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|Don Valley Stadium|
|Location||Worksop Road, Sheffield, England S9 3TL|
|Owner||Sheffield City Trust|
|Operator||Sheffield International Venues|
|Construction cost||£29 million|
|Architect||Sheffield City Council|
(50,000 for concerts)
(10,000 for football)
|City of Sheffield AC
The Don Valley Stadium is a sports stadium in Sheffield, England. Originally built as an athletics stadium for the 1991 World Student Games it has since found a variety of uses. It was the home ground of Rotherham United F.C. from 2008 until they moved to the New York Stadium at the start of the 2012–13 season. It is also one of the stadiums used for home games by RLFC side Sheffield Eagles. It is the former home of the Parramore Sports football team. It was designed by Sheffield City Council's Design & Building Services and built by RM Douglas Construction. The complex opened in 1990, ready for the 1991 World Student Games and has since become a profitable centre for athletics in the area. It is named after the River Don, which flows nearby.
The stadium is situated on the Sheffield Supertram line, between Attercliffe and Meadowhall. The stadium is also used for Channel 4's celebrity sports show, The Games, as well as hosting the BritBowl, the championship finals of the British American Football League.
Don Valley Stadium is notable as being the second largest athletics stadium in the UK, with a seated capacity of 25,000, behind the London Olympic Stadium.
On 11 January 2013, Sheffield City Council announced that Don Valley Stadium is to be closed and demolished as part of a £50 million budget-cutting measure. An eleventh hour meeting was held at Sheffield Town Hall on 1 March 2013, and local & national politicians met to discuss the proposed closure and any possibility of preventing it. A final decision was made that the stadium will close in September 2013.
The whole of the running track and its infield is illuminated by the strongest floodlighting system in the country. Each of the five lighting towers used is 148 feet (45 metres) above track level and carries a lighting head as tall as a typical three storey house (36 feet/11 metres high). All amenities for competitors and officials are at track level with all spectator facilities at natural ground level. This means, for example, that disabled spectators have level access from the main car park straight through to the mid level of spectator seating.
The track is sunk 16 feet (5 metres) below ground level and is sheltered by banks of spectator seating, creating a 'bowl effect'. This not only gives ideal viewing conditions, but also offers athletes every opportunity of producing peak performances.
This record-breaking philosophy has even had a bearing on the angle at which the track is set and its positioning is relative to the prevailing winds and the rise and fall of the sun. The finishing line has been positioned at the east end of the stadium which means that in the afternoon and evening when most meetings are held the sun will always be at the athletes' backs in the finishing straight, as is the prevailing westerly wind.
VIP facilities are on a third level while the top-most of the four levels has been set aside for hospitality boxes and press areas.
The stadium's major focal point is its grandstand which holds 10,000 spectators. The main canopy roof has an area of 6,000 square metres and is made of Teflon coated glass fibre. It is supported by ladder masts reaching 39 feet (12 m) above the top of the grandstand, the latter are painted yellow and give the stadium its unmistakable appearance. They also give completely uninterrupted sight lines around the bowl although coverage from the rain in the bottom half of the stand can be problematic. Underneath the main stand is located an 85 metres (93 yards) indoor running/warm up track.
Up to 15,000 spectators can also be accommodated on the open terracing giving a seated capacity 25,000 for sports events. For musical performances the stadium can accommodate 15,000 seated guests, but has a maximum capacity of 50,000 if the field is used to accommodate standing fans.
Completed in September 1990 at a cost of £29 million, the Don Valley Stadium was the first completely new national sporting venue built outdoors in Great Britain since Wembley in the early 1920s. It was built as the centre-piece of a £147 million construction programme needed to provide the necessary sports and cultural facilities to enable the city to host the 1991 Summer Universiade.
Jan Železný threw 95.66 metres (104.62 yd) in the javelin on 29 August 1993 (which was a world record at the time) and infamously nearly hit the TV commentators who were interviewing close to the start/finish line.
There were plans to use the stadium in a Sheffield bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games (which eventually went to Manchester) and also to use it as a potential joint ground for the city's two football teams. In both of these eventualities the seated capacity would have been raised to 45,000. In addition when the British government cancelled the proposed Picketts Lock stadium in Edmonton, London which was to hold the 2005 World Championships in Athletics, UK Athletics suggested to move the host city to Sheffield using the Don Valley Stadium, but the IAAF stated that having London as the host city was central to Great Britain winning the bid to host the tournament. The championships bidding process was reopened as a result with the Helsinki Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, Finland hosting the 2005 World Athletics Championships.
Reports emerged in January 2013 that Sheffield City Council were considering demolishing the stadium as part of a money-saving exercise. Should the plans go ahead, it is suggested that regional athletics competitions would relocate to the city's smaller Woodburn Road Athletics Stadium, which closed in 2011. The nearest major athletics stadium would be the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds. The council confirmed the closure of Don Valley Stadium on 11 January 2013. The UK Independence Party have expressed opposition to the stadium's closure and have stated their intention to put together a campaign to save the stadium. UKIP general secretary and Sheffield Branch chairman Jonathan Arnott commented that “there are so many examples of Council waste where cuts could and should be made without affecting local residents.” A final closure date of 30 September 2013 was set by Sheffield City Council in April of the same year.
