External view of Main Stand in March 2007
|Full name||Huish Park Stadium|
|Location||Yeovil, Somerset, England|
|Opened||4 August 1990|
|Owner||Huish Park Stadium Partnership Ltd|
|Construction cost||£3.5 million|
|Capacity||9,565 (5,212 seated)|
|Record attendance||9,527 Yeovil Town vs. Leeds United|
|Field size||115 by 72 yards (105 m × 66 m)|
|Yeovil Town Football Club (1990-present)|
Huish Park is a football stadium located in Yeovil, Somerset. The stadium has been home to Yeovil Town F.C. since its completion in 1990, following their relocation from Huish. Huish Park has a capacity of 9,565 of which two stands are all-seated totalling 5,212 seats with terraces behind each of the goals.
In January 1985 Yeovil started negotiations to sell the Huish Athletic Ground and move to a new stadium in the Houndstone area of Yeovil on the site of an old army camp. Serious negotiations commenced between the club and Bartlett Construction regarding moving from Huish to a new site at Houndstone camp, the first meeting took place on 12 November 1985 when an offer of £1.3m was made for the Huish site. Following further meetings and more detailed plans being studied the offer was raised to over £2m early in 1986, when the directors agreed in principle for the move to go ahead. A company, Collier & Madge, who specialised in buying and selling supermarket sites was engaged to advise the club and to ensure the best possible price was obtained.
On 15 December 1986 the club were informed by its advisors, Collier and Madge, that the offer of £2.4m now on the table was about as much as they could hope to receive. It was revealed that the new proposed site for the club was 20.75 acres of Freehold land at Houndstone Camp with a further 4.2 acres being made available on a 999 year lease. The directors agreed in principle to the deal and Tesco were insisting that contracts should be exchanged by the end of March 1987 with the building contractors having vacant possession by July 1988, further discussions were taking place with the South Somerset District Council regarding developing the new site for recreational use and they set aside money to purchase the land.
At an Extraordinary general meeting held on 25 August 1987, shareholders gave the go-ahead to "conclude negotiations with F. R. Bartlett Limited for the sale of Huish and to negotiate the development of the Houndstone site". The voting was 14,431 for and 1,356 against, giving a majority of 13,075, representing 91% in favour. On 15 September 1987, the Public Inquiry began which was to delay the proposed move for a long time, two days later the final agreement was signed.
On 21 March 1989, and after a wait of just over 20 months, the result of the Public Inquiry was made known. The Department of the Environment granted planning permission to develop Huish, therefore the move to Houndstone was now on. The first work at the new ground got underway in May 1989 when bore holes were drilled, a month later it was revealed that the cost of the new development had risen to £3.5m and that Bartletts had come forward with a further £400,000 bringing the total for the sale of Huish to £2.8m. On Sunday 1 April 1990, over 500 supporters viewed the new stadium at Houndstone, it was announced the new stadium would be called Huish Park.
The new Huish Park Stadium was opened with a friendly against Newcastle United on 4 August 1990, ending in a 2-1 defeat in front of a crowd of 5,093. The first competitive match followed on 18 August 1990 with a Football Conference match against Colchester United, the 2-0 win for Yeovil resulted in Mickey Spencer scoring Yeovil's first competitive goal at the new ground. The first season at the new ground resulted in an average attendance of 2,639, an increase of 17.6%, and finished the season with an U18 international match between England and Wales attracting a bumper 6,153 crowd.
The 1999–2000 season saw the proposal for the erection of a roof over the home terrace, the work eventually took place in early 2001, with the roof being completed for the match against Rushden & Diamonds with a then record crowd of 8,868.
Following Yeovil's promotion to The Football League crowds increased by 30% to an average of 6,197 in the 2003–04 season, and on 25 April 2008 Yeovil's match against Leeds United saw the record attendance at the ground of 9,527.
The ground is made up of 4 stands:
- AgustaWestland Community Stand (Main Stand), is a cantilevered covered single tiered stand that is all-seated. The stand has some executive boxes running across its back and bar areas, the dug outs and players' tunnel, a small simple electric scoreboard, and it houses the ticket office and club shop.
- Screwfix Community Stand (East Stand), similar to the Main Stand in style with a Press Box beneath its roof.
- Thatchers Gold Stand (Home Terrace), similar style covered cantilevered terrace for home fans.
- Radio Cabs Stand (Away Terrace), smaller uncovered terrace with a large electric scoreboard behind.
The five highest attendances at Huish Park are:
|25 April 2008||League One||Leeds United||9,527|
|4 January 2004||FA Cup||Liverpool||9,348|
|31 December 2005||League One||Bristol City||9,178|
|12 February 2005||League Two||Bristol Rovers||9,153|
|21 September 2013||Championship||Queens Park Rangers||9,108|
The stadium has been used for the following international games:
- 22 May 1991 England U18 Vs Wales U18 (3-0)
- 17 May 1992 England women Vs Iceland women (4-0)
- 16 November 1993 England U18 Vs France U18 (3-3)
- 23 April 1996 England U18 Vs Scotland U18 (3-0)
- 15 September 1999 England women Vs France women (0-1)
- 24 April 2002 England Semi-Pro Vs Netherlands Semi-Pro
- 27 March 2007 England U18 Vs Netherlands U18 (4-1)
- 15 October 2009 England U16 Vs Wales U16 (1-0)
- 25 March 2011 England Schools U16 Vs Wales Schools U16 (1-0)
In March 2011, Yeovil Town announced plans for a brand new 3,500 seat stand to replace the current Away Terrace, in partnership with the current training pitches being redeveloped into retail land creating over 300 jobs in partnership with Chris Dawson, owner of The Range Home and Leisure. Following public consultation in late-November 2011 the plans for a new stand have dropped off the agenda with the retail development continuing as a new food store.
Yeovil celebrating their Football Conference triumph with East stand in the background
- "Yeovil Town". The Football League. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
- "Yeovil Town Average Attendances". Ciderspace. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
- "No resolution at Yeovil summit". The Guardian. 23 April 2001.
- "Yeovil Town 0-1 Leeds United". BBC Sport. 25 April 2008.
- "Huish Park Top Attendances". Ciderspace. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
- "YTFC Plan Major New Developments". Yeovil Town FC. 21 March 2011.
- "Yeovil Town announce stadium upgrade plans". FC Business. 24 March 2011.
- "Development Plans Update - Dec 1st". Yeovil Town FC. 1 December 2011.
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