Craven Park, Hull

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Craven Park
Craven Park - geograph-710492-by-Peter-Church.jpg
Former names MS3 Craven Park
Location Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire,HU9 5HE, England
Coordinates 53°45′14″N 0°15′53″W / 53.75389°N 0.26472°W / 53.75389; -0.26472Coordinates: 53°45′14″N 0°15′53″W / 53.75389°N 0.26472°W / 53.75389; -0.26472
Operator Hull Kingston Rovers
Capacity 12,000
Surface Grass
Opened 1989
Tenants
Hull Kingston Rovers (1989–present)

Craven Park (for sponsorship reasons known as the KC Lightstream Stadium) is the home of Hull Kingston Rovers RLFC, situated on Preston Road in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England.

History[edit]

The club moved to the new ground in 1989 from the "Old" Craven Park which was sited on Holderness Road.

The first match was played against Trafford Borough packing in a full capacity 8,500 crowd to watch. Rovers convincingly started the new era, and in that season were crowned Division Two champions.

The stadium was the former home to the Hull Vikings speedway team, but they left when the ground was refurbished for Hull Kingston Rovers use in the Super League.

In 2006 the ground and pitch were substantially improved as the club sought a return to the top flight of British rugby league.

Plans for Hull Kingston Rovers to move from Craven Park to a new purpose-built rugby league stadium to be constructed at a new, unconfirmed site were suggested in 2007, but shortly after this, Hull City Council, in partnership with Kingston Community Developments Limited and Hull Kingston Rovers, announced that terms for lease agreements had been reached to support the long term future of Craven Park. These terms will enable investment and development of the stadium to move forward.

The initial phase of redeveloping Craven Park was the lease purchase of a temporary seated stand which replaced the use of the inadequate south terrace for visiting away fans. Hull Kingston Rovers' second season in Super League coincided with work beginning on the extension of the standing terraced East Stand. This extension increased the capacity of the stand by 1,120 bringing its overall capacity to 4,750. A similar extension to the opposite end of the stand was completed in 2009.

On 25 January 2014, Hull Kingston Rovers announced that it had secured a new stadium naming rights partnership with local communications provider, KC.[1] Under a five-year agreement, Craven Park will carry the branding of KC’s superfast fibre broadband service, becoming the ‘KC Lightstream Stadium’ with immediate effect.

Redevelopment[edit]

Along with the extension to the East Stand, Hull Kingston Rovers intend to build a new purpose built stand at the north (Preston Road) end of the ground. Although official plans are yet to be completed or released, former CEO Paul Lakin suggested in interview that the stand is likely to be based on the recently constructed Carnegie Stand at Leeds' Headingley ground.

The aim of the construction, as well as providing better facilities and capacity for visiting supporters and increasing the number of seats for home supporters, is to modernise Craven Park, become a main entrance to the stadium, and provide various public and private facilities contributing towards the planned regeneration of the area.

Other suggested ideas on the redevelopment of Craven Park, include moving the temporary seated stand to the south end of the ground when work begins on the new north stand, and also developing the standing 'well' area of the Strata Holdings West Stand to create a new seated area. However the club may well weigh up the costs of replacing the West Stand completely. Now that the North Stand is complete, Hull Kingston Rovers and now looking at option to improve the East stand and build a new, purpose built south stand. The East Stand is most likely to be extended at the South Stand corner so that it stretches the full length of the pitch. This would improve the stand's capacity to around 6000, and it is planned for 2015.

A new purpose built South Stand is likely to house away supporters. This would allow the new North Stand to be used by home Fans. A new South Stand is likely to have a capacity of around 2500 with facilities that will take the club forward. Designs are yet to be announced, but it is likely to be a terraced stand. Construction is likely to begin by 2015, and be ready for the 2016 season. An extension to the East Stand and a new purpose built South Stand will take the grounds capacity to 14500, which would see Craven Park become the 7th largest Super League ground.

KC North Stand[edit]

In 2013, the new £8 million KC North Stand opened for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup game between Papua New Guinea and France.

The stand is an all-seater stand that has a capacity of 2,600. This brought the capacity of Craven Park up to 12,000.

The stand was jointly funded by Hull City Council and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the KC North Stand will also deliver an Enterprise Hub Training Centre operated by Hull Training to deliver adult and apprenticeship training courses. The stand holds a large conference center that will greatly improve income for the club.

Strata Holdings West Stand[edit]

This is currently the main stand, It has a capacity of around 5000, which includes a large seating area with 4500 seats and then a small terraced area below executive boxes, which holds around 500 fans. The stand houses the stadiums main changing rooms that were redeveloped prior to the 2014 season to improve the size and facilities of the changing room. The stand also houses the Stadium Shop, a gym and many boxes available to hire. Inside the stand there is the '706 Taxi's Robins Nest' bar for Home and away fans and also the Cloughtons '10-5' suite. This is a restaurant with pitch side views and exclusive player and coach interviews after a Match. The suite is named after Hull KR's famous win over Hull FC in the 1980 Challenge Cup Final. The stand houses media facilities, where Television broadcaster Sky have a media box as well as a large commentators area. The stand does not cover the length of the pitch, however it is the tallest stand in the ground by far.

International Rugby[edit]

Craven Park hosted the Autumn International Series match between England and France on 3 November 2012 that England won 44–6.[2]

2013 Rugby League World Cup[edit]

The stadium hosted two matches in the Rugby League World Cup: Papua New Guinea's Group B fixtures against France on Sunday 27 October and Samoa on Monday 4 November.[3]

The first game saw Papua New Guinea lose to France by a small margin of just 8-9 and was played in front of a crowd of 7,981 people.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hull KR: Craven Park becomes KC Lightstream Stadium". Hull Daily Mail. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Hudson, Elizabeth (3 November 2012). "Autumn International Series: England 44-6 France". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2013 fixtures announced". Code 13 Rugby League. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 

External links[edit]