Odyssey. Retrieved 2 September 2009. 
  21. ^ "St Albans and Stafford promoted". BBC Sport. 7 May 2006. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  22. ^ a b "Conference North/South play-offs". BBC Sport. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  23. ^ "Stevenage 1–1 Newcastle". Soccerbase. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  24. ^ "Football: FA will rule today on Stevenage tie". London: The Independent. 9 January 1998. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  25. ^ "Stevenage 1–1 Hereford". Soccerbase. 1 May 2005. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  26. ^ a b "Season Guide – 1994/95". Boroguide. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  27. ^ "Season Guide – 1987/8". Boroguide. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  28. ^ "Season Guide – 1998/99". Boroguide. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  29. ^ "Season Guide – 2010/11". Boroguide. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  30. ^ "Season Guide – 2011/12". Boroguide. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  31. ^ a b "Boro Attendances on the Rise Again!". Stevenage F.C. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  32. ^ "Club Guide – Stevenage Borough". Boroguide. Retrieved 24 August 2009. 
  33. ^ a b c "Proposed North Stand image released". The Comet. Retrieved 7 April 2011. 
  34. ^ "Boro press forward with new North Stand". Stevenage F.C. 29 January 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 

Coordinates: 51°53′23.42″N 0°11′36.99″W / 51.8898389°N 0.1936083°W / 51.8898389; -0.1936083