England: Wolverhampton Wanderers kick off virtual games at Molineux
source: StadiumDB.com; author: Mateusz Osmola
Fans of Wolves - the Premier League side - can now visit the club’s home arena, without actually leaving the comfort of their home. All thanks to developments in technology and a VR kit.
Although not one of the largest in England today, Molineux Stadium has a rich history dating back as far as the 18th century. It was then, in 1744, that the Molineux family bought a plot of land where they built Molineux House, which later turned into the Molineux Hotel. In 1860 another owner came along and made the site into a leisure centre, keeping the traditional Molineux name but slightly changing it to Molineux Grounds. Finally, in 1889 a local brewery bought the land and leased it to Wolverhampton Wanderers for their permanent stadium. Again the Molineux family name prevailed, this time with the addition of 'Stadium'.
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The facility has undergone many modernisations in its history, but the largest one began in the 90s. of the last century. Starting in October 1991, one stand after another, all four were replaced by December 1993. They remained almost unchanged for two decades. In 2011 the Stan Cullis Stand was demolished and replaced with a new structure, this time with two levels of seating.
The rebuilt stand was opened for use in August 2012. Two other stands were due to undergo a similar upgrade, but the work was never completed. Meanwhile, a new, more ambitious plan for further redevelopment emerged in 2019, with the aim of increasing the stadium's capacity to 50,000 spectators. For now, however, there are no specifics.
The arena has a rich history, but the real revolution has just taken place and brought Wolves fans into the 21st century. Wanderers have become one of the first football clubs in the world to recreate their stadium in the virtual reality of the Rezzil Player fitness and training platform. The app gives fans 360-degree views from the Molineux pitch, while fans can also put their abilities to the test by practising their heading skills in a series of challenges. Same goes with bonus buy slots, which are the juiciest part of every slot and you can now test them for free.
Wolves' head of digital, Richard Pepper, said:
We’re delighted to be able to partner with Rezzil, allowing supporters all over the world the chance to get a taste of what it’s like to head that last minute winner at Molineux. There’s been a lot of buzz around the metaverse over the last 12 months and we’ve been looking for compelling, tangible ways of utilising the technology to offer unique experiences to our supporters. This partnership with Rezzil does just that with an incredibly entertaining and realistic experience.
Wolves players Adama Traore, Toti and Yerson Mosquera were among those who tried out the service during the club's training tour in Marbella in December. Rezzil founder and sporting director, Andy Etches stated:
We’ve spent a long time ensuring all the tiny details are in place so that fans get a truly authentic experience. We look forward to Wolves supporters recreating their favourite moments and challenging in the global leader boards.