Halliwell Jones Stadium

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The Halliwell Jones Stadium
The HJ
Halliwell Jones Stadium
Full name The Halliwell Jones Stadium
Location Mike Gregory Way, Warrington, WA2 7NE, England
Coordinates 53°23′42″N 2°35′44″W / 53.39500°N 2.59556°W / 53.39500; -2.59556Coordinates: 53°23′42″N 2°35′44″W / 53.39500°N 2.59556°W / 53.39500; -2.59556
Broke ground 2002
Built 2002-2003
Opened 2004
Expanded 2011
Owner Warrington Sports Holding
Surface Grass
Main contractors Barr
Capacity 15,200
Record attendance 15,000
Field size 120 x 74 yards
Tenants
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, the National League Grand Finals' Day and two games of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Move from Wilderspool[edit]

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[edit]

Halliwell Jones Stadium

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.

The stadium has already enjoyed several memorable moments, perhaps most notably Andrew Johns' debut for Warrington against Leeds Rhinos in a 33-16 victory on 10 September 2005.

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.[1]

Stadium Expansion for 2012[edit]

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[edit]

Statue of Brian Bevan at the Halliwell Jones Stadium
The Brian Bevan commemorative mural

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.

Two other tributes two ex-players at the ground are the naming of the South-East quadrant the 'Jack Fish corner', and the road the stadium is on is named 'Mike Gregory Way'.

Stadium trivia[edit]

·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.

·The stadium was used in July 2010 to film the BBC comedy drama Candy Cabs, when it was made to look like a football stadium for the wedding of one of the football team's players.

·Halliwell Jones Stadium is also home to the Warrington Conference Centre.

Events at the Halliwell Jones Stadium[edit]

Rugby League

Home of Warrington RLFC

Super League Play-Off Semi Finals:

National League Grand Finals:

Challenge Cup Semi Finals:

Rugby League World Cup:

Four Nations:

Other Internationals:

Football

Music events

  • Autumn Pops Concert with Three Sporting Tenors

TV Events

  • Candy Cabs – Filming at the Stadium during July 2010. The series aired in April 2011 on BBC One.

References[edit]

http://www.warringtonwolves.org/stadium-history

External links[edit]