Edge Hall Road

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Edge Hall Road
The Grand Hall, Straight Edge
Full name The Wigan Laundry Company Community Stadium (2013–14)
Former names The Co-operative Community Stadium (2008–11)
Location Orrell, Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester, England
Coordinates 53°31′53″N 2°42′23″W / 53.53139°N 2.70639°W / 53.53139; -2.70639Coordinates: 53°31′53″N 2°42′23″W / 53.53139°N 2.70639°W / 53.53139; -2.70639
Built 1950
Opened 1950
Owner Wigan Warriors
Capacity 3,000
Tenants
Wigan Warriors (2001-present)
Orrell R.U.F.C. (1950-2007)

Edge Hall Road is the Wigan Warriors Rugby League club's high performance training complex and the home ground of the Wigan Warriors Senior Academy and Junior Academy teams and the former home ground of Orrell R.U.F.C.. As of April 2013 it is known as The Wigan Laundry Company Community Stadium.[1] The ground is located in the Orrell district of the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester. The ground consists of the 1000 capacity all seat North stand, the terraced South stand, the East 'scoreboard' end and the high performance training centre (formerly the Orrell clubhouse).

Edge Hall Road became the permanent residence of Orrell R.U.F.C. in 1950, replacing several locations previously used by the club, including Kitt Green and Abbey Lakes, both areas within Orrell.

Orrell RUFC were once a successful rugby union team, but the advent of professionalism saw them struggle to return to the Guinness Premiership following their relegation in 1997.

With mounting debt, the club was sold to Dave Whelan, then owner of Wigan Warriors and current Wigan Athletic chairman. Following his takeover of the club, and the death of the landlord, the ground and its surrounding land was sold to Mr. Whelan's company, Whelco Holdings. After several successful seasons, Whelan withdrew his financial backing and the club again began to struggle, Whelan charging £1,000 per match to use the stadium. This excessive rent, coupled with Whelan's decision to ban the club from accessing the clubhouse, forced the club to relocate to playing fields at St John Rigby college for the 2007-08 season.

In January 2007, the clubhouse was converted into a state of the art training facility for the Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club. The pitch is currently used for training and Wigan Academy games.[2] Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan has recently suggested that he will be investing in ground improvements to enable the Warriors to play lower-key games in the near future.[3] While the ground has a technical capacity of 5,500, the safety certificate only allows 3,000 at present, due partly to damaged terracing. Expected improvements would be replacement of this terracing and a permanent food and drink outlet. As of the 2008 season, fans have been banned from parking inside the ground and have faced increased admission prices.

On 7 July 2008 Wigan Warriors announced a new three year sponsorship deal with the Co-operative and as part of the deal changed Edge Hall Road to The Co-operative Community Stadium.[4] In April 2013 the ground was renamed The Wigan Laundry Company Community Stadium after a draw. In 12 months another draw will be made.[1]

The original clubhouse, constructed in 1957, was badly damaged in mysterious circumstances on 10 August 2002 and was replaced by a new clubhouse which was completed in the spring of 2005. In the 1991-2 season, Orrell averaged gates of 6,000. Home fans call the stadium 'The (Grand) Hall' or 'Straight Edge'.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Community Stadium Re-Named". wiganwarriors.com. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Orrell to quit Edge Hall Road". Wigan Today. 2007-01-24. 
  3. ^ "Wigan can wait says coach Ged". News and Star. 2008-05-01. 
  4. ^ "Wigan Announce Partnership with The Co-operative". Wigan Warriors Official Site. 2008-07-07.