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Around the Grounds: Leicester Tigers
A trip to Welford Road
Posted Jul 15, 2011 by Chris White
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Welford Road has seen some of the most successful moments in English rugby, as it is the home of the most decorated side in the country, Leicester Tigers. The club moved into the ground, located just outside the city centre, back in 1892, when it seated just 1,100 spectators.
Over the years, there have been several talks about sharing a ground with the other main sports club in the city – Leicester City FC – but talks never really reached any agreements and plans were finally shelved back in 2005.
Instead, the Tigers have developed the Welford Road ground, making it a real home for the team and the supporters as well. Phase One of the redevelopment plan, that was approved back in 2006, along with the purchase of the freehold for the land adjacent to the stadium, has been completed, and the capacity is currently at 24,000. This is mainly thanks to the completion of the new Caterpillar Stand, on the north side of the stadium, which was opened prior to the match against Newcastle Falcons in September 2009. The stand also hosts the Final Whistle Bar, which is open to all supporters before and after matches.
The Goldsmith Stand is located on the east side of the Welford Road stadium, and is home to the Underwood Suite, executive boxes, and a number of bars. The south stand, or Holland & Barrett Stand, as it is known, is home to the Crumbie Lounge, named after the club secretary who built it, while The Clubhouse is at the west of the stadium and is home to the main bars at the ground.
Welford Road has hosted a total of seven full international matches over the years, hosting pool fixtures in both the 1991 and 1999 Rugby World Cups, and it is almost guaranteed to be hosting more fixtures in the 2015 competition.
In addition to the rugby, Welford Road is now also one of the largest conference and events venues in the East Midlands, mainly thanks to the 1,000 capacity Premiership Suite, located in the Caterpillar Stand. The stadium also features 12 meeting rooms and 26 executive suites, catering for all kind of requirements, whether they are exhibitions, seminars, weddings, or conferences.
Stadium Address: Welford Road Stadium, Aylestone Road, Leicester, LE2 7TR