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
Location Canons Park, London
Coordinates 51°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 transit London Underground Canons Park
Owner Barnet F.C.
Operator Barnet F.C.
Capacity 6,418 (5,318 seated) capped at 5,176[1]
Construction
Broke ground 2003
Opened July 2013
Tenants
Barnet F.C. (2013–)
London Broncos (2014–15)
London Bees (2014–)
Website
www.thehivelondon.com

The Hive Stadium is a 5,176 (official) capacity stadium in Canons Park, in the London Borough of Harrow on the former site of the Prince Edward Playing Fields. The stadium is home to Football League Two football club Barnet and London Bees of the FA WSL.

The record attendance at the stadium is 5,233 supporters (57 above official capacity at the time, as terrace capacity restriction was relaxed for this game), for Barnet F.C.'s home game against Gateshead on 25 April 2015, when Barnet won promotion to League Two with a 2-0 win.

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 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 was granted.[2]

Construction of the stadium, at the Prince Edward Playing Fields in Canons Park, began in 2003 as a new home for Wealdstone F.C.. In 2004, Wealdstone's investment partners in the project went into liquidation, bringing construction work at the site to a halt. Harrow London Borough Council put the site up for tender in 2006, and Barnet F.C. won the right to occupy the site as a result of this.[3]

Barnet F.C. 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,[4] 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 the site, accelerated the move to the Hive further.[5] 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 in the London Borough of Barnet, however that changed in 2015 [6] with the chairman announcing the club will no longer look for a home elsewhere.[7] There is a restriction on the lease of the Hive that prevents its use for football league matches and Barnet F.C. have been granted a 10-year change to this condition which came into effect in June 2015 as part of the club's requirements for promotion.

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.

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.[8]

The Broncos left The Hive at the end of the 2015 season. They moved to the Trailfinders Sports Ground in Ealing for 2016.[9]

Future[edit]

While at Underhill, Barnet had been seeking to generate more revenue by accommodating more fans, hospitality and other benefits associated with the upgrading of sports facilities. The long-standing feud with the local council[10] led to the preferred Barnet Copthall site being given away to Saracens F.C., and effectively ending Barnet F.C.'s hopes of ever moving there.[5] The club still wants to play within its traditional Barnet area, however this is unlikely in the near future. The new stadium is largely demountable but there is no indication that the development will be moved elsewhere in future. On 15 July 2015 planning permission for a new 1,868 capacity North Stand was approved, increasing the capacity to 6,418, though still restricted to 5,176 until an application to increase it is made, building of this stand completed in September 2016. The Chairman has also indicated that further future developments include a new South stand, modifications to the East stand and a sports hall.

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 is scheduled to host Nigeria when they play against Senegal and Burkina Faso on March 23, 2017 and March 27, 2017, respectively.[11]

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]