Halliwell Jones Stadium

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Halliwell Jones Stadium
Halliwell Jones.jpg
Full name Halliwell Jones Stadium
Location Mike Gregory Way, Warrington, WA2 7NE, England
Coordinates 53°23′42″N 2°35′44″W / 53.39500°N 2.59556°W / 53.39500; -2.59556Coordinates: 53°23′42″N 2°35′44″W / 53.39500°N 2.59556°W / 53.39500; -2.59556
Public transit National Rail Warrington Central
Owner Warrington Wolves
Operator Warrington Wolves
Capacity 15,200
Record attendance 15,008 (Warrington vs Widnes 25 March 2016)
Field size 120 by 74 yards (110 m × 68 m)
Surface Grass
Scoreboard Philips Vidiwall
Construction
Built 2002-2003
Opened 2004
Expanded 2011
Tenants
Warrington Wolves (2003–present)
Liverpool Reserves (2007–2009)

The Halliwell Jones Stadium is a rugby league stadium in Warrington, England, which is the home ground of Warrington Wolves. It has also staged Challenge Cup semi-finals, the European Nations Final, the National League Grand Finals' Day and two games of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

History[edit]

1990s-2004: Origins and Construction[edit]

By the late 1990s, Warrington's Wilderspool Stadium had become decrepit and unfit for purpose, and so the club looked to move to a new stadium. Before settling on a site just north of the town centre, which had formerly housed the Tetley Walker brewery, a site in Burtonwood was considered but these plans were rejected.

Ground was broke at the new site in 2002 and bucked the common trend of modern stadia by including terracing areas rather than being an all-seater stadium, with the South and West stands both containing terracing It also has enormous pitch dimensions of 120 m x 74 m, as requested by Warrington's head coach of the time, Paul Cullen, due to his desire to play expansive rugby. The stadium officially opened in 2004.

2011-present: Expansion[edit]

During the 2010 Championship Grand Final between Featherstone Rovers and Halifax, a fire beneath the terraced West Stand broke out, forcing all of the fans housed in the stand to be evacuated onto the field, holding up the game for around 45 minutes. Following a safety inspection the spectators were eventually allowed back in. However, when the smell of smoke failed to disperse, there was a further hold up as the fans were moved to the East Stand. The game resumed with no further interruptions. The fire is being treated as arson.[1]

On 3 March 2011, the club announced that the corners of the East Stand at the stadium would be filled in to create a further 2,000 spaces made up of seating and terracing for the 2012 season. The stadium capacity, set at 15,000 for the first sell-out home match against St. Helens in 2012, was increased to 15,200 and can grow to 15,693 as the club proves it can handle the bigger crowds and get extra safety certificates. The club has also announced plans to increase the stadium's capacity to around 22,000 should the need arise. The largest ever crowd at the Halliwell Jones was in a 28–10 victory for Warrington Wolves over Widnes Vikings in the Super League on 25 March 2016 when 15,008 were in attendance.

Brian Bevan monuments[edit]

Statue of Brian Bevan at the Halliwell Jones Stadium
Brian Bevan commemorative mural

Two monuments to Australian winger and world record try scorer Brian Bevan, who played for Warrington 1945-62 (scoring 740 tries for the Wire), are featured at the stadium. One, a statue of him, had previously been placed in the middle of a roundabout (known as Brian Bevan island) close to Wolves' old Wilderspool ground. This was moved to the Halliwell Jones Stadium with the team. The other, a mural showing Bevan's face made from 'Primrose and Blue' bricks, the traditional Warrington colours was created specifically for the location.

Two other tributes to ex-players at the ground are the naming of the South-East quadrant the Jack Fish corner, and the road the stadium is on Mike Gregory Way.

Layout[edit]

North Stand[edit]

The North Stand is the main stand of the ground, housing hospitality, changing rooms and dugout.

East Stand[edit]

Halliwell Jones Stadium

The East Stand is situated behind the goal posts and is an all seater stand with hospitality boxes. In 2011, the corners next to the stand were filled in to increase the capacity.

South Stand[edit]

South Stand

The South Stand runs along the side of the pitch and is terraced. It also houses the scoreboard and TV gauntry.

