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Home Park
Theatre of Greens
Home Park.jpg
Location Plymouth PL2 3DQ
Coordinates 50°23′17″N 4°09′3″W / 50.38806°N 4.15083°W / 50.38806; -4.15083Coordinates: 50°23′17″N 4°09′3″W / 50.38806°N 4.15083°W / 50.38806; -4.15083
Built 1893
Opened 1893
Renovated 2001
Owner Plymouth Argyle F.C.
Operator Plymouth Argyle F.C.
Surface Grass
Construction cost £11 million (2001) [1]
Architect Barr Construction Ltd (2001)
Capacity 19,500 [2]
Field dimensions 100 × 71 metres (110 × 72 yards)
Tenants
Plymouth Argyle F.C. (1901-present)

Home Park is a Football stadium located in Plymouth, England, and is home to Plymouth Argyle F.C., who currently play in the Football League Championship.

Contents

The History of Home Park

Home Park was originally used by rugby teams Plymouth and Devonport Albion but following a dispute with the owners Albion left and for three years the ground was not used. In 1901 the Argyle Athletic club obtained a lease on the ground and staged its first event, an athletics meeting, there on Whit Monday 1901. The possession of such a fine ground helped Plymouth Argyle gain entry to the Southern League in 1903 following exhibition matches against several of the countries leading professional sides.

At the time that league football first came to Plymouth the ground had only one small wooden grandstand which had a capacity of 2,000. The remaining three sides of the ground were merely surrounded by slag-heap banking and a waist high fence. When Argyle joined the Football League in 1920 several improvements were required. The wooden grandstand was demolished and replaced by a much larger and more modern structure and around the other three sides of the ground concrete terracing and crush barriers were introduced. In addition to this a roof was erected along with the main entrance at the Devonport end of the ground. The new grandstand also incorporated players changing rooms and club offices. Many of these facilities were built with funds raised by the supporters club. In 1936 a record 43,596 fans packed into the ground for the visit of Aston Villa.

Unfortunately, due to Plymouth's naval and military importance, Home Park took quite a battering during the Second World War. The pitch was badly cratered and the grandstand all but destroyed during bombing raids in 1941. In order to be ready for the resumption of League football in 1945 emergency measures were needed. Disused Army huts, redundant trams and buses and railway sleepers were used as makeshift changing rooms, offices and terracing. In 1952 a new grandstand was completed and floodlights were installed in the mid 1950's. In 1964 a roof was erected on the Lyndhurst side of the ground and although due to safety reasons the Devonport End covering had to be removed in the late 1970s it was replaced in 1984 to leave three sides of the ground under cover.

After Phase 1 redevelopment

The ground remained relatively unchanged until the 1990s when ambitious plans for re-development were announced. Although there were a lot of false starts and talk of a possible move to a different location in the city work commenced on the re-building of Home Park. An 18,500 capacity all-seater stadium, built in two stages on the site of the current ground, was planned. Phase 1 of the project, the redevelopment of the Devonport, Lyndhurst and Barn Park stands, was completed in February 2002. Phase 2 of the re-build, the new Grandstand, has been delayed amid rumours of revamped plans and financial difficulties. As of June 2007 the Mayflower terrace can no longer be used for standing as Argyle did not succeed in securing a government exemption from all-seater stadia rules. However, the board decided to install temporary seating on the terrace, to keep the capacity of the ground around the 20,000 mark. At the same time a new public address system was installed and improvements made to the floodlights on the Grandstand side of the ground, all suggesting that a start date for Phase 2 of the re-development has yet to be decided.

World Cup 2018/2022

On 16 December 2009, Home Park was announced as a host stadium for England's 2018/2022 World Cup bid. The stadium will be redeveloped into a 40,000 capacity stadium. Argyle Executive Director Keith Todd said: "The expectation is that the current grandstand will be replaced at the end of next season.

"In the event we don't get the World Cup, we'll still go forward with Phase One. The Football Association has seen the plans and all of the design is FIFA-compliant, and therefore compliant with the England 2018 World Cup bid.

"We've got nine years to get the club into a better position, including the Premier League."[3]

Photographs

The stadium prior to the Championship match against Burnley on March 21, 2009. 
The Mayflower Stand before the match against Burnley. 
The Lyndhurst Stand before the match against Burnley. 

Notable games

Apart from the games of Plymouth Argyle, Home Park has staged a number of notable games

See also

References

  1. ^ "BBC Devon". http://www.bbc.co.uk/devon/sport/102001/18/home_park.shtml. Retrieved September 12, 2007.  
  2. ^ "Football Ground Guide". http://www.footballgroundguide.com/plymouth_argyle/. Retrieved September 12, 2007.  
  3. ^ "Home Park vision". Official Plymouth Argyle. 16 December 2009. http://www.pafc.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10364~1905383,00.html. Retrieved 16 December 2009.  
  4. ^ Argyle won 3-2

External links

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