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Hillsborough Stadium

City: Sheffield

Capacity: 39 732 people

Hillsborough Stadium (commonly called just Hillsborough) is a sporting venue in Sheffield, England, which is owned by and stages the home games of Sheffield Wednesday, as well as boasting a range of function rooms, and suites, which can be hired out for events. Football has been played at the ground since it was opened on 2 September 1899, when Wednesday moved from their original ground at Olive Grove. Today it is a 39,732 capacity all-seater stadium, making it the largest stadium in the city. It is also the largest club stadium in England outside of the Premier League. The vast majority of the seats are covered. It is located in the Sheffield suburb of Owlerton, but takes its name from the parliamentary constituency in which it lies. The stadium was known as Owlerton until becoming Hillsborough in 1914 following ground improvements – hence the fact that Sheffield Wednesday are commonly known as the Owls. It was around the time of this change that a wall collapsed during a match at the stadium and injured 75 spectators, although nobody was killed. On 15 April 1989, the ground was the scene of one of the worst sporting tragedies of all time when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death in an FA Cup semi-final in the infamous Hillsborough disaster. This prompted a series of improvements to safety at the ground and at other stadia around the country, including the requirement for all top clubs to have all-seater stadia as well as the withdrawal of perimeter fencing from all stadia. Although the ground has received little investment since Euro 1996, it is still regarded as "a beautiful ground oozing character." It has two large separate two tiered stands and two large single tiered stands, all of which are covered. All four stands are of a similar size in terms of capacity, but with the South stand being the largest and the West stand (used for away fans) the smallest. Only one corner of the ground is filled, between the West and North Stands. This area, known as the North West corner, is uncovered and is only used for visiting supporters when the West stand upper and lower tiers are full. On the other corner of the West stand is an electronic scoreboard. Plans by the club for a £22 million renovation of the stadium and expansion to 44,825 have been approved by Sheffield City Council Planning Department with an aim to hosting FIFA World Cup 2018 matches. The stadium has been listed as FIFA's preferred Sheffield ground. The ground has previously played host to World Cup and European Championship football in 1966 and 1996 respectively. The stadium is now the largest football stadium outside of the Premier League, with Leeds United's Elland Road ground coming in second. It also has the second largest capacity single-tiered Kop stand in the UK, behind Anfield's Kop.

Source: Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia