Totally Wicked Stadium

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Totally Wicked Stadium
Langtree Park 3.jpg
Full name Totally Wicked Stadium
Location Totally Wicked Stadium
McManus Drive
Peasley Cross
St Helens
WA9 3AL
Coordinates 53°26′51.47″N 2°43′39.41″W / 53.4476306°N 2.7276139°W / 53.4476306; -2.7276139Coordinates: 53°26′51.47″N 2°43′39.41″W / 53.4476306°N 2.7276139°W / 53.4476306; -2.7276139
Owner St Helens R.F.C.
Operator St Helens R.F.C.
Capacity 18,000[1]
Record attendance 17,980
vs Wigan 6 April 2012[2]
vs Wigan 18 April 2014[3]
Surface Grass
Construction
Built 2010-2011
Opened 2011
Construction cost £25 Million[4]
Architect Barr Construction
Main contractors Langtree Group
Tenants
St. Helens (2011-present)
Liverpool F.C. Reserves (2012-present)

The Totally Wicked Stadium[5] is a rugby league stadium in the Peasley Cross area of St. Helens, Merseyside. Originally called Langtree Park until 2017, it has a capacity of over 18,000. It is the home ground of St Helens R.F.C. The stadium was granted full planning permission on 20 May 2008. On 11 July 2008 the go-ahead was given without the need for a public enquiry and construction started in 2010.[6] It was announced on 15 November 2011 that primary developers, the Langtree Group, had gained the naming rights and that the stadium would be named Langtree Park.[7] The first rugby league match to be played at the stadium was between St. Helens and Widnes on Friday 20 January 2012. St. Helens won the opening game by 42-24 and they moved in ready for the 2012 Super League season.[7] Liverpool F.C. Reserves also play their home games at the stadium.

Plans and Construction[edit]

The proposed plans came in three parts. The proposed parts were:

1. The transformation of the derelict former United Glass site to create a new 18,000-capacity stadium for St. Helens as well as a 140,000 sq ft (13,000 m2) Tesco Extra next to the rugby ground. The stadium itself was to be a seating and standing arena with an oval shaped roof extending out from the south stand

2. The redevelopment of the existing town centre Tesco store in Chalon Way into alternative high quality retail use, enhancing the retail available in St Helens town centre.

3. The development of the existing St. Helens site at Knowsley Road to create high quality residential accommodation, regenerating the local area.

The club stressed that if one of the three parts fell through, the whole project would have been in jeopardy. However councillors in St Helens approved the new Saints’ stadium. Members of the Planning Committee endorsed the triple planning application granting permission subject to terms and conditions and a health and safety risk assessment

Demolition of the former UGB Glass plant began in late January 2009, with construction due to begin after the clearance of the 46-acre (190,000 m2) site had been completed.[8][9] In July 2010, the building contractor Barr Construction Ltd was selected to build the new stadium.[10] Construction commenced on 23 August 2010, with the Tesco store completed in October 2011 and the stadium in November 2011.[11]

Reaction[edit]

Panorama of Langtree Park on opening night in January 2012.
Panorama of Langtree Park on opening night in January 2012

Saints’ chairman Eamonn McManus comments: "This is wonderful news for the club, its supporters and for the town of St Helens. I sincerely thank all at the Borough Council and MP Dave Watts for their invaluable work and help to date."

"We now look forward to a similar positive outcome from the Government Office for the North West and would urge all to continue with expressions of constructive support for a project so critical to the future of the club and of the town."

John Downes, managing director of Langtree says of the decision: "This is fantastic news, and is a vital step forward in our plans to transform the former United Glass site. Langtree is proud to be playing such an integral role in the development of a new stadium and in the regeneration of St Helens town. The planning application is the product of a lot of hard work over the last few years by everyone involved and the result will be a fantastic new development with the new Saints stadium as its centrepiece."

"Whilst we still need to resolve the future of the Ancient Monument as the Council are requiring us to consolidate and repair it which is not viable for the development to support, the proposals will now go to the Government Office for the North West for their consideration and obviously we hope for a speedy positive result."

St Helens Council Leader Brian Spencer adds: "The development will bring a range of benefits, not just to our own town but to the region in general, bringing massive investment and jobs. This has been 10 years in the making but I am sure everyone will agree that this will be a first class stadium fit for a world class club."

David Rolinson, Planning Manager for the project says: "We couldn’t have received better news. We still need to resolve the future of the Ancient Monument, which at the moment the Council require us to enhance, but which is not viable for the scheme to support."

"We have put four years of hard work in order to get this scheme absolutely right and are very concerned about the Ancient Monument issue."

