Galpharm Healthcare

Galpharm Stadium

The Galpharm Stadium (formerly the Alfred McAlpine Stadium) is a multi-use sports stadium based in Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, England.

The Stadium

The Galpharm Stadium seats 24,500 people along with hospitality boxes and conference rooms. There are four stands. The Direct Golf UK 'main' Stand incorporates two-tiers, with a row of 26 executive boxes running between the two tiers. The Antich Stand, across from the Riverside, is a large, single-tiered stand which seats over 7,000. The Pink Link South Stand is usually allocated to away fans and seats 4,054, this is built into natural banking and is the most basic of the stands. The Fantastic Media North stand is the tallest stand with two tiers, 16 hospitality boxes and a viewing room for players' guests. The lower tier consists of temporary seating that can be removed for events such as concerts.

Construction

During planning and construction, the stadium was referred to as the Kirklees Stadium. It was built by Alfred McAlpine and was awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture in 1995. When the stadium first opened only the two side stands (the Riverside and Kilner Bank stands) were ready. The South Stand was opened four months later in December 1994. Construction on the North (Panasonic) Stand began in 1996 and it was completed in 1997, bringing the overall capacity of the stadium to approximately 24,500. The estimated cost of construction was £40 million.

Ownership

Initially, the stadium was owned by a consortium made up of Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Huddersfield Town and Huddersfield Giants in a 40:40:20 proportion. Following the purchase of Huddersfield Town from the administrators by Ken Davy, he became chairman of both sports clubs, who are owned by companies that he controls. The present details of the ownership of the stadium have not been published. The Managing Director of the stadium company is currently Ralph Rimmer.

Sponsorship

Until 2004 it was known as the Alfred McAlpine Stadium. Alfred McAlpine had been the main contractor in construction of the stadium and had the name built into the deal for payment (for 10 years). Alfred McAlpine elected not to renew their sponsorship; this was taken up by Galpharm Healthcare, leading to the new title.

Sporting venue

The Galpharm stadium is home to Huddersfield Giants RLFC and Huddersfield Town FC. It is also a regular venue for international rugby league, hosting Bradford Bulls' World Club Challenge matches along with several semi-finals of the Challenge Cup. The stadium hosted its first match in August 1994 when Huddersfield Town were beaten 1-0 by Wycombe Wanderers in Football League Division 2.

It has hosted international rugby league and football games, most recently England (football) under 17's qualifying match against Italy. A famous international Rugby League game held there was a 2000 Rugby League World Cup semi-final between Australia and Wales. Wales were well in front of the red-hot favourite Kangaroos at half time, with most of the crowd surprised at this. Australia ran out eventual winners, however, after a big comeback in the second half.

It also hosted a Rugby World Cup match in 1999 between New Zealand and Italy, which New Zealand won 101-3.

Concert venue

In the summer of 1995, R.E.M. played two concerts at the venue which, over the course of two days, some 70,000 people attended. Elton John, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Eagles, The Beautiful South and Blue have also performed concerts in the stadium.

References

External links

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