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 (now 21,088), making it the largest purpose-built venue in Swansea; minor layout changes have since increased this. It is the home stadium of EFL Championship club Swansea City, who took full operational control of the stadium in 2018, and the Ospreys rugby team. As a result of Swansea City's promotion, the stadium became the first Premier League ground in Wales. It is the third largest stadium in Wales – after Millennium Stadium and Cardiff City Stadium. In European competitions, the stadium is known as Swansea Stadium because of advertising rules.
|Former names||White Rock Stadium|
|Location||Normandy Road, Swansea, Wales|
|Public transit||The New Mex bus stop|
Swansea railway station
|Field size||105 x 68 metres (115 x 74 yards)|
|Opened||10 July 2005|
|Construction cost||£27 million|
|Architect||TTH Architects, Gateshead UK|
|Swansea City (2005–present)|
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 was 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.
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.
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 the stadium to above the 40,000 mark. This would make Wales national football matches a possibility.
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.
The ground has also hosted seven Wales international football fixtures. The results were as follows.
|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|
|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|
|23 June 2018||The Killers|
|7 July 2018||Little Mix|
Statistics and average attendancesEdit
- Stadium capacity: 21,088
- Record attendance: 20,992 vs Liverpool, 1 May 2016
- First international game held: Wales v Slovenia, 17 August 2005.
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