Liberty Stadium

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Liberty Stadium
Stadiwm Liberty
The Liberty
Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Stadium Logo.png
New Morfa Stadium - geograph.org.uk - 32243.jpg
Former names White Rock Stadium
Location Swansea, Wales
Coordinates 51°38′32″N 3°56′06″W / 51.6422°N 3.9351°W / 51.6422; -3.9351Coordinates: 51°38′32″N 3°56′06″W / 51.6422°N 3.9351°W / 51.6422; -3.9351
Broke ground 2003
Opened 10 July 2005
Owner Swansea Council
Operator StadCo
Surface Desso GrassMaster
Construction cost £27 million
Architect TTH Architects, Gateshead UK
Capacity 20,750[1]
Tenants
Ospreys (2005–)
Swansea City A.F.C. (2005–)

Liberty Stadium (Welsh: Stadiwm Liberty) is a sports stadium and conferencing venue located in the Landore area of Swansea, Wales. The stadium is all-seated. It has a capacity of 20,750, making it the largest purpose-built venue in Swansea. It is the home stadium of Premier League club Swansea City and the Ospreys. As a result of Swansea City's promotion, the stadium became the first Premier League ground in Wales. Liberty Stadium has the smallest capacity of the 20 stadia in the Premier League for the 2013/14 season. It is the third largest stadium in Wales – after Millennium Stadium and Cardiff City Stadium. In European competition the stadium is known as Swansea Stadium due to advertising rights.

History[edit]

With the Vetch Field, St Helen's and The Gnoll no longer being up-to-date venues to play at, and both the Swans and the Ospreys not having the necessary capital to invest into a new stadium, Swansea council and a developer-led consortia submitted a proposal for a sustainable 'bowl' venue for 20,520 seats on a site to the west of the River Tawe on the site of the Morfa Stadium, an athletics stadium owned by the City and County of Swansea council. It was funded by a 355,000 ft retail park on land to the east of the river. The final value of the development being in excess of £50m.[2]

On 10 July 2005, Liberty Stadium was opened and became the home to Swansea City (replacing the Vetch Field) and the Ospreys (replacing St Helen's and The Gnoll). On 23 July 2005, Liberty Stadium was officially opened as Swansea City faced Fulham, (then managed by former Swansea player Chris Coleman) in an friendly match.[3] The match ended in a 1–1 draw with the first goal being scored by Fulham's Steed Malbranque. Swansea's Marc Goodfellow scored during the game to level the match.[4]

Before a league match between Swansea City and Oldham Athletic in October 2005, a statue of Ivor Allchurch was unveiled to commemorate the Swansea-born star who during two spells for the club scored a record 164 goals in 445 appearances.[5]

The first capacity crowd recorded at Liberty Stadium was on the 1 November 2006 when The Ospreys beat Australia 24–16.[6] The stadium has hosted multiple Wales football internationals, listed below.

Seating at Liberty Stadium is often sold out during Swansea City football matches. Swansea City have expressed a desire to have the capacity of the stadium increased and have held talks with Swansea Council during the 2011/2012 season for the future expansion of the Liberty stadium which would be completed in a number of phases beginning with expansion or redevelopment of the east stand.[7] Plans for a new McDonald's fast food restaurant to be opened near the stadium threw expansion plans into doubt.[8] However, the planning application was withdrawn.[9]

In December 2013, it was reported by BBC News that the European Commission had requested details of the funding of the stadium, as part of a wider inquiry into state aid for sports clubs.[10]

Naming[edit]

During its construction, a variety of names were suggested for it: most commonly used was "White Rock" stadium (after the copper works of the same name which existed on the site historically). However "White Rock" was only used as a temporary name during its construction and when work was finished, the name was dropped and the stadium owners began looking for sponsors for the stadium.[11] While sponsors were being searched for, it was called "New Stadium Swansea". On 18 October 2005, Swansea-based developers Liberty Properties Plc won the naming rights to call it "Liberty Stadium".[12] In UEFA matches, it is called Swansea Stadium due to UEFA regulations on sponsorship.[13]

International fixtures[edit]

The ground has also hosted Wales football international fixtures.

Date Competition Home Team Score Away Team
17 August 2005 Friendly Wales  0–0  Slovenia
15 August 2006 Friendly Wales  0–0  Bulgaria
20 August 2008 Friendly Wales  1–2  Georgia
3 March 2010 Friendly Wales  0–1  Sweden
7 October 2011 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier Wales  2–0   Switzerland
6 February 2013 Friendly Wales  2–1  Austria
26 March 2013 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier Wales  1–2  Croatia

Concerts[edit]

Date Artist
1 June 2007 The Who
29 June 2008 Elton John
23 June 2010 Pink
1 June 2011 Rod Stewart
12 June 2011 JLS
2 July 2014 Kings of Leon

Statistics and average attendances[edit]

Season Swansea City[14] Ospreys[15]
2005–06 14,155 8,567
2006–07 12,720 9,147
2007–08 13,520 9,487
2008–09 15,186 9,063
2009–10 15,407 8,284
2010–11 15,507 8,855
2011–12 19,946 7,259
2012–13 20,370 9,272
2013–14 20,407

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Premier League Handbook Season 2013/14" (PDF). Premier League. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Liberty Stadium". swanseacity.net. 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "City stadium ready for kick-off". BBC Sport. 22 July 2005. Retrieved 22 July 2005. 
  4. ^ "Swansea 1–1 Fulham". BBC Sport. 23 July 2005. Retrieved 23 July 2005. 
  5. ^ "Swans unveil Allchurch monument". BBC Sport. 15 October 2005. Retrieved 15 October 2005. 
  6. ^ "Ospreys 24–16 Australia". BBC. 1 November 2006. Retrieved 2 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Wales Online – Liberty Stadium extension under discussion with Swansea council
  8. ^ "BBC News - Swansea City says McDonald's plan risks Liberty Stadium expansion". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2013-05-22. 
  9. ^ max 4000 characters (2012-05-12). "McDonald's scraps its restaurant plans by the Liberty Stadium". This is South Wales. Retrieved 2013-05-22. 
  10. ^ "European Commission investigates Liberty Stadium funding deal". BBC News. BBC. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Stadium name puzzle for fans". BBC News. 21 July 2004. Retrieved 21 July 2004. 
  12. ^ "City stadium takes sponsor's name". BBC News. 18 October 2005. Retrieved 18 October 2005. 
  13. ^ http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000469/match=2012524/postmatch/report/index.html
  14. ^ "Swansea City Attendances". Swansea City. 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  15. ^ "Ospreys attendances". Magners League. 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2010. 

External links[edit]