Halliwell Jones Stadium

Halliwell Jones Stadium
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 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

1990s-2004: Origins and Construction

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

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

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

North Stand

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

East Stand

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

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

West Stand

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

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.

YearsSponsorName
2004-Halliwell JonesHalliwell Jones Stadium

Usage

Rugby League

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:

YearWinnersScoreRunners upAttendance
2004 St. Helens46-6 Huddersfield13,134
2007 Catalans37-24 Wigan10,218
2009 Huddersfield24-14 Saint Helens10,638
2011 Wigan18-12 St Helens12,713
2015 Leeds24-14 St Helens11,107
2017 Wigan27-14 Salford10,796

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.

YearLeagueWinnersScoreRunners upAttendance
2006National League 1 Hull Kingston Rovers29-16 Widnes
National League 2 Sheffield35-10 Swinton
National League 3Bramley29-16 Hemel Stags
2008National League 1 Celtic Crusaders18-36 Salford
National League 2 Barrow Raiders?-? Oldham
National League 3Crusaders Colts?-?Bramley
2009Championship Barrow26-18 Halifax11,398
League 1 Keighley28-26 Oldham
ConferenceBramley?-? Underbank Rangers
2010Championship Halifax23-22
AET
Featherstone9,443
League 1 York25-4 Oldham
ConferenceWarrington Wizards?-? Underbank Rangers
2011Championship Featherstone40-4 Sheffield7,263
League 1 Keighley?-? Workington
Conference 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.

YearWinnersScoreRunners upAttendance
2015 St George-Illawarra18-12 Warrington13,080
2017 Warrington27-18 Brisbane12,082

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

DateWinnersScoreRunners upCompetitionAttendance
7 November 2004 England36-12 Ireland2004 European Cup3,582
28 October 2011 Australia26-12 New Zealand2011 Four Nations12,491
2013 England42-24Exiles2013 International Origin14,965
27 October 2013 New Zealand42-24 Samoa2013 World Cup14,965
17 November 2013 Fiji22-4 Samoa2013 World Cup12,766

Association football

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

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

  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.
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