The Hive Stadium

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The Hive Stadium
Image of the Hive stadium in 2014
The Hive after a 5-0 win by Barnet in March 2015
LocationCanons Park, London
Coordinates51°36′09″N 0°17′30″W / 51.602599°N 0.291785°W / 51.602599; -0.291785Coordinates: 51°36′09″N 0°17′30″W / 51.602599°N 0.291785°W / 51.602599; -0.291785
Public transitLondon Underground Canons Park
OwnerBarnet F.C.
OperatorBarnet F.C.
Capacity6,418 (5,318 seated) capped at 5,176[1]
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke ground2003
OpenedJuly 2013
Tenants
Barnet F.C. (2013–)
London Broncos (2014–15)
London Bees (2014–)
Website
www.thehivelondon.com

The Hive Stadium is a stadium in Canons Park, on the former site of the Prince Edward Playing Fields in the London Borough of Harrow. The stadium is home to National League football club Barnet and London Bees of the FA WSL.

The stadium's official capacity is 5,176, but its record attendance is 5,539, set on 5 May 2018 for Barnet's 3–0 win over Chesterfield in a game that saw Barnet relegated from the Football League.[2]

Background[edit]

Barnet F.C. Chairman Anthony Kleanthous had sought to move the club from Underhill Stadium since the 1990s due to the poor facilities at the ground. Attempts to move either to Barnet Copthall athletics stadium or to the greenbelt site directly to the south of Underhill were both unsuccessful, with John Prescott over-ruling a move to Copthall in 2001 after planning permission had initially been granted.[3]

Construction of the stadium at the council owned Prince Edward Playing Fields in Canons Park had originally begun in 2003, specifically as a new home for Wealdstone F.C. In late 2004, Wealdstone's investment partners in the project went into liquidation, bringing construction work at the site to a sudden halt due to lack of funds to pay the builders. With Wealdstone unable to afford the completion on their own, there was no progress at the half-built site for two years, Harrow London Borough Council then decided to put the site up for tender in 2006, and Barnet F.C. bought the right to occupy the site as a result of this.[4]

Barnet F.C. eventually moved into the stadium in summer 2013 due to disagreement with Barnet London Borough Council with regards to the lease of the land surrounding their home since 1907, Underhill Stadium,[5] as well as the limited facilities at Underhill restricting the club's income. The awarding of the Barnet Copthall site to Saracens F.C., effectively ending Barnet F.C.'s hopes of ever moving to that site, accelerated the move to the Hive further.[6]

The club originally claimed they intended the use of the stadium at the Hive to be a temporary arrangement, with the long term aim to build a 10,000 capacity stadium back in the London Borough of Barnet. However that changed in 2015 [7] with the chairman announcing the club will no longer look for a home elsewhere.[8] Initially there was a restriction on the lease of the Hive that prevented its use for football league matches, Barnet F.C. were granted a 10-year change to this condition which came into effect in June 2015. Earlier this year the owner purchased the freehold from the London Borough of Harrow and so this restriction no longer applies.

The Hive[edit]

The Hive Stadium in April 2016 during a London Bees match

A new training ground and centre of excellence for Barnet F.C., named the Hive, was opened at the site by Trevor Brooking and Fabio Capello in 2009. In the years following this, other facilities at the 44 acre site, including a banqueting suite, bar and lounge as well as a gym open to the public and also used by the club's players, were opened.

The club officially announced their intention to depart Underhill in December 2011, and confirmed that the 2012/13 season would be the last at the ground. In February 2013, the Football League ratified Barnet's move to the new stadium at the Hive.

The stadium has gradually developed since the decision to move, initially with seating on the East stand and a new West stand with a capacity of 2700 and two spacious bars underneath. Followed a couple of years later by a medical centre, larger banqueting suite, ticket office and a 1890 capacity north stand with a large bar for away fans underneath.

London Broncos Rugby League[edit]

On 13 December 2013, it was confirmed that London Broncos would move to the Hive for 2014 and 2015. In round 2 of the 2014 Super League season Broncos played their first match at the Hive, against Salford Red Devils.

The record crowd for the Broncos in 2014 was against Super League giants Wigan Warriors where 2,013 were in attendance at the Hive.[9]

The Broncos left The Hive at the end of the 2015 season. They moved to the Trailfinders Sports Ground in Ealing for 2016.[10]

Future[edit]

Some aspects of previous planned works are incomplete, a rear extension on the west stand is still expected to be built in the near future. On 6 November 2017 planning applications were submitted for the next phase of stadium development [1] which will bring capacity up to 8500. Also an application for the development of additional onsite sporting facilities including full size covered pitch for the academy and a sports hall behind the North stand providing 7 badminton courts and a basketball court with spectator seating .

International matches[edit]

On 25 March 2015, the Hive hosted its first international fixture as England U20 drew 1-1 with Mexico U20.

The Hive hosted the Nigeria when they played against Senegal and Burkina Faso on 23 March 2017 and 27 March 2017, respectively.[11]

The Hive has been used as the base for several foreign international teams prior to playing against England, and was also selected as the venue to coordinate and coach the referees taking part in the London Olympics football tournament.

On 28 March 2018 Nigeria played against Serbia in an international friendly, with Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring twice in 2-0 win [12] for the Serbs.

Transport[edit]

Canons Park (400m) and Queensbury (600m) are the nearest tube stations to the Hive. Both are on the Jubilee line. Journey times take approximately 25 minutes to Baker Street and 35 minutes to London Bridge.

Edgware at the end of the Northern line is around 25 minutes walk away.

Bus routes 79, 186, 288 and 340 all serve the stadium.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stadium". Barnet Football Club.
  2. ^ "Barnet 3-0 Chesterfield". BBC. 5 May 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Working together. A vision of the future in partnership with the London Borough of Barnet, for the benefit of the community" (PDF). Archived from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 2013-02-12.
  4. ^ "A Brief History Of Wealdstone's Legacy At Prince Edward Playing Fields". Under the League.
  5. ^ "Barnet resolve to leave Underhill and find a new ground". BBC.
  6. ^ "Barnet FC blasts council on Copthall stadium plans". BBC.
  7. ^ "Barnet FC chairman Tony Kleanthous confirms former Underhill Stadium has been sold to Education Funding Agency". Harrow Times.
  8. ^ "Barnet: Football League ratifies move to The Hive". BBC.
  9. ^ "London Broncos: Super League side agree Barnet groundshare". BBC.
  10. ^ "London Broncos to make Ealing home". londonbroncosrl.com.
  11. ^ Okeleji, Oluwashina (27 February 2017). "Nigeria to play friendlies in London". BBC. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  12. ^ http://kwese.espn.com/football/blog-football-africa/story/3434536/nigeria-0-2-serbia-hot-talking-points