AJ Bell Stadium
AJ Bell Stadium
|Full name||AJ Bell Stadium|
|Former names||Salford City Stadium|
1 Stadium Way,Barton-upon-Irwell, Salford M30 7EY England
|Owner||Peel Group and Salford City Council|
|Executive suites||12 20-person hospitality boxes and 1 banqueting suite (up to 750)|
|Record attendance||11,247 (Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers) 27 December 2014|
|Field size||122m x 86m|
|Construction cost||£26 million|
|Main contractors||Buckingham Group|
|Salford Red Devils (2012–)
Sale Sharks (2012–)
Manchester United FC Reserves (2013–)
AJ Bell Stadium (formerly Salford City Stadium) is a rugby stadium in Barton-upon-Irwell, Salford, England. It was built to replace Salford rugby league club's ground The Willows for the 2012 season. Sale Sharks rugby union club have also played at the stadium since the 2012–13 season.
Development and financing
Salford City Council formed a joint venture company with Peel Group to develop and deliver the £16 million stadium, which is part of the a £26 million development close to the Manchester Ship Canal and the M60 motorway.
Planning permission was granted in March 2010 for a 15,000-capacity stadium.
In 2013, Peel Group and Salford City Council each lent £600,000 in emergency funding to the stadium. The council is still owed £20m for building the stadium, and is already owed £1.5m by the Salford City Reds who play at the stadium.
In 2014, SCC and Peel lent a further £410,724 to the Stadium.
AJ Bell Stadium
On 13 September 2013, it was announced that investment platform AJ Bell had secured a nine-year stadium naming rights partnership with Sale Sharks Rugby Club. The deal will see Salford City Stadium re-branded and renamed AJ Bell Stadium. AJ Bell are also sponsors of Salford Red Devils.
Initially, the stadium can accommodate a 12,000 crowd, but could be extended to hold up to 20,000 spectators. The stadium has areas designated for standing supporters. This partial-standing design is similar to the Halliwell Jones Stadium, home of Warrington Wolves.
There are four stands:
- West Stand (main stand) including changing rooms, media centre, hospitality boxes, banqueting suite; capacity 4,500
- North Stand (BMI Healthcare) – all-standing, usually the away end; capacity 2,500
- East Stand (MBNA ) all seating, capacity 2,500
- South Stand/The Shed (Wellsprings Stand) – all-standing, home to hardcore Reds fans; identical to the North Stand, capacity 2,500
The seats in the West and East Stands are red (for Salford) and blue (for Sale).
The development also includes offices, player facilities, concessions, community resources and two community outdoor sport pitches, a gym and the club shop which is shared by both the Red Devils and the Sharks.
Sale Sharks' first game at the stadium was a friendly on 24 August 2012 against Leinster Rugby, which ended 10–10. Their first competitive game was against Saracens on 8 September 2012. The score was Sale 16–23 Saracens and the attendance was 7,451.
Manchester Titans American Football Club held a trial game at the Stadium against Crewe Railroaders on 1 June 2014. It was stated that they could hold future fixtures inside the stadium if the trial was successful. The Titans beat the Railroaders 69–0 and the attendance was 1,349.
|League||Fixtures||Average Attendance||Highest||Lowest||League||Fixtures||Average Attendance||Highest||Lowest|
|2012 Super League||12[a]||4,442||6,891||2,380||2012–13 Premiership||11||6,291||8,783||4,307|
|2013 Super League||13||3,125||5,383||1,989||2013–14 Premiership||11||6,350||10,092||5,372|
|2014 Super League||13||4,738||7,102||2,903||2014–15 Premiership||8||6,396||11,247||4,753|
|2015 Super League||8||3,824||6,561||1,972|
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- "Premiership: Sale Sharks 30–32 Leicester Tigers". BBC.co.uk. BBC Sport. 27 December 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
- "Buckingham Group wins the Design and Build Contract for the City of Salford Community Stadium". Buckingham Group Contracting. Archived from the original on 17 January 2011.
- "Salford City Stadium renamed as AJ Bell Stadium". www.salfordcitystadium.com. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "AJ Bell Stadium: Salford City Stadium renamed in sponsor deal". BBC Sport. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
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- Leigh, Neil (4 April 2012). "Steve Diamond: Sale are to switch from Stockport to Barton at the end of the season". Manchester Evening News (M.E.N. Media).
- "Sale seal deal to play at new Salford City stadium from next season". dailymail.co.uk. 4 April 2012.
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- Wilson, Andy (15 July 2012). "Lee Briers' mastery pilots Warrington to Wembley sequel with Leeds". The Guardian (London).
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- "The 2013 Rugby League World Cup Match Report for Scotland vs USA". RLIF. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
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- "Manchester Titans set for Stadium Move". Double Coverage. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- Manchester Titans, http://www.manchestertitans.co.uk/news/titans-victorious-in-landmark-game
- "Key opener at new venue". Manchester United F.C. 19 August 2013.
- "England women set for must-win clash against the Netherlands". BBC Sport. 14 June 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- Leighton, Tony (17 June 2012). "Rachel Yankey goal gives England women narrow victory over Holland". The Guardian (London).
- "Salford City Reds switch venue after Sale Sharks clash". BBC Sport. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
- AJ Bell Stadium official website
- Salford City Reds get new Barton stadium go-ahead BBC Sport, 19 August 2010
- 2012 – The Future of History Salford City Reds
|Salford Red Devils