Swansea.com Stadium

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Swansea.com Stadium
Stadiwm Swansea.com
New Morfa Stadium - geograph.org.uk - 32243.jpg
Swansea.com Stadium Stadiwm Swansea.com is located in Swansea
Swansea.com Stadium Stadiwm Swansea.com
Swansea.com Stadium
Stadiwm Swansea.com
Location within Swansea
Former namesWhite Rock Stadium (2004, under construction)[1]
New Stadium Swansea (2005, official)[2]
Liberty Stadium (2005–2021)
LocationNormandy Road,[3] Swansea, Wales
Coordinates51°38′32″N 3°56′06″W / 51.6422°N 3.9351°W / 51.6422; -3.9351Coordinates: 51°38′32″N 3°56′06″W / 51.6422°N 3.9351°W / 51.6422; -3.9351
Public transitThe New Mex bus stop
Swansea railway station
OwnerCity and County of Swansea Council
OperatorStadCo
Capacity21,088[4]
Field size105 x 68 metres (115 x 74 yards)
SurfaceDesso GrassMaster
Construction
Broke ground2003
Opened10 July 2005
Construction cost£27 million
ArchitectTTH Architects, Gateshead UK
Tenants
Swansea City (2005–present)
Ospreys (2005–present)

The Swansea.com Stadium (Welsh: Stadiwm Swansea.com; formerly Liberty Stadium) is an all-seated sports stadium and conferencing venue located in the Landore area of Swansea, Wales. The stadium opened in 2005 and was named the Liberty Stadium. It had an opening capacity of 20,750, making it the largest purpose-built venue in Swansea; minor layout changes have since increased this to 21,088.

It is the home stadium of EFL Championship club Swansea City, who took full operational control of the stadium in 2018,[5] and the Ospreys rugby team. As a result of Swansea City's promotion in 2011, the stadium became the first Premier League ground in Wales. It is the third largest stadium in Wales – after the Millennium Stadium and the Cardiff City Stadium. In European competitions, the stadium is known as Swansea Stadium due to advertising rules.

History[edit]

With Swansea City's Vetch Field, and Ospreys' St Helen's and The Gnoll no longer being up-to-date venues to play at, and both the Swans and the Ospreys not having the necessary capital to invest into a new stadium, Swansea council and a developer-led consortia submitted a proposal for a sustainable 'bowl' venue for 20,520 seats on a site to the west of the River Tawe on the site of the Morfa Stadium, an athletics stadium owned by the City and County of Swansea council. It was funded by a 355,000 ft retail park on land to the east of the river. The final value of the development was in excess of £50m.[6]

On 10 July 2005, the stadium was opened and became the home to Swansea City and Ospreys. On 23 July 2005, it was officially opened as Swansea City faced Fulham, (then managed by former Swansea player Chris Coleman) in a friendly match.[7] The match ended in a 1–1 draw with the first goal being scored by Fulham's Steed Malbranque. Swansea's Marc Goodfellow scored during the game to level the match.[8] The first league game was held on 6 August, with Swansea defeating Tranmere Rovers through a single goal by debutant Adebayo Akinfenwa.[9]

Before a league match between Swansea City and Oldham Athletic in October 2005, a statue of Ivor Allchurch (1929–1997) was unveiled to commemorate the Swansea-born star who during two spells for the club scored a record 164 goals in 445 appearances.[10]

The first capacity crowd recorded at Liberty Stadium was on the 1 November 2006 when The Ospreys beat Australia A 24–16.[11] The stadium has hosted multiple Wales football internationals, listed below.

Seating at Liberty Stadium is often sold out during Swansea City football matches. Swansea City have expressed a desire to have the capacity of the stadium increased and have held talks with Swansea Council during the 2011–2012 season for the future expansion of the Liberty Stadium which would be completed in a number of phases beginning with expansion or redevelopment of the east stand.[12] Plans for a new McDonald's fast food restaurant to be opened near the stadium threw expansion plans into doubt.[13] However, the planning application was withdrawn.[14]

In December 2013, it was reported by BBC News that the European Commission had requested details of the funding of the stadium, as part of a wider inquiry into state aid for sports clubs.[15]

At the start of the 2014–15 Premier League season, a number of changes were made to the stadium. These included two new 'Jumbotron' screens inside the north and south stands, measuring approximately 200 inches. Due to sponsorship by LG all televisions in food outlets and concourse were replaced by 50" LG TV screens and the south stand renamed The LG Stand. New advertising boards with a crowd facing side were also added.