"However, this is an important day as together these developments are set to change the face of St Helens and continue to deliver its urban renaissance."[12][13]

Layout[edit]

The stadium has two terraced stands and two seated, the pitch is grass although the touchline has some astro-turf. The match day hospitality consists of the sale of the Saints Gold beer which is served inside the ground at a number of kiosks and in the Redvee cafe bar. The stadium has a large Saints badge on the outside with the recently restored town motto: Ex Terra Lucem underneath. A bronze statue of former club captain Keiron Cunningham stands over the main entrance.[14] The stadium can be accessed via a number of routes, including the recently erected Steve Prescott bridge in memory of Steve Prescott MBE, a former St. Helens and Hull F.C. player renowned for his outstanding fund raising contributions to charity.

North Stand[edit]

Capacity- 4,718 (seated)
The North Stand runs parallel to the South Stand along the side of the pitch. The stand is completely seated and has SAINTS V spelt out in the seats and is occupied by home fans.

South Stand[edit]

Capacity- 5,233 (seated)
The South Stand is the main stand of the ground and holds the clubs hospitality boxes, tunnel and player changing rooms, ticket office, bar and club shop as well as the TV gantry.

East Stand[edit]

Capacity- 3,899 (standing)
The East Stand is located behind the goal posts and is completely terraced. The stand also houses the score board in the North East corner and the stand is used by away fans.

West Stand[edit]

Capacity- 3,796 (118 seats)
The West Stand is mostly terracing but also has 118 seated in the corner of the stand.

Rugby league[edit]

St Helens R.F.C. played their first league game at the ground in 2012, when they won against Salford. Their record victory at the stadium was 76-0 against Oldham in the challenge cup, where Saints ran in 14 tries. The highest recorded attendance for a match so far was 17,980 against Wigan on 6 April, with an average attendance of 14,212 for the 2012 season.[15] The venue hosted the first of two Rugby League International Origin Match in 2012 between England and the Exiles.[16] Langtree Park held a group match in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup between Australia and Fiji.[17][18] The stadium played host to the Challenge Cup Semi Final between Warrington and Leeds on 9 August 2014.

Other uses[edit]

Liverpool F.C. U19s played Ajax U19s in the NextGen series semi final on 14 March 2012, Ajax won 6-0.[19] All of Liverpool U19s NextGen matches in the 2012-13 season were held at Langtree Park, as were many Under 21s matches.[20]

Sponsors[edit]

In 2016 the club signed a five-year deal with Totally Wicked for the naming rights to the stadium, effective in early 2017.[21]

Year Sponsor Name
2012–2016 Langtree Group Langtree Park
2017–2021 Totally Wicked Totally Wicked Stadium

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Langtree Park". http://www.saintsrlfc.com. St Helens RLFC. Retrieved 1 April 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^ "First Team Results 2012". http://www.saintsrlfc.com. Retrieved 16 September 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ http://www.saintsrlfc.com/news/page/3967.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Saints granted permission for new stadium
  5. ^ Langtree Park gets new name
  6. ^ "St Helens stadium given go-ahead". BBC News. 11 July 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "BBC Sport - Langtree Park will be the new home of St Helens". BBC Sport. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  8. ^ http://www.sthelensreporter.co.uk/st-helens-rl-news/Stadium-begins-to-take-shape.5192177.jp
  9. ^ http://www.sthelensreporter.co.uk/st-helens-rl-news/Stadium-plans-to-be-unveiled.5566222.jp
  10. ^ http://www.sthelensstar.co.uk/sport/8278741.Barr _Construction_selected_to_build_new_Saints_stadium/
  11. ^ "New St Helens Rugby League Stadium & Tesco Store". New St Helens Stadium Community Website. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  12. ^ Langtree Group plc - St Helens Stadium
  13. ^ Saints » Home
  14. ^ "Cunningham statue moves to new stadium". St Helens Star. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Record crowds watch Super League in 2012". St Helens Star. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "England v Exiles: Sam Tomkins try clinches revenge victory". BBC Sport. BBC. 16 June 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  17. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2013 - St Helens, England". Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2013: Australia 34-2 Fiji". BBC Sport. BBC. 2 November 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Liverpool 0 Ajax 6: Fischer shines as Dutch masters destroy Reds in NextGen". Daily Mail. 14 March 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Langtree Park to stage NextGen ties". Liverpool F.C. 2 November 2013. Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  21. ^ Press Association (30 November 2016). "St Helens rename Langtree Park ground the 'Totally Wicked Stadium'". The Guardian. 

External links[edit]