Belle Vue (Wakefield)
|Full name||Belle Vue Stadium|
|Location||Doncaster Road Wakefield, WF1 5EY England|
|Owner||Bank of Ireland|
|Operator||Wakefield Trinity Wildcats|
|Field size||120 x 74 yards|
|Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (1895–present)
Wakefield F.C. (2000–06, 2012–14)
Belle Vue (known as the Rapid Solicitors Stadium under sponsorship agreement) in Wakefield, England, is the home of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats rugby league team. It is beside the A638 Doncaster Road, approximately one mile south of Wakefield city centre.
The site was purchased in 1895 after the split between rugby league and rugby union, to provide a permanent base for Wakefield Trinity who had been playing on fields in the area since 1873. Money was provided by the Wakefield Athletic Club, and the ground was also used for cycling and athletics competitions.
The 1937–38 Rugby Football League Championship final was due to have taken place at Belle Vue, but as both finalists Hunslet and Leeds were from Leeds, the authorities switched the match to Elland Road.
Scenes from This Sporting Life were filmed at the Belle Vue Stadium during Wakefield's third round Challenge Cup match against Wigan in 1962.
Floodlights were installed in 1967 and were upgraded in 1990/91.
The stadium was called the Atlantic Solutions Stadium for 2005.
On Saturday 16 September 2006 the stadium played host to 'The Battle of Belle Vue' when 11,000 fans from Trinity and Castleford watched the match which would decide who was relegated from Super League. Wakefield won the match 29–17 sending their nearest rivals Castleford down to the National League.
The capacity of the stadium was increased to 12,600 in 2008, to help with the application for a 2009 Super League licence, which was granted in July 2008.
Wakefield Trinity have long been in negotiation with the local council to find an alternative site, as the present Belle Vue stadium does not comply with the proposed standards required by the Super League. However, there have been difficulties in agreeing with the council on a suitable alternative site.
Plans for a new stadium in partnership with Wakefield Metropolitan District Council were rejected after the council decided that it would be difficult to deliver within budget on an appropriate timescale. Plans for a 12,000 seater stadium near junction 30 of the M62, in Stanley, were unveiled on 17 April 2009, with the development proposed by Yorkcourt Properties and a community trust, chaired by former Rugby Football League chairman Sir Rodney Walker.
The North Stand is terracing located behind the goal posts and houses the big screen. A roof was erected over the stand in 2012 to meet Super League regulations.
Capacity- 5,333 (seating)
The East stand is the only stand in the ground to contain seating which is covered. The is a small amount of uncovered terracing in front of the seats.
The South End of the ground has a four storey building that houses the hospitality and supporters bar. In the South East corner is the tunnel and player changing rooms.
The West Stand is mostly uncovered terracing and is where the TV gantry and dugout is. It mostly houses away fans and has toilets and food outlets.
|2005||Atlantic Solutions||Atlantic Solutions Stadium|
|2011-||Rapid Solicitors||Rapid Solicitors Stadium|
- Berry, Mark (30 January 2014). "Stadium capacity at Wakefield Wildcats slashed for start of new season". Wakefield Express. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Elland Road – Information". wafll.com. Retrieved 3 April 2008.
- Mike Williams & Tony Williams (2012) Non-League Club Directory 2013, p412 ISBN 978-1-869833-77-0
- "Club History, Facts and Figures". Yorkshire Evening Post. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
- "Wildcats suffer stadium setback". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
- "Wakefield announce stadium plans". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
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