As a football venue
Although Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday have never played any games there, it was announced in June 2008 that Don Valley would host League football for the first time in the 2008–09 season. There were questions raised about the agreement, and the Football League stipulated that the club was obligated to move back to Rotherham within four years. Rotherham United played their "home" league games at the stadium until the completion of New York Stadium in 2012.
Rotherham United fans allocated the 10,000 seat main stand which includes concourse, bar and executive facilities including lounges and boxes. Away fans were allocated around 2,000 seats on the wing to the right of the home fans.
The first match Rotherham United played at the Don Valley was a pre season friendly game against Derby County on 19 July 2008. The game finished 0–0. There were several friendlies held at the stadium before the start of the season.
The first official league match was a 1–0 win over Lincoln City on the opening day of the 2008–09 season.
Exeter City won promotion from Football League 2 there with a 1–0 victory over Rotherham United in May 2009.
Sheffield Wednesday Women played an FA Cup Round 5 match against Bristol Academy but lost 8–0.
Rugby league venue
In 1991, the newly built Don Valley Stadium became home for Sheffield Eagles.
The Sheffield Eagles became the first English team to beat an Australian team on English soil in the World Club Challenge in 1997. The club's record attendance was set in August 1997 when 10,603 spectators saw Sheffield play Bradford Bulls.
On 16 October 2009, the Eagles announced the club would be moving their home games from the start of the 2010 season to Bramall Lane, home of Sheffield United, in a bid to increase attendances and atmosphere.
The first rock concert to be held at the stadium was a Def Leppard gig on 6 June 1993. The hometown band was supported by Thunder, Ugly Kid Joe and Terrorvision. A crowd of over 50,000 witnessed this performance. Since, a number of famous artists have performed at the venue;
The Rolling Stones performed at the stadium twice. On 9 July 1995 as part of the Voodoo Lounge tour and again on 27 August 2006 during the A Bigger Bang tour. The memorable part of the latter gig being a heavy rainstorm during The Stones performance.
Michael Jackson performed a sell-out concert at the stadium in 9 July 1997, during his HIStory World Tour for an audience of 55,000 people. It was Jackson's first and only solo-performance in Sheffield.
In 2011, Arctic Monkeys played two headlining comeback shows at the adjacent Don Valley grass bowl to celebrate the release of Suck It and See. Support at these shows came from the likes of Miles Kane, The Vaccines, Dead Sons and Anna Calvi as well as other, less-known artists.
|Date||Tour / Event Name||Band||Attendance||Reference|
|6 June 1993||Def Leppard|||
|20 August 1994||The Reggae Bowl 94||UB40|
|28 June 1995||These Days Tour||Bon Jovi|||
|9 July 1995||Voodoo Lounge Tour||The Rolling Stones|||
|18 July 1996||Wildest Dreams Tour||Tina Turner|
|9 July 1997||HIStory World Tour||Michael Jackson||55,000|||
|26 July 1997||Paul Weller|||
|11 September 1998||Spiceworld: The Tour||Spice Girls|||
|12 September 1998||Spiceworld: The Tour||Spice Girls|||
|6 June 1999||Bridges to Babylon Tour||The Rolling Stones|||
|6 July 1999||Let's Talk About Love World Tour||Celine Dion||50,000|||
|13 July 2000||Twenty Four Seven Tour||Tina Turner|||
|6 July 2006||Stadium Arcadium World Tour||Red Hot Chili Peppers|||
|27 August 2006||A Bigger Bang||The Rolling Stones|||
|20 August 2009||U2 360° Tour||U2 with Elbow supporting|||
|11 June 2011||Arctic Monkeys with Miles Kane supporting|||
- "Venue Information". Sheffield International Venues. Archived from the original on 4 June 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
- "Sheffield Council cuts will lead to 'massive change'". BBC News (BBC). 11 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "Jessica Ennis's Don Valley Stadium will close". BBC News (BBC). 1 March 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- "Stadium Hire". Don Valley Stadium Official Website. Sheffield International Venues. Archived from the original on 31 May 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
- "Jessica Ennis's Don Valley Stadium could face closure". BBC News (BBC). 7 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "Save Don Valley Stadium". UK Independence Party Sheffield Branch. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Don Valley Stadium closure date set". BBC News (BBC). 3 April 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
- "Rotherham future remains unclear". BBC News. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "Move to Don Valley Stadium". Rotherham United Official Website. 2 June 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
- "Don Valley stadium: a list of concerts". Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- "The Rolling Stones Don Valley Stadium Sheffield June 6th 1999". Retrieved 2013-01-11.
- "Arctic Monkeys Setlist at Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield, England". Retrieved 2013-01-11.