Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Hillsborough Stadium is the home of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club in Sheffield, England. Association Football has been played at the ground since the first pitch was laid in 1899, when Wednesday moved from their original ground at Olive Grove.
Today it is a 39,859 all-seater stadium, with the majority of the seats covered. Hillsborough is named after the area of Sheffield in which it stands.
Capacity: 9,255 (seated)
The North Stand runs along the long north edge of the pitch, and is one of the earliest examples of football stands having a cantilever roof, and the first in England to run the entire length of the pitch. The first cantilever stand in English football was built at Scunthorpe United's Old Show Ground.
Presto West Stand
Capacity: 6,559 (seated)
Situated at the Leppings Lane end of the ground, the Presto West Stand seats the away supporters on Wednesday home games.
Originally built for the 1966 World Cup, the West Stand retained a terrace in front of the stand until the infamous Hillsborough disaster in 1989 when it was converted into a two tier seated structure.
Capacity: 11,354 (seated)
Construction of the main, and oldest, stand in the ground was originally started in 1913 for a fee exceeding £17,000 to a design by Archibald Leitch . The modern stand has seen a series of improvements, the latest being for the Euro 96 international competition when an upper tier of seating, two conference suites, a bar and a restauraunt were added.
The South Stand is the most recognisable of the four stands and still bears the original clock face and finial from the 1913 design. It houses the main reception, media and hospitality boxes, as well as the ground's family enclosure and seven modern refreshment kiosks.
Capacity: 11,210 (seated)
Named after a hill that was the scene of a famous battle in the Boer War, the Spion Kop is built into a natural hill at the east end of the ground and houses the most vocal of Wednesday supporters. It was open to the elements until 1986.
The Kop was the last part of the Wednesday ground to be converted to all-seater accommodation, the change finally coming in 1993 to comply with new FA Premier League regulations.
The Kop is also home to the England Supporters Club Band , a regular fixture at Wednesday games and England matches alike. The band is perhaps best known for its renditions of the Wednesday theme song, the theme from The Great Escape.
The first ground on the site was built in 1899 on a sparsely populated area of land to the northwest of the city, known locally as Owlerton. The ground was known as the Owlerton Stadium until 1914, when it was renamed Hillsborough in to coincide with a series of ground improvements. The ground took its new name from the burgeoning suburb which had effectively grown up around it.
In 1966, the stadium was selected as one of the venues for the Football World Cup, hosting first round matches involving West Germany, Uruguay, Argentina, Switzerland, and Spain, as well as a quarterfinal in which West Germany beat Uruguay 4-0.
In 1989, the ground was the scene of tragedy when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death in an FA Cup semifinal in the infamous Hillsborough disaster. This prompted a series of improvements to safety at the ground; the terraced stands were converted to all seated accommodation over the following four years, and the fences around the pitch were replaced with low safety-barricades to allow incursion onto the playing surface in case of emergency.
In 1996, Hillsborough was host to several fixtures at the Euro 96 competition and in particular was host to the Danish squad. The Danish fans endeared themselves to the local population with their fanatical support and exemplary behaviour, and were particularly popular amonst local landlords - a number of Sheffield public houses had to order emergency supplies of beer!
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