Langtree Park

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Langtree Park
Langtree Park 3.jpg
Full name Langtree Park
Location Langtree Park
McManus Drive
Peasley Cross
St Helens
WA9 3AL
Coordinates 53°26′51.47″N 2°43′39.41″W / 53.4476306°N 2.7276139°W / 53.4476306; -2.7276139Coordinates: 53°26′51.47″N 2°43′39.41″W / 53.4476306°N 2.7276139°W / 53.4476306; -2.7276139
Built 2010-2011
Opened 2011
Owner St Helens RLFC
Surface Grass
Construction cost £25 Million[1]
Architect Barr Construction
Main contractors Langtree Group
Capacity 18,000[2]
Record attendance 17,980 vs Wigan 6 April 2012[3]
Tenants
St Helens RLFC
Liverpool F.C. Reserves

Langtree Park is a rugby league stadium in St Helens, Merseyside. It has a capacity of 18,000. It is the home ground of St Helens RLFC. The stadium was granted full planning permission on 20 May 2008. On 11 July 2008 the go-ahead was given without the need for a public enquiry and construction started in 2010.[4] It was announced on 15 November 2011 that primary developers, the Langtree Group, had gained the naming rights and that the stadium would be named Langtree Park.[5] The first rugby league match to be played at the stadium was between St. Helens and Widnes on Friday 20 January 2012. St. Helens won the opening game by 42-24 and they moved in ready for the 2012 Super League season.[6]

Proposed plans[edit]

The proposed plans came in three parts. The proposed parts were:

1. The transformation of the derelict former United Glass site to create a new 18,000-capacity stadium for St Helens RLFC as well as a 140,000 sq ft (13,000 m2) Tesco Extra next to the rugby ground. The stadium itself was to be a seating and standing arena with an oval shaped roof extending out from the south stand

2. The redevelopment of the existing town centre Tesco store in Chalon Way into alternative high quality retail use, enhancing the retail available in St Helens town centre.

3. The development of the existing St Helens RLFC site at Knowsley Road to create high quality residential accommodation, regenerating the local area.

The club stressed that if one of the three parts fell through, the whole project would have been in jeopardy. However councillors in St Helens approved the new Saints’ stadium. Members of the Planning Committee endorsed the triple planning application granting permission subject to terms and conditions and a health and safety risk assessment

Reaction[edit]

Panorama of Langtree Park on opening night in January 2012.
Panorama of Langtree Park on opening night in January 2012

Saints’ chairman Eamonn McManus comments: "This is wonderful news for the club, its supporters and for the town of St Helens. I sincerely thank all at the Borough Council and MP Dave Watts for their invaluable work and help to date."

"We now look forward to a similar positive outcome from the Government Office for the North West and would urge all to continue with expressions of constructive support for a project so critical to the future of the club and of the town."

John Downes, managing director of Langtree says of the decision: "This is fantastic news, and is a vital step forward in our plans to transform the former United Glass site. Langtree is proud to be playing such an integral role in the development of a new stadium and in the regeneration of St Helens town. The planning application is the product of a lot of hard work over the last few years by everyone involved and the result will be a fantastic new development with the new Saints stadium as its centrepiece."

"Whilst we still need to resolve the future of the Ancient Monument as the Council are requiring us to consolidate and repair it which is not viable for the development to support, the proposals will now go to the Government Office for the North West for their consideration and obviously we hope for a speedy positive result."

St Helens Council Leader Brian Spencer adds: "The development will bring a range of benefits, not just to our own town but to the region in general, bringing massive investment and jobs. This has been 10 years in the making but I am sure everyone will agree that this will be a first class stadium fit for a world class club."

David Rolinson, Planning Manager for the project says: "We couldn’t have received better news. We still need to resolve the future of the Ancient Monument, which at the moment the Council require us to enhance, but which is not viable for the scheme to support."

"We have put four years of hard work in order to get this scheme absolutely right and are very concerned about the Ancient Monument issue."

