Kirklees Stadium

Kirklees Stadium
Full name The John Smith's Stadium[1]
Former names Galpharm Stadium (2004–2012)
Alfred McAlpine Stadium (1994–2004)
Location Stadium Way, Huddersfield, HD1 6PG, England
Coordinates 53°39′15″N 1°46′6″W / 53.65417°N 1.76833°W / 53.65417; -1.76833Coordinates: 53°39′15″N 1°46′6″W / 53.65417°N 1.76833°W / 53.65417; -1.76833
Owner Kirklees Metropolitan Council
Huddersfield Town
Huddersfield Giants
Operator KSDL (Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd.)
Capacity 24,121[2]
Record attendance 24,375 (rugby league)[3]
24,169 (football)[4]
Field size 105 m × 69 m (344 ft × 226 ft)
Surface Grass with under-soil heating
Built 1994
Opened 1994
Huddersfield Town (1994–present)
Huddersfield Giants (1994–present)

Kirklees Stadium (currently known due to sponsorship as the John Smith's Stadium[1][5][6][7]) is a multi-use sports stadium in Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, England. Since 1994, it has been the home ground of football club Huddersfield Town and rugby league side Huddersfield Giants, both of whom moved from Leeds Road.

The stadium was a venue at the Rugby League World Cup in 1995, 2000 and 2013, in addition to the 1999 Rugby World Cup. It is owned by both clubs, as well as Kirklees Council. Its naming rights have passed from constructors Alfred McAlpine to pharmaceutical company Galpharm International in 2004, then to John Smith's Brewery eight years later.


During planning and construction, the stadium was referred to as the Kirklees Stadium. It was built by Alfred McAlpine,[8] designed by Populous and was awarded the RIBA Building of the Year award for 1995.[9]

The decision to build a new stadium for Huddersfield Town was made in August 1992. Construction began the following year and it was completed in time for the 1994–95 season, enabling the club to move to its new base after 86 years at Leeds Road.

When the stadium opened only the two side stands (the Riverside and Kilner Bank stands) were ready. The South Stand was opened in December 1994. Construction on the North (Panasonic) Stand began in 1996 and it was completed in 1998, bringing the overall capacity of the stadium to approximately 24,500. The estimated cost of construction was £40 million.

A ski slope will be built next to the stadium.[10]


Initially, the stadium was owned by a consortium made up of Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Huddersfield Town A.F.C. and Huddersfield Giants in a 40:40:20 proportion. Following the purchase of Huddersfield Town A.F.C. from the administrators, Ken Davy became chairman of both sports clubs, which are owned by companies he controls.[11] The present ownership of the stadium is Kirklees Metropolitan Council 40%, Huddersfield Town FC 40%, and Huddersfield Giants 20%. The current Managing director of the stadium company is Gareth Davis[12] who succeeded Ralph Rimmer in 2010. On 24 December 2009, Huddersfield Town announced that 40% of the shares owned by Huddersfield Sporting Pride would be transferred to the football club, owned by current chairman Dean Hoyle, but the deal was delayed due to a rent dispute between Davy and Hoyle. The deal was finally completed on 3 September 2013.[13]


From 1994 until 2004 the stadium was known as the Alfred McAlpine Stadium. Alfred McAlpine had been the main construction contractor and its name was part of the payment contract for ten years. The company elected not to renew its sponsorship which was taken up by Galpharm Healthcare, leading to the new name. Individual stands are sponsored by local businesses. On 19 July 2012, it was announced that the brewery firm, Heineken had bought the sponsorship rights for the stadium using their domestic John Smith's Brewery as the beneficiary, and as such the stadium was renamed as The John Smith's Stadium on 1 August as part of a five-year deal. In December 2016, this was extended for a further five years.[14]


North Stand

Capacity – (seating)
The North Stand, known as the Fantastic Media Stand for sponsorship reasons, is located behind the goal post at the north end of the ground. It has two tiers and houses 16 hospitality boxes and is completely seated. The lower tier contains temporary seats that can be removed for concerts or other events.

East Stand

Capacity- 7,000 (seating)
The East Stand known as the Kilner Bank Stand or the Britannia Rescue Stand for sponsorship reasons is a large single tier stand that runs along the side of the pitch and is completely covered seating. The stand also holds the TV gantry.

South Stand

Capacity- 4,054 (seating)
The John Smiths South Stand as it is known for sponsorship reasons is an all seated stand built into a bank and is completely covered as well as having the big screen. The stand used to be completely for away fans but it is now shared with home fans with segregation netting. From 2017–18 a new segregation system was implemented with away fans given 2,500 tickets instead of 2,000.

West Stand

Capacity- (seating)
The West stand is the main stand and is known as the Revell Ward Stand for sponsorship or Riverside Stand. It has two tiers and 26 hospitality boxes and incorporates the player changing rooms, tunnel, dug out, ticket office and club shop.



