Posted by: Lee H | 14/04/2010

Donbass Arena – Donetsk

Uefa Euro 2012

The Donbass Arena - Donetsk, Ukraine

Capacity – 50,000

Status – Opened August 2009

Cost – €300,000,000

Donbass Arena

Information

The new home of current Uefa Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk, the Donbass Arena is set to host three group games and a quarter final at the 2012 European Championships (Euro 2012). Funded by Shakhtar’s wealthy owner Rinat Akhmetov, the stadium is located in the centre of the city in the Lenin Comsomol park region and was designed by Arupsport who’s portfolio includes the Beijing Olympic Stadium and Munich’s Allianz Arena. It is also listed as a Uefa Elite 5-star stadium making it eligable to host a Champions League final in the future.

The Donbass Arena features an infrared heating system and illuminated exterior, which at night lights up the surrounding parkland and the huge football fountain built beside the stadium. The shape of the roof, oval shape and the glazed façade is designed to make the stadium resemble a UFO.

The city of Donetsk will become the most Eastern city ever to host a match at the European Championships, and fans can expect mild tempertaures of around 15 degrees during the summer months.

Inside the Donbass Arena

Editors View

Another stadium which is very similar to the Allianz Arena but provides just enough innovation to make it unique, and special. In my opinion the Donbass Arena should host a semi-final rather than quarter-final, as it is one of the better stadiums to be used at Euro 2012.

Rating – 9/10

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Posted by: Lee H | 14/04/2010

‘The Point’ Phase 1 Nears Complition

'The Point' Development At Old Trafford

The first phase in the redevelopment of Old Trafford cricket ground is set to open as planned in June. The project known as ‘The Point’ the first of what will be several upgrades to the ground over the next few years. Lancashire Cricket Club are desperate to see test match cricket remain in Manchester for years to come and even have ambitions of landing an Ashes Test Match in 2013, but face stiff competition from other grounds around the country, including Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham who are themselves undergoing a new redevleopment project.

An Artist's Impression Of The New Old Trafford

The Point will become one of the largest conference facilites in the North-West, while the stand in it’s shadow will have a capacity of 1000. The project will also include a new scoreboard and video screen set to be added in time for the 2010 internationals to be held at Old Trafford.

The ground will be closed during 2011 as the second phase of the development takes place. The existing pavilion will recieve an upgrade, while a new Players, Media and Education Pavilion will be built on the site of the current Washbrook-Statham stand.

At the same time a similar stand to The Point will be built opposite the existing pavilion, while the wicket itself will be turned 90 degrees to avoid problems suffered in the past with low evening sunlight. Permanent floodlights will also eventually be installed.

Lancashire are likely to play their matches in 2011 at their part-time homes in Blackpool and Liverpool while the development of Old Trafford continues.

Another Artist's Impression of the New Ground

Editors View

The thought of not having top class international cricket in a city like Manchester is criminal to be honest, so if the development means the ground can continue to host these kind of matches in the future then it can only be a good thing. The design itself is innovative and incorperates some of the more traditional features of the ground into a new modern arena, while retaining the feel of a cricket stadium. I’m personally looking forward to seeing how this development progresses over next year particularly. Exciting.

Posted by: Lee H | 12/04/2010

Texas Stadium Demolished

The Demolition of the Texas Stadium

Although I’m not a massive fan of American football, this one is definitely worth a mention. The former home of the Dallas Cowboys was today demolished using over a ton of dynamite, turning the famous 39-year-old stadium to rubble in seconds.

In 2009 the Dallas Cowboys moved to the new $1.15 billion Cowboys Stadium, a move which condemed it’s predecessor to today’s spectacular implosion. Seats, the scoreboard and other items of memrobilia from the old stadium were auctioned off earlier this year, before a local 11-year-old boy, who won a writing competition, was given the honour of pushing the button to set off today’s demolition.

In true American style, the results were memorable.

Watch the BBC’s video of the demolition.

Inside the old Texas Stadium

Editors View

Spectacular !

Posted by: Lee H | 10/04/2010

Easter Road East Stand

Design of the new East Stand

Construction of the new East Stand at Hibs’ Easter Road ground is set to begin following the complition of the demolition and clearing work of the old terrace. The new stand will hold 6000 people taking the overall capacity of the ground to just over 20,000.

