Liberty Stadium facts for kids

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New Morfa Stadium - geograph.org.uk - 32243.jpg
Nickname(s) The Liberty
Location Normandy Road, Swansea, Wales
Opened 10 July 2005
Owner Swansea Council
Construction Cost £27 million
Former name(s) White Rock Stadium
Capacity 21,088

The Liberty Stadium (Welsh: Stadiwm Liberty) is a sports stadium and conferencing venue located in the Landore area of Swansea, Wales. The stadium is all-seated. On opening, it had a capacity of 20,750, making it the largest purpose-built venue in Swansea; minor layout changes have since increased this. It is the home stadium of Premier League club Swansea City and the Ospreys rugby team. As a result of Swansea City's promotion, the stadium became the first Premier League ground in Wales. The Liberty Stadium had the second smallest capacity of the 20 stadiums in the Premier League for the 2016–17 season after Bournemouth AFC's ground Dean Court. It is the third largest stadium in Wales – after Millennium Stadium and Cardiff City Stadium. In European competition the stadium is known as Swansea Stadium due to advertising rights.

History

With the Vetch Field, 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 being in excess of £50m.

On 10 July 2005, Liberty Stadium was opened and became the home to Swansea City (replacing the Vetch Field) and the Ospreys (replacing St Helen's and The Gnoll). On 23 July 2005, Liberty Stadium was officially opened as Swansea City faced Fulham, (then managed by former Swansea player Chris Coleman) in a friendly match. 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.

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

The first capacity crowd recorded at Liberty Stadium was on the 1 November 2006 when The Ospreys beat Australia 24–16. 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. Plans for a new McDonald's fast food restaurant to be opened near the stadium threw expansion plans into doubt. However, the planning application was withdrawn.

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.

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 stadium to above the 40,000 mark. Making it into consideration for Wales National Football Matches.

Naming

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. 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". In UEFA matches, it is called Swansea Stadium due to UEFA regulations on sponsorship. On 8 May 2015 the stadium was renamed The Katie Phillips Stadium for one night only.

International fixtures

The ground has also hosted seven Wales international football fixtures. The results were as follows.

Date Type Opponents Final score
17 August 2005 Friendly  Slovenia 0 - 0
15 August 2006  Bulgaria
20 August 2008  Georgia 1 - 2
3 March 2010  Sweden 0 - 1
7 October 2011 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier  Switzerland 2 - 0
6 February 2013 Friendly  Austria 2 - 1
26 March 2013 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier  Croatia 1 - 2

Other uses

Concerts

Date Artist
1 June 2007 The Who
29 June 2008 Elton John
23 June 2010 Pink
1 June 2011 Rod Stewart
12 June 2011 JLS
2 July 2014 Kings of Leon
28 May 2016 Manic Street Preachers
18 June 2016 Lionel Richie
14 June 2017 Take That

Politics

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

Gallery

Public Transport

Southbound ftrmetro Northbound
Landore   Liberty Stadium   Plasmarl

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