Millennium Stadium

วันเสาร์ 8 พฤศจิกายน 2008 at 8:01 am 1 ความเห็น

Millennium Stadium


Location : Cardiff, Wales
Coordinates : 51°28′41.73″N 3°10′57.29″W
Opened : June 1999
Owner : Welsh Rugby Union
Surface : Grass
Construction cost : GB£121 million
Architect : HOK + LOBB Partnership and WS Atkins
Capacity : 74,500
Tenants : Welsh Rugby Union (National team),
Football Association of Wales (National team)

The Millennium Stadium (Welsh: Stadiwm y Mileniwm) is the national stadium
of Wales, located in the capital Cardiff. It is the home of the Wales national
rugby union team and the Wales national football team but is also host to
many other events and sports, such as Wales Rally Great Britain stage of the
World Rally Championship, Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain, boxing and
many music concerts, including Madonna, The Rolling Stones and Tsunami
Relief concert.

The stadium opened in June 1999, and the first major event to be held was an
international rugby union match on 26 June 1999, when Wales beat South
Africa in a friendly by 29-19, before a test crowd of 29,000. It is the largest
stadium in the world with a fully retractable roof and was only the second
stadium in Europe to have this facility. At the time of its construction it was
the largest stadium in the United Kingdom with a capacity of 74,500, but has
since been overtaken by Twickenham Stadium and the new Wembley Stadium.
It is the fourth largest stadium in the Six Nations Championship behind
Twickenham, Stade de France and Croke Park, which is the largest.

The Millennium Stadium is owned by Millennium Stadium plc which is a
subsidiary company of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU). The total construction
cost of the stadium was GB£121 million, of which the Millennium Commission
funded GB£46m.




Until 1969, Cardiff RFC and Wales both played their home matches on the
same pitch at Cardiff Arms Park, but all this would change in the 1969-70
season. As a result of an agreement between Cardiff Athletic Club and the
WRU, the National Stadium project had established that a new stadium for
international matches was required, with Cardiff RFC moving to a new
purpose built stadium on the original cricket ground on the Cardiff Arms
Park site. By 7 April 1984 the National Stadium was officially opened.
However in 1994, a redevelopment committee was set up to consider
redeveloping the National Stadium, and by 1995 the WRU had been chosen
to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

In 1995, the National Stadium, which was designed in 1962, only had a
capacity of 53,000, other nations stadia, such as Twickenham (England) with
a capacity of 82,000 and Murrayfield Stadium (Scotland) with a capacity of
67,000 had overtaken it. France was also about to build the Stade de France,
which would have a capacity of over 80,000 for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The
original capacity of the National Stadium was 65,000, but this had been
reduced to 53,000, for safety reasons. 11,000 of 53,000 capacity was on the
East Terrace and the conversion to an all-seater stadium would have reduced
the stadium capacity still further to just 47,500.

In addition to the problems of capacity, the National Stadium was also very
well hidden by the neighbouring buildings to the south in Park Street, Wood
Street and to the east in Westgate Street, and also by Cardiff Rugby Ground in
the north. It was only fully visible from across the River Taff in the west.
Access to the ground was also very restricted with the main entrance being a
narrow opening in Westgate Street to the east which was shared by both
vehicles and spectators alike.

The options for the new stadium included; adding a third tier to the existing
National Stadium or moving to a new site. This last option was discounted
because it would have required a vast car parking facility and that would have
put severe short-term pressures on the local transport infrastructure,
creating traffic jams and pollution. The committee eventually chose a new
stadium on the same site but with considerable increase in its capacity. It
would also involve moving the alignment of the stadium from west-east to
north-south. This was the option supported by the Millennium Commission.
It would become the fourth redevelopment of the Cardiff Arms Park site. It
was also decided that the new stadium should have a sliding roof to
accommodate a multi-use venue, with a grass pitch for rugby and football
(soccer). The only other sliding roof in Europe at the time was at the
Amsterdam Arena, with a capacity of 50,000.

In order to remain on the Arms Park site, additional space had to be found to
allow safe access and to provide room for the increased capacity and
improved facilities. This was achieved by the purchase of adjacent buildings
to the south and east and by the construction of a new £6M River Walk by the
River Taff on the western side of the stadium.

By 1999 the Millennium Stadium had replaced the National Stadium, Cardiff
Arms Park, as the national stadium of Wales for rugby union and association
football international matches. Cardiff RFC continued as before to play at
Cardiff Arms Park rugby ground, which had replaced the cricket ground
in 1969.


Construction involved the demolition of a number of buildings, primarily the
existing National Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), Wales Empire Pool in Wood
Street, Cardiff Empire Telephone Exchange building (owned by BT) in Park
Street, the newly built Territorial Auxiliary & Volunteer Reserve building, also
in Park Street and the Social Security offices in Westgate Street.