Expansions planned would expand the stadium to 33,000, with another expansion upgrading the stadium to above the 40,000 mark. This would make Wales national football matches a possibility.

In July 2018, Swansea City AFC took full ownership of the stadium, after reaching an agreement with Swansea City Council. It was agreed that Ospreys RFC could continue to share the stadium.

Naming[edit]

The logo of Liberty Stadium.

During its construction, a variety of names were suggested for it: most commonly used was "White Rock" stadium (after the copper works of the same name which existed on the site historically). However "White Rock" was only used as a temporary name during its construction and when work was finished, the name was dropped and the stadium owners began looking for sponsors for the stadium.[1] While sponsors were being searched for, it was called "New Stadium Swansea". On 18 October 2005, Swansea-based developers Liberty Properties Plc won the naming rights to call it "Liberty Stadium".[16] In UEFA matches, it is called Swansea Stadium due to UEFA regulations on sponsorship.[17] On 8 May 2015 the stadium was renamed The Katie Phillips Stadium for one night only.[18] On 9 August 2021, the stadium was renamed the Swansea.com stadium following a 10-year contract being agreed with Swansea.com, a business which shares director Martin Morgan with Swansea City.[19]

International fixtures[edit]

The ground has also hosted eight Wales international football fixtures. The first was the first Wales match in Swansea for 17 years, and saw local player John Hartson captain the team for the first time, in a goalless draw against Slovenia.[2] The first competitive game and first victory was a 2–0 win over Switzerland in UEFA Euro 2012 qualification on 7 October 2011.[20] The most recent game was a goalless draw against the United States on 12 November 2020, the first Wales game at the venue for seven years.[21]

The results were as follows:

Date Type Opponents Final score
17 August 2005[2] Friendly  Slovenia 0–0
15 August 2006[22]  Bulgaria
20 August 2008[23]  Georgia 1–2
3 March 2010[24]  Sweden 0–1
7 October 2011[20] UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier  Switzerland 2–0
6 February 2013[25] Friendly  Austria 2–1
26 March 2013[26] 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier  Croatia 1–2
12 November 2020[21] Friendly  United States 0–0

Other uses[edit]

Concerts[edit]

Kings of Leon performing at the stadium
Date Artist
1 June 2007 The Who[27]
29 June 2008 Elton John[28]
23 June 2010 Pink[29]
1 June 2011 Rod Stewart[30]
12 June 2011 JLS[31]
2 July 2014 Kings of Leon[32]
28 May 2016 Manic Street Preachers[33]
18 June 2016 Lionel Richie[34]
14 June 2017 Take That[35]
23 June 2018 The Killers[36]
7 July 2018 Little Mix[37]
29 June 2022 Elton John[38]

Politics[edit]

In April 2014, the stadium held a UK Independence Party conference.[39]

Statistics and average attendances[edit]

  • Stadium capacity: 21,088
  • Record attendance: 20,999 vs Cardiff Blues 1 May 2016
  • First international game held: Wales v Slovenia, 17 August 2005.

Average attendances are for home league matches only.

Season Swansea City[40] Ospreys[41]
2005–06 17,960 8,567
2006–07 18,008 9,147
2007–08 16,906 9,487
2008–09 17,509 9,063
2009–10 15,407 8,284
2010–11 15,507 8,855
2011–12 19,946 7,259
2012–13 20,370 9,272
2013–14 20,407
2014–15 20,555 8,398
2015–16 20,711 8,474
2016–17 20,619 9,026
2017–18 20,879 6,994
2018–19 18,444 6,812
2019-20 15,405

