Parc y Scarlets
Parc y Scarlets (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈpark ə ˈskarlɛts], English: Scarlets Park) is a rugby union stadium in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, that opened in November 2008 as the new home of the Scarlets and Llanelli RFC. The ground replaced Stradey Park, the home of Llanelli's rugby teams for almost 130 years. The stadium complex includes facilities for matchday supporters and for non-matchday revenue generation, as well as a training barn and a training pitch with athletics track. The stadium also occasionally hosts some matches of the Wales national under-21 and senior football teams, as well as Llanelli A.F.C.'s matches in European competitions. Swansea City A.F.C. Reserve Team played all of their home fixtures at the stadium in the 2011/2012 season.
|Former names||Pemberton Stadium|
|Location||Pemberton, Llanelli, Wales|
|Public transit||Pemberton Lights bus stop|
Llanelli railway station
|Owner||Carmarthenshire County Council|
|Operator||Llanelli RFC / Carmarthenshire County Council|
|Opened||15 November 2008|
|Construction cost||£23 million|
Design and constructionEdit
The ground was built by Port Talbot-based Andrew Scott Limited on a site owned by Carmarthenshire County Council, next to a new retail park featuring stores such as Morrisons. The stadium was designed by specialist sports stadia architects, The Miller Partnership, whose designs include Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. Structural steelwork for the development was provided by Rowecord Engineering of Newport.
The stands have a slight curvature to allow for better views. The stadium's main stand, on the south side of the ground, contain the club's shop and museum, the ticket office, a large sports bar (called "The Heart and Soul"), the players' gym and changing rooms on the ground floor, while the upper floors is provided with eating and drinking areas.
Having previously been known by the provisional title of "Pemberton Stadium", the stadium's official name – Parc y Scarlets – was announced on 20 May 2008. The approach to the main stand is known as the "Ray Gravell Legends Walkway" paved with bricks naming each Llanelli RFC and Scarlets player to have played for Wales. A statue of Ray Gravell is erected outside the stadium, while other Llanelli legends are honoured in the naming of other of the stadium's facilities, with the museum known as the "Ken Jones Museum", while the various executive lounges are named after Carwyn James, Phil Bennett and the Quinnell family.
Parc y Scarlets officially opened on 15 November to Llanelli RFC who played the first match at the stadium in a 32–3 win over Cardiff RFC in the Principality Premiership. The match was held before a crowd limited to a maximum of 4,000 due to laws that require a stadium to host three events at restricted capacity before it can be authorised for its full capacity. The Scarlets hosted their first match at Parc y Scarlets on 28 November against Munster in the Celtic League with capacity limited to 9,000. The Scarlets' first Heineken Cup match in the new stadium was on 12 December against Ulster, with a capacity limit of 11,000. The official opening ceremony was held on 31 January 2009 when the Scarlets hosted the Barbarians, defeating them 40–24.
As well as being the new home of the Scarlets, Parc y Scarlets has also hosted three Wales international football friendlies, against Estonia in 2009, Luxembourg in 2010, and Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2012. It has also acted as home stadium for Llanelli A.F.C. when the facilities at their Stebonheath Park ground have not been sufficient, such as in European competitions. For example, the second leg of their 2009–10 UEFA Europa League qualifier against Motherwell and the first leg of their 2011–12 Europa League qualifier against Dinamo Tbilisi were both played at Parc y Scarlets as Stebonheath Park failed to meet UEFA criteria.
- "Parc y Scarlets set to open". Scarlets. 12 November 2008. Archived from the original on 26 October 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2008.
- "Scarlets stadium work goes online". BBC News. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
- "Scarlets reveal name of new stadium". Llanelli Scarlets. 20 May 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2008.[dead link]
- "Scarlets unveil new stadium name". BBC Sport. 20 May 2008. Retrieved 21 May 2008.
- "Young stars outgun Baa-Baas". Scarlets. 31 January 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2009.[dead link]