The Edinburgh club hope the stand will be completed in time for the start of the 2010/11 season and will make Easter Road, Scotland’s largest fully covered UEFA Compliant football stadium outside of Glasgow.

Demolition Work on the old East Terrace is now Complete

Editors View

Seems sensible completing the final stand of the full Easter Road development but it is always sad when an historic old stand has to make way for this to take place.

Posted by: Lee H | 10/04/2010

Loved and Lost – Parkstadion

Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen (1973-2001)

Parkstadion - Former Home of Schalke 04

Capacity – 62,109

Home of – FC Schalke 04

Last Result At Stadium – Schalke 5-3 Unterhaching

Last Goalscorer At Stadium – Ebbe Sand (Schalke)

The North Stand Jumbatron in 1998

History

Built in 1973 as part of Germany’s hosting of the 1974 World Cup, the Parkstadion was to remain home of Schalke for the next 28 years. The stadium also hosted two fixtures during Euro 88 and the first leg of the Uefa Cup Final in 1997, where Schalke met Inter Milan. Schalke went onto win the trophy in the San Siro in the second leg. The famous jumbatron perched above the North Stand was one of the more recongisable features of the stadium before being donated to Erzgebirgsstadion in Aue.

In 2001, Schalke moved to the adjacent Arena AufSchalke or Veltins Arena as it is known now, but continued to use the Parkstadion for training and other purposes. Most of the Parkstadion itself, including the famous old grandstand still remained standing until early last year when Schalke announced it was to be demolished to pave the way for a new training arena.

Famous Match

Netherlands v Republic of Ireland (Euro 88)

The Old Grandstand at the Parkstadion

Posted by: Lee H | 06/04/2010

Peter Mokaba Stadium – Polokwane

Fifa World Cup 2010

Peter Mokaba Stadium

Capacity – 45,264

Status – Completed January 2010

Cost – $150,000,000

Inside The Peter Mokaba Stadium

Information

Named after local icon, former leader of the African National Congress Youth League, Peter Mokaba, the stadium is one of five new builds for the upcoming Fifa World Cup. A largely concrete structure the Peter Mokaba Stadium is inspired by the locally iconic Baobab tree.

Situated around 5km from the city centre in the Limpopo Province of South Africa the new stadium has been built next to the now demolished old Peter Mokaba stadium. Visitors can experience the nearby Bakone Malapa Northern Sotho Open-Air Museum which depicts the traditional lifestyle of the local Bakone people. The stadium will be used for local football and rugby matches after World Cup.

Fifa World Cup 2010 Fixtures

13 June – Group C – Algeria v Slovenia
17 June – Group A – France v Mexico
22 June – Group B – Greece v Argentina
24 June – Group F – Paraguay v New Zealand

Peter Mokaba Stadium at Night

Editors View

It’s a shame that time and financial considerations saw the original designs, which included a roof, modified. A tidy stadium that is at least a little unique from some of the other World Cup venues but perhaps a little bland in its appearance. Under lights however the arena looks far more appealing which means the two evening kick-offs during the World Cup should be played out under an impressive looking backdrop.

Rating – 7/10

Posted by: Lee H | 05/04/2010

Molineux Revamp A Step Closer

Molineux

Wolverhampton Wanderers have been given an extended 999-year lease on their Molineux home as plans to redevelop the stadium took a step closer.

The club had asked Wolverhampton City Council for the freehold of the land to progress plans to expand the stadium into a 40,000 seater, with an on-site hotel and conference centre among further options.

Wolves have yet to announce any expansion plans but it is believed the club are looking to invest around £40 million in improving the stadium and surrounding area.

Wolves’ owner Steve Morgan recently bought Peal House, the former Carillion building on the corner of Waterloo Road and the club are belived to be in talks with the university over buying further land at the back of Molineux.

