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|Former names||Causeway Stadium
(sponsored name 2003–2006)
|Location||Sands Industrial Estate, Hillbottom Road,
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
|Capacity||12,284 (11,776 safe capacity) |
Between 2003 and 2006, the stadium was known as the Causeway Stadium under a naming rights deal, before reverting to its traditional name.
- 1 History
- 2 Renovations
- 3 New name
- 4 New development plans
- 5 Structure
- 6 Facilities
- 7 Significant matches
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Wycombe Wanderers had sought to leave their home ground at Loakes Park since the 1960s as the site had been earmarked for the site of development of the adjacent Wycombe General Hospital. The club were able to sell the land to the health authority, which almost solely funded the construction of Adams Park.
The ground has a picturesque, rural setting, sitting as it does in a valley at the end of the Sands Industrial Estate, surrounded by green hills on three sides. Whereas Wycombe's previous Loakes Park ground was very close to the town centre, Adams Park is two miles due west of High Wycombe and not hugely accessible either by public or private transport.
The stadium was opened in time for the 1990–91 season, and had a capacity of 6,000 with 1,267 seats in the Main Stand. The ground was named Adams Park in honour of benefactor and former captain Frank Adams. Adams had bought the former ground Loakes Park for the club, whose sale financed the move to the stadium named after him.The new stadium coincided with an upturn in the club's fortunes as, under the guidance of Martin O'Neill, they won the FA Trophy at Wembley thanks to a 2–1 win over Kidderminster Harriers.
The initial licensed capacity of Adams Park was 6,000, however this gradually crept up as Wycombe Wanderers improved the provision of crush barriers on the terraces. Shortly after entering the Football League for the first time in 1993, these upgrades were completed, taking the capacity to around 9,500. In the summer of 1996 the 4,990-seater Woodlands Stand was built on the hill behind the erstwhile Woodlands Terrace. The Hillbottom Road End, where the visiting fans are accommodated, was seated, reducing its capacity from 2,131 standing spaces to 1,049 seats. The latter development had created problems when large amounts of visiting fans came to the ground, outstripping the supply of seats in that end when sides like Watford, Birmingham City and Manchester City visited.The capacity of the stadium was fixed at 10,000 to comply with council regulations, as the positioning of the stadium on a dead-end road was leading to problems when large crowds were leaving the ground, particularly with parking cars in the streets of the nearby residential suburb of Sands.
In the summer of 2001 the Hillbottom Road End was extended by an extra 977 seats to take the capacity to 2,026. This was done mainly to be able to accommodate more away fans in one place when the need arose. However, the capacity was kept at 10,000 by reducing the official capacity of the standing areas at the Valley End and on the paddock in front of the Main Stand.
In 2002, the successful rugby union team from Sudbury, London Wasps (later just known as Wasps), became tenants to Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park after losing their previous groundsharing agreement with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.
In July 2005, the crowd was officially recorded as a full-to-capacity 10,000 for the first time, when Premiership champions Chelsea brought team to play Wycombe in a pre-season friendly. It was during this season that the idea that Adams Park would be further expanded was mooted by senior figures at Wycombe Wanderers and Wasps so that it can comply to the Rugby Football Union regulations for Premiership grounds in the future. These stipulate that stadia must have a capacity of at least 12,000 by 2007/08. It was initially suggested that a stand identical to the Woodlands Stand be built where the Main Stand is currently situated, and also options to add additional tiers to the Valley End of the ground were bandied about. These plans, however, never came to fruition, as the RFU's requirement to increase the capacity of the grounds was quietly dropped soon afterwards after a general decline in attendances, as well as the major difficulties that would have arisen from trying to add additional access routes to the stadium.
On 6 March 2013, Adams Park hosted rugby league for the first time after London Broncos were forced to move their game against Bradford to High Wycombe due to pitch problems at their usual home ground the Twickenham Stoop.