"However, this is an important day as together these developments are set to change the face of St Helens and continue to deliver its urban renaissance."[7][8]

Construction[edit]

Demolition of the former UGB Glass plant began in late January 2009, with construction due to begin after the clearance of the 46-acre (190,000 m2) site had been completed.[9][10] In July 2010, the building contractor Barr Construction Ltd was selected to build the new stadium.[11] Construction commenced on 23 August 2010, with the Tesco store completed in October 2011 and the stadium in November 2011.[12]

Stadium description[edit]

The stadium has two terraced stands and two seated, the pitch is grass although the touchline has some astro-turf, the north-east corner holds the big screen for Sky TV matches and a permanent scoreboard. There is hospitality available on match days, including the sale of the new Saints Gold beer which is served inside the ground at a number of bars and in the Redvee cafe bar. The stadium has a large Saints badge on the outside with the former town motto: Ex Terra Lucem underneath. A bronze statue of former club captain Keiron Cunningham stands over the main entrance.[13]

Capacity[edit]

The total capacity of the stadium is just under 18,000 with two main standing stands and two seated stands. The East Stand and the two most easterly blocks of the North Stand will be allocated to the away supporters, the North and South Stands are all seated and the West Stand is entirely standing. The capacity is broken down as follows

The North Stand has 4,718 seats, none standing and 46 disabled seats.

The South Stand (sponsored by Solar King) has 5,233 seats, none standing and 55 disabled seats. It also holds the St Helens RLFC club shop, a bar and the club ticket office.

The East Stand has 81 seats, 3,899 standing and 5 disabled seats (this will be mainly for the away fans).

The West Stand (sponsored by Hatton's Solicitors) has 118 seats, 3,796 standing and 29 disabled seats.

Total seats is 10,150. Total standing is 7,695. Total disabled seats are 135. There will be approximately 4,000 places available for away supporters via mainly the East Stand and a small section in the North Stand (at the club's discretion), whereas Saints fans will get all of the West and South Stand and most of the North Stand - in 2012 the entire capacity of the West Stand was allocated to season-ticket holders.

Rugby league[edit]

St Helens R.L.F.C played their first league game at the ground in 2012, when they won against Salford. Their record victory at the stadium was 76-0 against Oldham in the challenge cup, where Saints ran in 14 tries. The highest recorded attendance for a match so far was 17,980 against Wigan on 6 April, with an average attendance of 14,212 for the 2012 season.[14] The venue hosted the first of two Rugby League International Origin Match in 2012 between England and the Exiles.[15] Langtree Park held a group match in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup between Australia and Fiji.[16][17]

Other uses[edit]

Liverpool FC U19's played Ajax U19's in the NextGen series semi final on 14 March 2012, Ajax won 6-0.[18] All of Liverpool U19's NextGen matches in the 2012-13 season were held at Langtree Park.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Saints granted permission for new stadium
  2. ^ "Langtree Park". http://www.saintsrlfc.com. St Helens RLFC. Retrieved 01 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "First Team Results 2012". http://www.saintsrlfc.com. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "St Helens stadium given go-ahead". BBC News. 11 July 2008. 
  5. ^ "BBC Sport - Langtree Park will be the new home of St Helens". BBC Sport. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "BBC Sport - Langtree Park will be the new home of St Helens". BBC Sport. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  7. ^ Langtree Group plc - St Helens Stadium
  8. ^ Saints » Home
  9. ^ http://www.sthelensreporter.co.uk/st-helens-rl-news/Stadium-begins-to-take-shape.5192177.jp
  10. ^ http://www.sthelensreporter.co.uk/st-helens-rl-news/Stadium-plans-to-be-unveiled.5566222.jp
  11. ^ http://www.sthelensstar.co.uk/sport/8278741.Barr _Construction_selected_to_build_new_Saints_stadium/
  12. ^ "New St Helens Rugby League Stadium & Tesco Store". New St Helens Stadium Community Website. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Cunningham statue moves to new stadium". St Helens Star. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Record crowds watch Super League in 2012". St Helens Star. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "England v Exiles: Sam Tomkins try clinches revenge victory". BBC Sport (BBC). 16 June 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2013 - St Helens, England". Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2013: Australia 34-2 Fiji". BBC Sport (BBC). 02 November 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "Liverpool 0 Ajax 6: Fischer shines as Dutch masters destroy Reds in NextGen". Daily Mail. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Langtree Park to stage NextGen ties". Liverpool FC. 02 November 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 

External links[edit]