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Welford Road Stadium
Welford Road Stadium.jpg
Location Aylestone Road
Leicester
LE2 7TR
Coordinates 52°37′27″N 1°07′59″W / 52.62417°N 1.13306°W / 52.62417; -1.13306
Owner Leicester Tigers
Operator Leicester Tigers
Capacity 24,000

Welford Road is a stadium in Leicester, England and is home to one of England's traditional rugby union powers, Leicester Tigers. It is located between Aylestone Road and Welford Road on the edge of the city centre. The stadium, mostly built in the 1930s, and has a capacity of 24,000, making it the largest purpose-built club rugby ground in England.

The Leicester Tigers moved there in 1892 and the first stands accommodated 1,100 spectators. The club house is located on Aylestone Road, where a small temporary stand is erected, with the other sides having permanent stands built on them.

The Crumbie Stand was built in the 1920s with the terrace being added later. The stand is named after the club's secretary who built the stand, Tom Crumbie. The members' stand is now called the Caterpillar stand and built on the side of the ground adjoining the former Granby Halls site; this stand was also built in the twenties. This expansion almost bankrupted the club but it helped attract top players and laid the foundations for Leicester first glory years in the 1920's and 1930's as well as their subsequent success.

The Alliance and Leicester Stand was opened at the Welford Road end in 1995.

In 2004, the Tigers announced a plan to abandon Welford Road in favour of a groundshare at Walkers Stadium with the city's main football club, Leicester City F.C. However, the two clubs could not agree on which one would have priority at Walkers Stadium, and formally shelved the plan in 2005.

The new stand

Leicester purchased the freehold to land adjacent to the ground in 2006. Plans have now been approved for the ground to be radically altered.[1] It will see capacity expanded to 30,000.[2] In 2008, phase I of the redevelopment started with the construction of the Caterpillar Stand on the north side that increased capacity to 24,000. The stand opened on 19 September 2009 with a capacity crowd watching a match between Leicester Tigers and Newcastle Falcons.[3]

An official opening ceremony took place on 6 November 2009 when Tigers played and beat South Africa.[4]

International matches

As of 2008, the stadium has hosted seven international games. It hosted games during both the 1991[5] and 1999[6] Rugby World Cups. It also occasionally hosts England Saxons matches.

Date Competition Home team Away team
8 February 1902 Home Nations Championship England 6 Ireland 3
9 January 1904 Home Nations Championship England 14 Wales 14
10 February 1906 Home Nations Championship England 6 Ireland 16
30 January 1909 Friendly England 22 France 0
10 February 1923 Five Nations Championship England 23 Ireland 5
13 October 1991 1991 Rugby World Cup New Zealand 31 Italy 21
10 October 1999 1999 Rugby World Cup Italy 25 Tonga 28

References

  1. ^ FWP project page
  2. ^ LEICESTER | Welford Road Redevelopment | 30,000 | Approved - SkyscraperCity
  3. ^ Mann, Andy (19 September 2009). "Cat Stand will add to Welford Road atmosphere - Ellis". Leicestertigers.com. http://www.leicestertigers.com/news/13832.php. Retrieved 2009-09-20.  
  4. ^ Sherrard, Gary (6 November 2009). "Caterpillar C.E.O. officially opens new stand". Leicestertigers.com. http://www.leicestertigers.com/news/14072.php. Retrieved 2009-11-09.  
  5. ^ 1991 world cup at news.bbc.co.uk
  6. ^ 1999 world cup at news.bbc.co.uk

External links

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