Known as the Stadiwm Liberty for those who can speak the language, the Liberty Stadium in Swansea has been home to both Swansea City Football Club and the Ospreys (rugby union club) since it opened back in 2005.
The bowl-like arena sits in the Landore area right on the River Tawe. Less than two miles from the centre of Swansea.
The Liberty has also brought in revenue for owners Swansea Council by hosting some of Wales’ international football games and various gigs. Including those by such names as The Who, Manic Street Preachers and The Killers.
History of the Liberty
Swansea previously played at the Vetch Field. However, that ground, as well as Ospreys’ home venues, were worse for wear by the turn of the millennium. It was clear a new venue in the city was required.
Neither club appeared to have the money. So a consortium consisting of Swansea Council and some developers put forward plans to built a 20,000-seat arena. The total cost was around £50 million. After the best part of two years’ work, the Liberty Stadium was opened on July 10, 2005.
Average crowds at the Liberty are far higher for football. However, the first sell-out there was for an Ospreys match against Australia A.
When an established Premier League side before relegation, Swansea City even sought permission to extend the stadium. While that hasn’t happened as yet, a few changes have been made since the ground opened. In 2014, new screens were fitted around the stadium.
The Capacity of Liberty Stadium
Should Swansea make it back to the Premier League, which remains ever possible, then expansion plans remain on paper.
The Liberty Stadium could be increased in capacity to around 33,000 initially. With plans for the venue to eventually reach 40,000. A move that would move the Liberty from number three to number two in Wales in terms of stadium size. It would also make it more viable for important Wales national team games.
The atmosphere at Swansea city over the years has remained excellent with regular fans particularly raucous. Although of course, the numbers were higher in the Premier League.
As a general rule, outside of the Premier League Swansea attract 15,000 – 17,000 per game while in the top flight they average 20,000 basically every single week.
The Liberty hasn’t been around for very long however it is already a well-known venue on both the football and rugby circuits. It is made up of the following things:
- Capacity: 21,088
- Record Attendance: 20,972 for Swansea City v Liverpool in May 2016.
- Pitch: 105m x 68m, made up of a Desso GrassMaster surface
- Stands: North Stand, East Stand, South Stand and West Stand. While the stadium is an even bowl, the main entrance, player’s entrance and director’s area is situated in the West Stand.
Memorable Games at the Liberty Stadium
It was a slow start for Swansea City at the Liberty, the team merely consolidating their place in League One at first with sixth and seventh-placed finishes.
Under Roberto Martinez however, the 2007/08 season represented a marked improvement for them as they won the division. During that year, 4-1 wins against Cheltenham and Leyton Orient were the highlights.
Swansea’s first game in the Championship was played amid a rousing atmosphere, when they beat Nottingham Forest 3-1 in August 2008. A 2-2 draw against Cardiff that November was also a match to remember.
A year later Swansea won a pulsating derby 3-1 against Cardiff here, and when they were promoted via the play-offs the following season the team racked up some heavy wins including scoring four against Sheffield United, Ipswich and Preston.
In 2013, despite only drawing 0-0 on the night, Swansea beat Chelsea in a fractious League Cup Semi-Final at the Liberty in front of a belligerent crowd, the team even went on to hammer Bradford in the final.
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