The stadium was built by John Laing plc, the head of construction was Steve
Ager, in 1999 on the site of the National Stadium. It was built for the 1999
Rugby World Cup, for which Wales was the main host. It was home to seven
of the 41 matches, including the final.

The total construction cost of the stadium was £121 million, which was
funded by private investment and GB£46 million of public funds from the
Millennium Commission, the sale of debentures to supporters (which offered
guaranteed tickets in exchange for an interest-free loan), and loans. The
development left the WRU heavily in debt.

The Millennium Stadium was first used for a major event on 26 June 1999,
when Wales played South Africa in a rugby union friendly match before a test
crowd of 29,000. Wales won the match 29-19: the first time they had ever
beaten the Springboks.



The all-seater stadium has the capacity for 74,500 supporters and features a
retractable roof, only the second stadium in Europe, and the largest stadium
by capacity in the world, with this feature to protect the playing surface from
the elements. Additional seating is sometimes added for special events such
as a rugby Test against the All Blacks, or formerly for the FA Cup Final. The
current record attendance is 75,100, recorded at Wales’ 30–15 victory over
Scotland in the 2008 Six Nations Championship on 9 February 2008.

The natural grass turf is a made up of a modular system installed by Green-
Tech ITM. It features built in irrigation and drainage. The pitch itself is laid on
top of some 7,412 pallets which can be moved so the stadium can be used
for concerts, exhibitions and other events.

The four ends of the ground are called; the North Stand, the West Stand, the
South Stand and the BT Stand (east). The South Stand was previously known as
the Hyder Stand, until Hyder plc was sold. The stadium has 3 tiers of seating
with the exception of the North Stand, which has 2 tiers. The lower tier holds
approximately 23,500 spectators, the middle tier holding 18,000 and the
upper tier holding 33,000 spectators.

The stadium was slightly restricted in size due to its proximity to Cardiff
Rugby Club’s home in the adjacent smaller stadium within Cardiff Arms Park.
The WRU were unable to secure enough funding to include the North Stand in
the new stadium, and the Millennium Commission would not allow any of its
funds to be used in any way for the construction of a new stadium for Cardiff
RFC. The WRU held talks with CRFC Ltd to see if it would be possible for the
club to either move or secure funding for the Cardiff Arms Park to be re-
developed, but these were unsuccessful. The stadium thus had to be
completed with a break in its bowl structure in the North Stand, known
colloquially as Glanmor’s Gap, after Glanmor Griffiths, then chairman of the
WRU and now a former president.

The superstructure of the stadium is based around four 90.3-metre (296 ft)
masts. The stadium was built from 56,000 tonnes of concrete and steel, and
has 128 hospitality boxes, 22 bars, 7 restaurants, 17 first aid points, 12
escalators and 7 lifts. The stadium has 7 gates for access to the site; Gate 1 is
from the River Walk via Castle Street (to the north), Gates 2 and 3 are via
Westgate Street (to the east), Gate 4 is for Security only also via Westgate
Street, Gate 5 is via Park Street (to the south) and Gates 6 and 7 are via the
Millennium Plaza (also to the south).

Cardiff RFC Ltd reached a Heads of Terms agreement with Cardiff City Football
Club and Cardiff County Council to move the Cardiff Blues to the new Cardiff
City stadium at the start of the 2009-10 season. Despite the revelation that
the South Stand of Cardiff Arms Park and therefore the adjoining North Stand
of the Millennium Stadium has concrete cancer, the old structure has an
expected working life until 2020. However, it is acknowledged that major
rebuilding work will be required at this end of the Millennium Stadium within
the next 30 years. This opens the door to the possibility of the stadium
expanding by taking over the site of Cardiff RFC, who will be forced to vacate
due to the demolition work, if they haven’t done so already.

In each of the stadium’s bars, so-called “joy machines” can pour 12 pints in
less than 20 seconds. During a Wales Vs France match, 63,000 fans drank
77,184 pints of beer, almost double the 44,000 pints drunk by a similar
number of fans at a game at Twickenham. The stadium has a resident hawk
named “Dad”, who is employed to drive seagulls and pigeons out of
the stadium.

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Symphony of Destruction – Megadeth เสียงแห่งความสุข

1 ความเห็น Add your own

  • 1. Millennium Stadium Hotels  |  วันจันทร์ 10 พฤศจิกายน 2008 ที่ 8:31 pm

    I have been so many times to this stadium for the football, and have to say it is definately one of the best stadiums I have ever been to!!!

    It has a fantastic pitch, and great facilities (plus it has never rained when I have been!!!), creating a memorable atmosphere.



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