West Stand[edit]

The West Stand is terraced and houses the away fans. Unlike the East Stand at the opposite end of the ground, the corners are not filled in but there are future plans to do so if there is demand for the capacity to be increased.

Sponsorship[edit]

Halliwell Jones, which holds the naming rights for the stadium, is a large BMW and MINI motor group owned by Phillip Jones, a businessman from the North West.

Years Sponsor Name
2004- Halliwell Jones Halliwell Jones Stadium

Usage[edit]

Rugby League[edit]

The stadium was primarily built as a rugby league venue and to be home of Warrington Wolves. It has also been used as a neutral venue on multiple occasions, the first being the Challenge Cup Semi Finals since it opened in 2004:

Year Winners Score Runners up Attendance
2004 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 46-6 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 13,134
2007 Catalanscolours.svg Catalans 37-24 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 10,218
2009 Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield 24-14 Saintscolours.svg Saint Helens 10,638
2011 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 18-12 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 12,713
2015 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 24-14 Saintscolours.svg St Helens 11,107
2017 Wigancolours.svg Wigan 27-14 Redscolours.svg Salford 10,796

After successfully hosting its first Challenge Cup semi final in 2004, the ground was also selected to hold the Championship Grand Final on five separate occasions between 2006 and 2011.

Year League Winners Score Runners up Attendance
2006 National League 1 HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers 29-16 Widnes colours.svg Widnes
National League 2 Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield 35-10 Swintoncolours.svg Swinton
National League 3 Bramley 29-16 Hemelcolours.png Hemel Stags
2008 National League 1 Cruscolours.svg Celtic Crusaders 18-36 Redscolours.svg Salford
National League 2 Barrowcolours.svg Barrow Raiders ?-? Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham
National League 3 Crusaders Colts ?-? Bramley
2009 Championship Barrowcolours.svg Barrow 26-18 Faxcolours.svg Halifax 11,398
League 1 Cougscolours.svg Keighley 28-26 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham
Conference Bramley ?-? Giantscolours.svg Underbank Rangers
2010 Championship Faxcolours.svg Halifax 23-22
AET
Fevcolours.svg Featherstone 9,443
League 1 Yorkcolours.svg York 25-4 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham
Conference Warrington Wizards ?-? Giantscolours.svg Underbank Rangers
2011 Championship Fevcolours.svg Featherstone 40-4 Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield 7,263
League 1 Cougscolours.svg Keighley ?-? Workingtoncolours.svg Workington
Conference Giantscolours.svg Underbank Rangers ?-? Kippax Knights

It 2015, Warrington were chosen to play in the inaugural World Club Series. The club chose to host the game at the Halliwell Jones rather than move it to a bigger venue.

Year Winners Score Runners up Attendance
2015 St. George colours.svg St George-Illawarra 18-12 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 13,080
2017 Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 27-18 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane 12,082

The Halliwell Jones has also been a venue for international rugby league, hosting a European Cup and World Cup.[2]

Date Winners Score Runners up Competition Attendance
7 November 2004  England 36-12  Ireland 2004 European Cup 3,582
28 October 2011  Australia 26-12  New Zealand 2011 Four Nations 12,491
2013  England 42-24 Exiles 2013 International Origin 14,965
27 October 2013  New Zealand 42-24  Samoa 2013 World Cup 14,965
17 November 2013  Fiji 22-4  Samoa 2013 World Cup 12,766

Association football[edit]

The Halliwell Jones was chosen as one of the venues to host the Women's 2005 Euro Championship. In 2007, Liverpool chose the stadium to host their reserve team, who played there until 2009.

Non sporting events[edit]

The Halliwell Jones held the Autumn Pops Concert with Three Sporting Tenors. In 2010, the ground was used to film an episode of Candy Cabs which aired in April 2011 on BBC One.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UPDATED: Fire hits Halliwell Jones". Warrington Guardian. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  2. ^ Shawn Dollin and Andrew Ferguson (9 February 2016). "Custom Match List". Retrieved 9 February 2016. 

External links[edit]