Halliwell Jones Stadium
|The Halliwell Jones Stadium|
|Full name||The Halliwell Jones Stadium|
|Location||Mike Gregory Way, Warrington, WA2 7NE, England|
|Owner||Warrington Sports Holding|
|Field dimensions||120 x 74 yards|
|Warrington RLFC (2003–present)
Liverpool Reserves (2007–2009)
Halliwell Jones Stadium is a rugby league stadium in Warrington, England that is the home ground of Warrington Wolves. It has also staged Challenge Cup semi-finals, the European Nations Final and the National League Grand Finals' Day.
Move from Wilderspool
By the late 1990s, Warrington RLFC's spiritual home Wilderspool Stadium had become decrepit and unfit for purpose, and so the club looked to move to a new stadium. Before settling on the site which had formerly housed the Tetley Walker brewery, a site in Burtonwood was considered but these plans were rejected. The last competitive game at Wilderspool (after 105 years at the ground) was played on 21 September 2003, when Warrington beat Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 52-12.
The stadium was notable for bucking the common trend of modern stadia by including terracing areas rather than being an all-seater stadium. There were originally 4 stands in the stadium – the North Stand (reserved seating), the East Stand (originally unreserved seating but later became reserved seating), the South Stand (home terracing), and the West Stand (visitors' terracing and overflow of home terracing). It also has enormous pitch dimensions of 120 m x 74 m, as requested by Warrington's head coach of the time, Paul Cullen, due to his desire to play expansive rugby.
The official capacity of the stadium is 15,200.
During the Co-operative Championship grand final rugby league game between Featherstone Rovers and Halifax on 26 September 2010, a fire beneath the terraced West Stand broke out, forcing all of the fans housed in the stand to be evacuated onto the field, holding up the game for around 45 minutes. Following a safety inspection the spectators were eventually allowed back in. However, when the smell of smoke failed to disperse, there was a further hold up as the fans were moved to the East Stand. The game resumed with no further interruptions. The fire is being treated as arson.
Stadium Expansion for 2012
On 3 March 2011, the club announced that the corners of the East Stand at the stadium will be filled in to create a further 2,000 spaces made up of seating and terracing for the 2012 season. The stadium capacity, set at 15,000 for the first sell-out home match against St Helens in 2012, was increased to 15,200 and can grow to 15,693 as the club proves it can handle the bigger crowds and get extra safety certificates. The club also announced plans to increase the stadium's capacity to around 22,000 should the need arise
Brian Bevan monuments
Two monuments to Australian winger and world record try scorer Brian Bevan, who played for Warrington RLFC 1948–62 (scoring 740 tries for the Wire), are featured at the stadium. One, a statue of him, had previously been placed in the middle of a roundabout (known as Brian Bevan island) close to Wolves' old Wilderspool ground. This was moved to the Halliwell Jones Stadium with the team. The other, a mural showing Bevan's face made from 'Primrose and Blue' bricks, the traditional Warrington colours was created specifically for the location.
·Halliwell Jones, which holds the naming rights for the stadium, is a large BMW and MINI motor group owned by Phillip Jones - a successful businessman from the North West
·The stadium is built on the former site of the Walkers of Warrington brewery.
·Halliwell Jones Stadium is also home to the Warrington Conference Centre.
Events at the Halliwell Jones Stadium
- The stadium will host two fixtures in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup: the Group B match between New Zealand and Samoa on Sunday 27 October, and a Quarter-final on Sunday 17 November.
National League Grand Finals:
- 2006 – Hull KR v Widnes Vikings, Sheffield Eagles v Swinton Lions, Hemel Stags v Bramley Buffaloes
- 2008 – Salford City Reds v Crusaders RL, Barrow Raiders v Oldham Roughyeds, Crusaders Colts v Bramley
- 2009 – Barrow Raiders v Halifax RLFC, Keighley Cougars v Oldham Roughyeds, Bramley Buffaloes v Huddersfield Underbank Rangers
- 2010 – Featherstone Rovers v Halifax RLFC, York City Knights v Oldham Roughyeds, Warrington Wizards v Huddersfield Underbank Rangers
- 2011 - Featherstone Rovers v Sheffield Eagles, Workington Town v Keighley Cougars, Huddersfield Underbank Rangers v Kippax Knights
Challenge Cup Semi Finals:
- 2004 – St Helens v Huddersfield
- 2007 – Wigan v Catalans Dragons
- 2009 – St Helens v Huddersfield
- 2011 - Wigan v St Helens
- 2011 - New Zealand v Australia
- 2007 – Northern Union v All Golds Centenary International
- Autumn Pops Concert with Three Sporting Tenors