On 21 March 2013, it hosted England’s under-21s international friendly against Romania’s under-21s with the hosts beat the visitors 3–0 goals from Wilfried Zaha, Jack Robinson and Nathan Delfouneso with 6,354 in attendance.
On 8 October 2014, it was announced that Wasps would leave Adams Park by December 2014, thus ending their 12-year ground-share with Wycombe Wanderers. They purchased and moved to the larger Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
In 2003 the stadium was renamed as the Causeway Stadium. For £100,000 over three years local technology company Causeway bought the naming rights to the ground. This caused some anger amongst fans as  the ground was named Adams Park in honour of benefactor and former captain Frank Adams. Adams had bought the former ground Loakes Park for the club, whose sale financed the move to the stadium named after him. The Causeway Technologies sponsorship expired at the end of the 2005–06 season and the ground name has reverted to Adams Park.
New development plans
There have been a number of plans to either extend the capacity of Adams Park beyond the current permitted maximum of 10,000 on the current site since Adams Park was opened, or to build a new stadium elsewhere in High Wycombe.
Wycombe District Council outlined long-term plans for the regeneration of the Abbey Barn area of the town. These included a possible 20,000 capacity stadium near the site of the since closed Wycombe Heights dry ski slope.
Plans are drawn up for a new access route to the ground through land owned by the wealthy Dashwood family to the north and west of Adams Park, allowing the expansion up to 15,000. The ground is only accessible on Hillbottom Road, which has resulted in the local authority limiting the licensed capacity of Adams Park to 10,000, regardless of the actual physical capacity of the ground. Wasps announced proposals to build an additional two tiers of seating on the back of the existing Valley End terrace, with this structure filling in the corner round to the large Woodlands Stand, enclosing that section of the ground.
2006 saw the construction of new club shop and offices.
At a Wycombe Wanderers supporters' forum, CEO and minority shareholder of Wycombe Wanderers, and owner of London Wasps Steve Hayes announces plans to build a new stadium in the High Wycombe area, with a capacity of 17,000 – 20,000 and to be the first UK stadium in modern times to have terracing. The new stadium would be jointly owned by WWFC, London Wasps and Wycombe District Council. The plans included retail outlets, a hotel and conference facilities.
Steve Hayes would later become 100% owner of Wycombe Wanderers in 2008.
The stadium land is taken out of the Green Belt by a Government inspector, meaning the land value rises from £4,000 per acre to £1,000,000 per acre, giving a better resale value if required. It also allows additional stands, permanent or temporary, to be constructed to gain the 12,500 capacity required by London Wasps under Guinness Premiership regulations for the coming season. However, the main problem of access still remained, which meant that London Wasps would still be looking to move to a larger stadium.
Steve Hayes, who owned both Wycombe Wanderers F.C. and London Wasps R.U.F.C. at the time, announced his intentions to build a new stadium for both clubs on the site of Wycombe Air Park in Booker, 2½ miles away from Adams Park. His plans encountered large-scale opposition from community groups and Wycombe Wanderers supporters, with concerns ranging from the loss of aeronautical activity at the air park, inappropriate green belt development as well as objections by many Wycombe Wanderers supporters and Wycombe Wanderers Supporters' Trust that the club would not receive the proceeds of the sale of Adams Park (which it owned 100%), but rather these would go to Steve Hayes to help finance a 20,000-capacity stadium in conjunction with Wycombe District Council that would then be rented to Wycombe Wanderers.
The plans were abandoned in July 2011 when Wycombe District Council decided to end its support of the project in the face of increased scepticism about the viability of the project.
Beechdean Dairy Ice Cream Stand (North)
Built in 1990 the stand has a capacity of 1,267, all seated (but spectators may stand in the paddock at the front of this stand if they already have a valid seat ticket). The stand also contains the club offices, changing rooms, club shop and catering facilities.
