|Full name||Lookers Vauxhall Stadium|
|Owner||Cheshire West and Chester Council|
|Capacity||6,000 (4,500 Seated)|
|Field size||112 x 71,5 metres|
|Chester City F.C. (1992–2010)
Chester F.C. (2010–)
The Deva Stadium (also currently known as the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium due to sponsorship reasons) is an association football stadium spanning the Wales–England border in the United Kingdom, that is the home of Chester F.C., the effective successor club to the liquidated Chester City F.C. The name Deva comes from the original Roman name for the fort Deva Victrix, which became the city of Chester, in North West England. The Deva Stadium replaced Sealand Road.
When Chester City was taken over by new owners in March 1990, plans were announced to sell its Sealand Road stadium for redevelopment as a supermarket and build a new stadium at Bumpers Lane. While the new stadium was being built they played at the far side of Cheshire at Macclesfield Town's Moss Rose stadium. Sealand Road closed at the end of the 1989-90 season, and Chester played at Macclesfield for the next two seasons.
Construction of the new stadium began in January 1992 and it opened seven months later in time for the new 1992-93 season.
It was the first English football stadium to fulfil the safety recommendations from the Taylor Report, which was commissioned after the Bradford Fire of 1985 and after the Hillsborough disaster of 1989.
The stadium hosted its first game on 25 August 1992, when Chester lost 2-1 in the League Cup to Stockport County. 11 days later, Chester beat Burnley 3-0 in the first Football League match on the ground. The stadium was officially opened on 13 October 1992, as Chester beat a Manchester United XI 2-0. Its tenth birthday in August 2002 was celebrated with a special friendly against a Liverpool XI, with Chester winning 1-0.
Between 2004 and 2007 it was officially known as the Saunders Honda Stadium for sponsorship purposes but then was known as the Cestrian Trading Stadium on 2 May 2008.
On 2 May 2008 it was announced that as of the 2008–09 season, the Deva would be known as The Cestrian Trading stadium.
In February 2010, The New Saints of the Welsh Premier League formally applied for a groundshare with Chester City, who had lost their league status the previous year and were by now deep in debt and on the verge of closure, at the Deva Stadium. However, TNS ultimately decided to remain at Park Hall in Oswestry.
Chester City were dissolved with huge debts on 10 March 2010, two days after being expelled from the Conference Premier (to which they had been relegated from the Football League the previous season), and as a result the stadium was left without a tenant. In May 2010 the owners of the ground, Chester and Cheshire West council awarded the lease to the newly formed phoenix club Chester F.C.
The stadium is located in the Sealand Road Industrial Estate and is notable for straddling the England-Wales border. The pitch itself is in Wales (Flintshire), with the front gates and main office in England (Cheshire).
The stadium initially had a capacity of 6,012, before the away end was converted to seating, but now holds only around 5,300.
The Deva Stadium has three sides of seating and one terraced end, known as the Exacta (main) Stand Harry McNally Terrace (both home), West Stand (half for home fans and half away fans) and the South Stand (away fans). In the summer of 2007, Chester converted the South Stand from terracing to seating (as mentioned above). There have been few other changes of significance in the 15-year history of the Deva Stadium, although the North Terrace was renamed the Harry McNally Terrace in December 2006 in honour of one of its most popular managers (who died two years earlier). In 2010 the main stand was renamed the Exacta Stand.
- Deva Stadium map
- Chas Sumner (1997). On the Borderline: The Official History of Chester City 1885-1997. p. 127. ISBN 1-874427-52-6.
- "The Football Supporters' Federation - Chester". Fsf.org.uk. 24 August 1992.
- "The New Saints look at moving to Chester's Deva Stadium". BBC Sport. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 19 February 2010.
- "Chester wound up at court hearing". BBC News. 10 March 2010.
- Nakrani, Sachin (10 March 2010). "Chester City wound up in high court". The Guardian (London).
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