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Stadium name puzzle for fans". BBC News. 21 July 2004. Retrieved 21 July 2004.
  2. ^ a b c "Wales 0–0 Slovenia". BBC Sport. 17 August 2005. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  3. ^ "Liberty Stadium - Soccerway". int.soccerway.com.
  4. ^ "Liberty Stadium Swansea City". Premier League. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Swansea City FC takes control of the Liberty Stadium". BBC News. 17 February 2018. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Liberty Stadium". swanseacity.net. 2010. Archived from the original on 19 June 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
  7. ^ "City stadium ready for kick-off". BBC Sport. 22 July 2005. Retrieved 22 July 2005.
  8. ^ "Swansea 1–1 Fulham". BBC Sport. 23 July 2005. Retrieved 23 July 2005.
  9. ^ "Swansea 1–0 Tranmere". BBC Sport. 6 August 2005. Retrieved 17 September 2021.
  10. ^ "Swans unveil Allchurch monument". BBC Sport. 15 October 2005. Retrieved 15 October 2005.
  11. ^ "Ospreys 24–16 Australia". BBC. 1 November 2006. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
  12. ^ Turner, Robin (20 February 2012). "Liberty Stadium extension under discussion with Swansea council". walesonline.
  13. ^ "BBC News – Swansea City says McDonald's plan risks Liberty Stadium expansion". Bbc.co.uk. 10 February 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  14. ^ max 4000 characters (12 May 2012). "McDonald's scraps its restaurant plans by the Liberty Stadium". This is South Wales. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  15. ^ "European Commission investigates Liberty Stadium funding deal". BBC News. BBC. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  16. ^ "City stadium takes sponsor's name". BBC News. 18 October 2005. Retrieved 18 October 2005.
  17. ^ "Last-gasp Cissé denies Swansea at the death". 24 October 2013.
  18. ^ "Welcome to the Katie Phillips Stadium | Ospreys".
  19. ^ "Swansea City and Ospreys stadium renamed Swansea.com Stadium in new deal". BBC Sport. 9 August 2021. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
  20. ^ a b Pope, Bruce (7 October 2011). "Euro 2012: Wales 2–0 Switzerland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  21. ^ a b Pritchard, Dafydd (12 November 2020). "Wales 0–0 USA". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  22. ^ "Wales 0–0 Bulgaria". BBC Sport. 15 August 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  23. ^ James, Stuart (21 August 2008). "Wales stunned as Georgia earn victory with two late goals". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  24. ^ James, Stuart (3 March 2010). "Johan Elmander helps sink weakened Wales". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  25. ^ "Wales 2–1 Austria: How the match was won at the Liberty Stadium". Wales Online. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  26. ^ Jackson, Jamie (26 March 2013). "Eduardo's late effort hands Croatia victory to crush Wales hopes". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  27. ^ "The Who rock stadium's major gig". BBC News. 2 June 2007. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  28. ^ "Liberty rocks to Rocket Man Elton John". Wales Online. 30 June 2008. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  29. ^ "Pink set for summer UK stadium gigs". BBC News. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  30. ^ "Swansea join Rod Stewart on stage at Liberty Stadium". BBC News. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  31. ^ "In pictures: JLS perform sell-out gig at Swansea's Liberty Stadium". Wales Online. 13 June 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  32. ^ Morgan, Sion (2 July 2014). "Kings of Leon Swansea review: US superstars rock the Liberty Stadium with sell-out show". Wales Online. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  33. ^ Owens, David (29 May 2016). "Fans go wild for the Manic Street Preachers in Swansea". Wales Online. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  34. ^ Doran, Lorna (9 July 2016). "'The Swansea night was out of control' Lionel Richie reveals Liberty Stadium gig was a tour highlight". Wales Online. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  35. ^ "Take That: Swansea roads closed until after show". BBC News. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  36. ^ Bevan, Nathan; Knapman, Joshua; Roderick, Oliver (24 June 2018). "The Killers rock the Liberty Stadium in Swansea". Wales Online. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  37. ^ Roderick, Oliver (7 July 2018). "Little Mix brought a true party atmosphere to the Liberty Stadium during their Swansea gig". Wales Online. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  38. ^ Dalling, Robert (23 June 2021). "Elton John in Swansea: How to get tickets for his Liberty Stadium gig". Wales Online. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  39. ^ Turner, Robin (30 April 2014). "Ukip leader Nigel Farage laughs off suggestion he 'bottled' Swansea walkabout after 'scuffles'". Wales Online. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  40. ^ "Swansea City Attendances". Swansea City. 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  41. ^ "Ospreys attendances". Magners League. 2010. Archived from the original on 19 August 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2010.

External links[edit]