It hosted its first match on 20 August 1994 when Huddersfield Town lost 1–0 to Wycombe Wanderers in the Second Division. Only the two touchline stands had been completed, and 13,334 spectators attended. Simon Garner scored the goal for the visitors.[15]

On 4 June 1999, it hosted England under-21 in a 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification Group 5 match against Sweden, a 3–0 win for England.[16]

The record for a football match is 24,129 for an FA Cup fifth round match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester City on 18 February 2017, a goalless draw.[17] On 20 August, it held its first Premier League game, with Huddersfield's Aaron Mooy scoring the only goal of a 1–0 win over Newcastle United in front of a crowd one spectator lower than the record.[18][19]

Rugby League

Rugby League World Cup matches were held at the stadium in 1995, 2000 and 2013. Seven Great Britain rugby league internationals have been held at the ground, from 1998 to 2007.[20] Since the team were split, it has hosted three England rugby league internationals, including a 42–0 win over Ireland in the group stage of the 2013 World Cup, in front of 24,375 spectators. It was the ground's first sell-out crowd,[21] and its record attendance.[22]

The stadium has held semi-finals of the Challenge Cup and the finals of the now defunct Regal Trophy competition were held there in 1995 and 1996. Wigan Warriors won on both occasions. The stadium has also hosted three of Bradford Bulls' World Club Challenge matches, from 2002 to 2006. The Huddersfield Giants attendance record at the venue stands at 15,629 for a match against rivals Leeds Rhinos on 10 February 2008.[23]

Rugby Union

Despite Huddersfield not being a strong rugby union area, the stadium has been used for four full cap international rugby union matches. It hosted three qualifying matches for the 1999 Rugby World Cup and one match in the pool. Two of the matches saw teams pass 100 points: England beat the Netherlands 110–0 in a qualifier and New Zealand defeated Italy 101–3 in the pool.[24]


The first concerts at the stadium were on 25 and 26 July 1995 by American band R.E.M., attended by around 80,000 people and providing a £3 million boon to local businesses.[25] The Eagles,[26] Bryan Adams and The Beautiful South also performed there in the 1990s,[27] followed four years later by Bon Jovi in June 2001.[28]

After three years with no performances, Blue played at the stadium on the 31 July 2004 with Girls Aloud and Darius supporting, in an event to reveal Galpharm's new sponsorship of the venue.[29] The following two summers, Elton John and Lulu in 2005, and Bryan Adams again in 2006, performed.[30] After a gap of twelve years, Little Mix were booked to perform in July 2018.[31]


  1. 1 2 "Stadium History". Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  2. "VIEWING PLATFORM FOR AWAY SUPPORTERS". Huddersfield Town. 3 November 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  3. 2013 RLWC – England vs Ireland
  4. Huddersfield Town 0–0 Leicester City BBC Sport, 16 September 2017
  5. "New deal signed for naming rights for John Smith's Stadium". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 13 December 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  6. "Are you coming to the John Smith's Stadium? Here are the best ways for you to get to the match!". Huddersfield Town A.F.C. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  7. "Matchday information". Huddersfield Giants. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  8. Galpharm Stadium at AJ Specification database Archived 30 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. Engineering giant Stadia Ingenia Magazine, March 2005
  11. Huddersfield's community stadium dream sours in ownership wrangle
  12. Gareth Davies is new boss of Kirklees Stadium Development Ltd
  13. Dean Hoyle hails ‘landmark’ deal to restore Huddersfield Town stadium shares – Huddersfield Examiner
  14. Zientek, Henryk (13 December 2016). "New deal signed for naming rights for John Smith's Stadium". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  15. Thomson, Doug (27 August 2011). "Huddersfield Town nostalgia: Wycombe Wanderers spoil the new stadium party in 1994". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  16. "Sweden v England background". UEFA. 16 June 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  17. Huddersfield Town 0–0 Manchester City BBC Sport, 18 February 2017
  18. Robinson, Andrew (26 August 2017). "Can the capacity at the John Smith's Stadium be increased? Here's what Town had to say". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  19. Chowdhury, Saj (20 August 2017). "Huddersfield Town 10 Newcastle United". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  20. "John Smith's Stadium International rugby league matches". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  21. Hirst, Andrew (19 October 2013). "World Cup fever means sell-out at John Smith's Stadium for England's clash with Ireland". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  22. Sutcliffe, Richard (20 February 2017). "Haven't we met before? Huddersfield Town's Jon Gorenc Stankovic gets upper hand over Manchester City's Leroy Sane". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  23. Huddersfield vs Leeds 2008
  24. ESPN
  25. Gildea, Samantha (21 May 2014). "REM rock Huddersfield: we look back to the band's gig at the McAlpine in July 1995". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  26. Gildea, Samantha (26 August 2014). "The Eagles flew into the McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield in July 1996 - were you there?". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  27. Gildea, Samantha (13 June 2014). "Were you there? The Beautiful South, Cast and the Lightning Seeds rock the McAlpine in 1997". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  28. Gildea, Samantha (12 August 2001). "One Wild Night: Bon Jovi rock Huddersfield's McAlpine Stadium in June 2001". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  29. "Blue to reveal stadium's name". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. 7 June 2004. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  30. Richardson-Hudd, Sam (19 December 2013). "Did you go? Bryan Adams rocked Huddersfield's Galpharm Stadium in 2006 - relive it here". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  31. Douglas, Joanne (28 November 2017). "Little Mix in Huddersfield: Tickets, times and prices". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
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