Panache Stand (East)
Originally called the Hillbottom Road End, the east end of the stadium was originally a terrace with a capacity of 2,131 when Adams Park was opened in 1990, almost identical to the Valley End at the opposite end of the ground. Along with the construction of the new Woodlands stand in 1996, 1,047 seats were installed in the Hillbottom Road End. In 2002, the capacity was increased in size to the current 2,053 all-seated capacity, with a space for 10 wheelchairs. Supporters of the visiting team are allocated this stand for Wycombe Wanderers matches. The stand has been renamed a number of times after commercial deals - the current official name is the Panache Stand, who signed a deal with Wycombe Wanderers in July 2014 which included their supplying of safety and security equipment to the club. Many supporters, however, still refer to this end of the ground as the Hillbottom Road End.
Frank Adams Stand (South)
Originally a single level terrace, this stand was expanded into a two-tier unit in 1996. Now with a capacity of 4,990 (2,842 in the upper tier, 1,738 plus 50 wheelchair spaces in the lower tier) the South Stand contains boxes for corporate hospitality, with the lower tier designated as the stadium's Family Stand.
This side of the ground is also known as the Woodlands side of the ground, but was renamed to its current official name Frank Adams Stand to ensure that at least some of stadium would still be named in honour of the former Wycombe Wanderers' captain and benefactor when the stadium was renamed Causeway Stadium between 2003 and 2006. Since the stadium changed its name back to Adams Park, the stand has officially retained the Frank Adams name.
Buckinghamshire New University Terrace (West)
Originally called the Valley End (and still referred to as such by many supporters), the Bucks New Uni Terrace is the home supporters' end for football matches, and the only remaining standing accommodation in the stadium. The original licensed capacity of the terrace was 2,136, however this was reduced by the club to 1,717  to maintain a total licensed capacity for the whole stadium of 10,000 after the extension of the Hillbottom Road end by 1,000 seats in 2001. After the Sports Grounds Safety Authority re-evaluated the extent of the viewing area on the Valley End that was permitted to be included in the total capacity calculation in October 2015, the terrace's maximum capacity was provisionally reduced from 2,131 (officially licensed 1,717) to 1,494  pending remedial work to be carried out by Wycombe Wanderers in the near future.
The stadium contains two hospitality suites. The Vere Suite, located in the Beechdean Stand, is named after the Vere family who own and run the Verco Furniture Company based in High Wycombe. Verco was the Wanderers main sponsor when the ground was opened. The Woodlands Suite is situated on the Executive Box level of the Frank Adams Stand.
The ground also contains a bar, called Scores, and since 2006 a club shop in the corner of the ground between the Beechdean and Panache stands.
- 17/11/92 – England U19s 2–1 Turkey U19s
- 16/11/05 – England U19s 2–0 Switzerland U19s
- 06/03/06 – FA Women's Premier League Cup Final (Arsenal 1–2 Charlton Athletic)
- 13/05/06 – League Two Playoff Semi-Final First Leg (Wycombe 0–0 Cheltenham Town)
- 10/01/07 – League Cup Semi-Final First Leg (Wycombe 1–1 Chelsea)
- 02/05/09 – Wycombe promoted to Football League One (Wycombe 1–2 Notts County)
- 07/05/11 – Wycombe promoted to Football League One (Wycombe 3–1 Southend United)
- 21/03/13 – England U21s 3–0 Romania U21s
- 06/04/13 – First Super League match at Adams Park (London Broncos 20–46 Bradford)
- "Wycombe Wanderers FC Safety Certificate" (PDF). Idoxwam.wycombe.gov.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- GMT (2013-03-30). "BBC Sport – London Broncos move Bradford Bulls clash to Adams Park". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
- "Wasps in Coventry: Ricoh move to be completed by December". Bbc.co.uk. 2014-10-08. Retrieved 2014-10-08.
- "New Name For Stadium Revealed". Thisishertfordshire.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
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