Odsal Stadium: Wikis

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Grattan Stadium
Location Odsal, Bradford, England
Coordinates 53°45′54″N 1°45′25″W / 53.765°N 1.75694°W / 53.765; -1.75694Coordinates: 53°45′54″N 1°45′25″W / 53.765°N 1.75694°W / 53.765; -1.75694
Broke ground 1933
Opened 1934
Renovated 2009 (Due to Start)
Owner Bradford Bulls
Surface Grass
Capacity 27,491[1]
Tenants
Bradford Northern R.L.F.C. (1934–63, 1963–95), Odsal Boomerangs (1945–49), Bradford Tutors (1950–59), Bradford Panthers (1960–61, 1963–70), Bradford Northern (1970–73), Bradford Barons (1974–75), Bradford Dukes (1985–97), Bradford City (1985–86), Bradford Bulls (1996–2001, 2003–present)

Odsal Stadium is a stadium situated in Odsal in West Yorkshire, England. The venue is used for rugby league and has been the home ground of Bradford Bulls since 1934. The official name of the stadium is the Grattan Stadium due to sponsorship from Grattan plc.

Odsal has also hosted many other sports, including association football, speedway, stock car racing, basketball featuring the Harlem Globetrotters, wrestling, show jumping and kabaddi. The stadium has one of the largest attendances of all time for rugby league (102,569) when Halifax played Warrington on 5 May 1954.[2]

Contents

History

The Bradford Northern club signed a ten year deal on 20 June 1933 with Bradford Council to make it their home ground. At the time it was just a tip; the Bradford Director of Cleansing organised a controlled tipping effort that saw 140,000 cart loads of household waste removed from the banking at Odsal. To be able to turf the pitch, and other areas, a turf fund was put into place, the fund raised a total of £900, enough to do the job. A stand was erected at the cost of £2,000, which was paid by the Rugby Football League. The club house and dressing rooms were officially opened before a match against Hull on the 2 February 1935. During the Second World War the lower floor of the club house was also used as an Air Raid Precautions centre, and one of the dressing rooms was the map room.

Odsal is famous for at one time holding the world record for the largest rugby football crowd of 102,569 at the replay of the 1954 Challenge Cup final between Warrington and Halifax on 5 May 1954. However it is thought that many more attended the game, as this doesn't include thousands who watched the game from outside the stadium. The official record attendance of 102,569 for a rugby league fixture stood for roughly 45 years before being broken in 1999 following the opening of Stadium Australia.

The ground's clubhouse had to be re-furbished when it was condemned in the mid 1980s. The social facilities were also upgraded at the same time. Following the Valley Parade fire disaster of 1985, Odsal Stadium played host to Bradford City's Division Two Home games until December 1986. Odsal Stadium also held a modern day attendance record for almost six years. On 3 September 1999, a then Super League record crowd of 24,020 saw Bradford Bulls defeat Leeds Rhinos by 19 points to 18. On 25 March 2005, Wigan Warriors set a new Super League record crowd when 25,004 supporters e huge local derby against St Helens. The Bradford Dukes rode their last speedway meeting in 1997, winning the league title. Odsal has also hosted the speedway world final. The redevelopment means its now impossible for speedway to return. The Bradford Bulls moved away from Odsal in 2001 because the ground was due to be improved with a major redevelopment by raising the level of the pitch, rotating it 90 degrees, and adding a retail/hotel/leisure complex on the side. Planning had started in 1996 with the failed Bradford Superdome project which was canned shortly before the latest "super stadium" proposal. Bradford moved from Odsal Stadium to Bradford City's home ground Valley Parade while the building work was supposed to have been done, but for planning issues and the government's intervention, the redevelopment of the stadium failed to get off the ground. The first match played following their return to Odsal was against Yorkshire rivals Wakefield Trinity Wildcats on Sunday, 9 March 2003, which attracted an attendance of 20,283. Bradford Bulls won the game 22-10. During the two years at Valley Parade, the Bulls agreed to take controlling interests of the stadium back from Bradford Council. With redevelopment plans failing to get off the ground the Bulls decided to go ahead with improvements to the main stand and the construction of a new stand which consisted of corporate facilities and media facilities. Further improvements are being planned with an option of building a roof over the uncovered areas of the terracing. The official name of the stadium was changed from Odsal to Grattan Stadium on 20 June 2006, by selling the naming rights to Grattan they would receive £500,000 in a four year deal. This ended rumours regarding a permanent return to Bradford City's Valley Parade.

With the return to Odsal Stadium for 2003 the Bulls highlighted the requirement to create hospitality, conference and banqueting facilities to enable the stadium, and club, to compete with the likes of Wigan Warriors' JJB Stadium, Leeds Rhinos' Headingley Carnegie Stadium and Huddersfield Giants' Galpharm Stadium. It was therefore decided that the existing 'Pits' area of the stadium, used previously for the now defunct speedway club, would be developed into a two-tier structure housing the club's corporate operations. The construction of the corporate facility began in November 2002 and was completed in time for the Bulls biggest game of Super League VIII against Leeds Rhinos on 26 April 2003. The facility includes executive boxes, a restaurant, bar, players' lounge, media facility, directors' lounge and scoreboard, and the imposing structure completes the unique natural bowl of the stadium. In December 2003 Bradford Bulls announced an agreement with regional window and conservatory company Coral, which saw the facility renamed as the Coral Stand.

On 12 July 2006 the stadium played host to an attempt to break the world record for the largest haka; although 1,700 people took part, the record was not broken.[3]

Future redevelopments

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Odsal Sporting Village

Bradford Bulls lodged a planning application to further improve Odsal Stadium and turn the Stadium and the adjacent land into a sporting village. the plans include:

  • 18,000 all seated stadium New club offices and club shop will be built at the Rooley Avenue end within a complex that will also include a small hotel and gymnasium.
  • additional car parking for over 1,500 vehicles on the landfill site adjacent to and to the south of the stadium.
  • New indoor community sports facility on the adjacent NHS land will also provide a new access road from Rooley Avenue to this facility and to the car parking and other sporting facilities to the south.

The Phase 1 Redevelopments Stadium have been completed with the Coral Stand been built and renovation of the Tetley's stand and other there is an announcement due in August 2008 with regard to Phase 2 redevelopments.

Pitch

The pitch as Odsal has a distinctive concave contour, with the corners of the pitch behind the try-line noticeably sloping up towards the stands.

Average attendances 1996-

  • 1996 - 10,346
  • 1997 - 15,159
  • 1998 - 13,022
  • 1999 - 13,212
  • 2000 - 14,520
  • 2003 - 14,939
  • 2004 - 13,495
  • 2005 - 12,786
  • 2006 - 11,406
  • 2007 - 12,084
  • 2008 - 10,435
  • 2009 - 9,676

Records

Odsal Record

Bradford Bulls Super League Record

Challenge Cup Record

See also

References

  1. ^ www.worldstadiums.com
  2. ^ GRATTAN STADIUM, ODSAL Bradford Bulls
  3. ^ Bradford Bulls Rugby League Club Department for Children, Schools and Families

External links


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