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Millennium Stadium

From Academic Kids

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Millennium Stadium

The Millennium Stadium (Welsh: Stadiwm y Mileniwm) in Cardiff is the national stadium of Wales, used primarily for rugby union and football. It is currently the largest football ground in the United Kingdom with a capacity of 74,500. It will relinquish this distinction when the rebuilding of Wembley Stadium in London is complete. The stadium is owned by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).

Contents

History

The stadium was built in 1999 on the site of the old National Stadium, at Cardiff Arms Park. Many traditionalists refer to the Millennium Stadium as "the New Arms Park" or its original name. It was initially built for the 1999 Rugby Union World Cup, which Wales hosted. It was home to many of the matches, including the final.

The construction cost the WRU 126 million, which was considered remarkably low for a state-of-the-art stadium. This was funded by private investment, public funds from the UK National Lottery, the sale of debentures to supporters (which offered guaranteed tickets in exchange for an interest-free loan), and loans. The development left the WRU heavily in debt.

The Millennium Stadium was first used for a major event on June 26, 1999, when Wales played South Africa in a friendly rugby match. Wales won the match (http://www.planet-rugby.com/stats/matchreport/index.phtml/p_r/ENG?tm1Code=WA&tm2Code=SA&date=26-Jun-1999&tournament_code=international&setCode=archive&navCode=results) 29-19: the first time they had ever beaten the Springboks.

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Millennium Stadium

Features

The all-seater stadium has the capacity for 74,500 supporters and features a retractable roof (only the second stadium in Europe, and the biggest in the world, with this feature) to protect the playing surface from the elements.

They say it has a sliding roof that they can slide all day
we'll slide it back when Wales attack so God can watch us play
Max Boyce

The stadium was slightly restricted in size due to its proximity to Cardiff Rugby Club's (and now Cardiff Blues') home, Cardiff Arms Park. Efforts were made by the WRU to persuade the rugby club to move to a new stadium, but these were unsuccessful; the stadium had to be completed with a break in its bowl structure (now known colloquially as "Glanmor's Gap", after Glanmor Griffiths, then chairman of the WRU). If an agreement can be reached in the future, it is likely that the stadium will be expanded.

In each of the stadium's bars, so-called "joy machines" can pour 12 pints in less than 20 seconds. (As an illustration of their efficiency, in a Wales-France match, 63,000 fans drank 77,184 pints of beer, almost double the 44,000 pints drunk by a similar number of fans at a game at Twickenham.)

The superstructure of the stadium is based around four 93 m masts, making it the tallest building in Wales.

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Millennium Stadium

Uses

As well as international rugby union and football, the Millennium Stadium has hosted a variety of sports, including Rugby League (Including challenge cup finals and Welsh Rugby League internationals) speedway and indoor cricket.

Since 2001, the stadium has hosted the following English football tournaments whilst England's national stadium, Wembley Stadium has been undergoing rebuilding (Wembley had hosted the Welsh rugby team during the building of their new ground):

These matches will stop being held in Cardiff after 2006 and efforts have been made to attract Cardiff City F.C. to use the stadium for their own home matches (which would provide much-needed income), but the Bluebirds are apparently determined to build their own stadium.

The stadium has also been used for a variety of musical events, possibly the most famous being the Manic Street Preachers concert held on Millennium Eve and a recording of the BBC's Songs of Praise the following day, which attracted an attendance of 65,000. At the end of January 2005 the stadium hosted a charity concert in aid of the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

Looking to the future, the stadium will stage some matches of the 2007 Rugby Union World Cup. It is also proposed as one of the football venues for the 2012 Olympics if London's bid is successful.

The stadium has also on occasion been used as a venue for shooting film and televison productions. Dalek, an episode of the 2005 series of the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, was shot primarily on location at the stadium, using its underground areas to stand in for an underground base in Utah, United States in the year 2012. The location shooting for the episode took place during October and November 2004. The Hindi film Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham was also filmed there.

See also

External link

de:Millennium Stadium fr:Millennium Stadium nl:Millennium Stadium

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