Posted by: Lee H | 05/04/2010

Nou Mestalla – Valencia

Artists Impression of the Nou Mestalla

Status – Under Construction, Work Stopped Due To Financial Problems

Capacity – 75,000

Cost – €300,000,000

Owners – Valencia CF

Construction On The Stadium Has Stopped

Information

Valencia’s new home the Nou Mestalla continues to remain a source of frustration for fans of Los Che with work yet to recommence following financial problems at the club. The stadium, which is similar in design to Munich’s Allianz Arena, was scheduled to be ready for the start of the 2009/10 season and once complete will become one of the largest stadiums in Europe, but it is as yet unknown when work will continue.

The stadium is being built on wasteland in the neighbourhood of Benicalap some 3 miles west of the centre of Valencia, but has been beset with problems ever since work began with four construction workers losing their lives as a result of falling scaffolding in May 2008, followed by Valencia’s well known financial issues. Even though the club are well positioned to qualify for next season’s Champions League or if they choose to sell star players David Villa and David Silva during the summer,  it is not guaranteed that the funds raised will go towards the Nou Mestalla project, so expect to see Valencia stay at their historic Mestalla home for at least the next few seasons.

The Nou Mestalla is a Considerable Upgrade On The Present Estadio Mestalla

Editors View

It seems a shame to leave such an impressive looking stadium unfinished and it makes me wonder why Valencia went ahead with the project if they didnt have the funds in place to start with. I’m a fan of the current Mestalla Stadium, its one of those recognizable traditional football grounds you see all the time and I for one am looking forward too seeing the old place host Champions League football (providing Valencia seal qualification) once more next season.

Posted by: Lee H | 05/04/2010

New Pavilion For Edgbaston

The New Pavilion Design At Edgbaston.

Construction work is all set to begin this month on a new pavilion and stand at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham.  The £20m redevelopment, which includes the introduction of permanent floodlights, will take the overall capacity of the ground to over 25,000 and it is hoped the stand will be complete in time for the England v India test match in July 2011.

The old pavilion has now been demolised but despite this cricket will be played at the ground as normal this summer. The upgrade will allow Edgbaston to continue to host international cricket for the forseeable future and with three Ashes test match venues for the 2013 series up for grabs, the new pavilion will make Edgbaston an attractive candidate amongst some strong competition expected from the likes of the Rose Bowl in Southampton and the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff.

The Exterior Design Of The New Stand

Editors View

I’m always a sceptic when cricket grounds are redeveloped in fear of the ground losing some of its character. However the old pavilion at Edgbaston was tired and overdue a revamp, and although the new stand is futuristic, it does at least look and feel like it belongs there and will not affect the character of one of England’s favourite cricketing venues.

Posted by: Lee H | 05/04/2010

Mbombela Stadium – Nelspruit

Fifa World Cup 2010

The Mbombela Stadium

Capacity – 43,500

Status – Completed January 2010

Cost – $140,000,000

The Zebra Patterned Seats

Information

The brand new Mbombela Stadium located seven kilometres from the centre of the northeastern city of Nelspruit will play host to four matches in the upcoming Fifa World Cup. The signiture feature of the stadium is the 18 roof supports that resemble giraffes, ultimatly leading to the stadium being nicknamed ‘The Giraffe Stadium’. As well as this the zebra style seating inside gives the stadium an altogether African feel to it.

The Mbombela Stadium is situated close to many local game parks including the Kruger National Park so visitors this summer will be able to see some the country’s wildlife during their stay. After the World Cup the stadium will continue to host top football and rugby matches leaving something of a legacy for the people of Nelspruit, who before construction of the stadium had no top class sporting venue in the city. The stadium is planned to become part of a sports precinct that will in time include venues for other sports including cricket and athletics.

Fifa World Cup 2010 Fixtures

16 June – Group H – Honduras v Chile
20 June – Group F – Italy v New Zealand
23 June – Group D – Australia v Serbia
25 June – Group G – Korea DPR v Ivory Coast

A Closer Look At The Supporting 'Giraffes'

Editors View

Compared to some of the other new venues in South Africa the Mbombela Stadium has been a relatively cheap one to build. However the quality has not been compramised, with top class hospitality facilies and supporters taken into account throughout the design. The giraffe and zebra design elements are a nice touch and in my opinion it is a shame the stadium is only hosting the 4 matches, but hopefully we will be seeing more of the Mbombela Stadium in South African sport in the future.

Rating – 8/10

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