The Hive Stadium

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For the American sports arena, see Charlotte Coliseum.
The Hive Stadium
Image of The Hive Stadium, home of Barnet FC
Location Canons Park, London
Coordinates 51°36′09″N 0°17′30″W / 51.602599°N 0.291785°W / 51.602599; -0.291785Coordinates: 51°36′09″N 0°17′30″W / 51.602599°N 0.291785°W / 51.602599; -0.291785
Owner Barnet F.C.
Operator Barnet F.C.
Capacity 5,176 (3,500 seated)
Construction
Broke ground 2003
Opened July 2013
Tenants
Barnet F.C. (2013–)
London Broncos (2014–)
London Bees (2014–)
Website
www.thehivelondon.com

The Hive Stadium is a 5,176 capacity stadium in Canons Park, in the London Borough of Harrow on the former site of the Prince Edward Playing Fields, the new home for Conference National football club Barnet and Super League rugby league club London Broncos. The stadium is also home to London Bees of the FA WSL, the ladies' team of Barnet F.C..

The record attendance at the stadium is 3,608 supporters, for Barnet F.C.'s home game against Luton Town on Boxing Day 2013.

Background[edit]

Chairman Anthony Kleanthous has sought to move the club from Underhill since the 1990s due to the poor facilities at the ground. Attempts to relocate either to Barnet Copthall or to the greenbelt site directly to the south of Underhill were both unsuccessful, with John Prescott over-ruling a move to Copthall in 2001 after planning permission was granted.[1]

Construction of the stadium, at the Prince Edward Playing Fields in Canons Park, began in 2003 as a new home for Wealdstone F.C.. In 2004, Wealdstone's investment partners in the project went into liquidation, bringing construction work at the site to a halt. Harrow London Borough Council put the site up for tender in 2006, and Barnet F.C. won the right to occupy the site as a result of this.[2]

Barnet FC moved into the stadium for a 10-year period from summer 2013 onwards due to disagreement with Barnet London Borough Council with regards to the lease of the land surrounding their home since 1907, Underhill Stadium,[3] as well as the limited facilities at Underhill restricting the club's income. The awarding of the Barnet Copthall site to Saracens F.C., effectively ending Barnet F.C.'s hopes of ever moving to the site, accelerated the move to The Hive further.[4] The club intend the building and use of the stadium at The Hive to be a temporary arrangement, with the long term aim to build a 10,000 capacity stadium in the London Borough of Barnet.[5]

The Hive[edit]

A new training ground and centre of excellence for Barnet F.C., named The Hive, was opened at the site by Trevor Brooking and Fabio Capello in 2009. In the years following this, other facilities at the 44 acre site, including a banqueting suite, bar and lounge as well as a gym open to the public and also used by the club's players, were opened.

The club officially announced their intention to depart Underhill in December 2011, and confirmed that the 2012/13 season would be the last at the ground. In February 2013, The Football League ratified Barnet's move to the new stadium at The Hive.

Rugby league[edit]

London Broncos announced their intention to leave Twickenham Stoop in January 2013, and began to look for a new ground-share. In November 2013, Tony Kleanthous confirmed that discussions had taken place with the Broncos for a move to The Hive.[6] On 13 December 2013, it was confirmed that Broncos would move to The Hive for 2014 and 2015.[7] In round 2 of the 2014 Super League season the Broncos played their first match at the Hive, hosting the Salford Red Devils and losing 18 – 44 before a crowd of 1,246.

Future[edit]

Barnet have been seeking to increase the capacity of their home stadium to accommodate more fans and generate more revenue along with the increase revenue from hospitality and other areas associated with the upgrading of sports facilities. The long standing feud with the local council[8] led to the preferred Barnet Copthall site being given away to Saracens F.C., and effectively ending Barnet F.C.'s hopes of ever moving to the site.[9] The club still wants to play within its traditional Barnet and the new facility is largely a temporary facility which can be scaled down when the club moves to its preferred home in the London Borough of Barnet.

Transport[edit]

Canons Park is the nearest tube station to The Hive.

See also[edit]

References[edit]