|133+133 (Disabled seats)|
|Renovations||lata 1930, 1970, 1980, 1996, 2014-2016|
|Cost||£ 38 million (2014-2016)|
|Design||Hamilton Architects (2014-2016)|
|Contractor||O‘Hare and McGovern (2014-2016)|
|Address||Donegal Avenue, Belfast, BT12 6LW|
Description: Windsor Park
The story of Windsor Park begins in 1905, when two of Northern Ireland’s most popular clubs – Glentoran and Linfield – player their Belfast derby. The ground, bearing name of its district Windsor, earned its fame in 1930’s, though.
It was then that complex revamp by Archibald Leitch was carried out to increase capacity to even 60,000 people. With only one seated stand (southern one, and even it was only partly seated) and three big terracing sections it was Ulster’s biggest venue. And best due to decent standard with only one stand uncovered – western Spion Kop.
However over the years its size started decreasing significantly. First in 1970’s with first (and to date only) two-tiered stand in the north, all seated. Then in 1980’s the Spion Kop was removed and though the new west stand is still called the Kop, it’s a 5,000-seat stand.
Today’s stadium is a mixture of stands built in 1930’s, 70’s and 80’s. No wonder that without big renovation spending it started raising concerns over spectator safety from both FIFA and UEFA. Thus capacity, realistically at almost 25,000, was restricted to just 12,950 for European games and even less for domestic ones, while no stadium in Northern Ireland was deemed compliant.
It’s no wonder that plans for a new ground began appearing. However, none of the proposed relocations, particularly to Lisburn, came to fruition. Consequently in 2012 a new vision of redeveloped Windsor Park came up. And more importantly, it came along with substantial grants from the British Department for Culture, Media & Sport, who stepped up to aid Northern Ireland’s dire stadium crisis.
Detailed proposal for the stadium’s revamp was drawn by Hamilton Architects. Along the plan new stands were to be built in the south and east, while west and north ones were to be improved significantly. This would have been the case if not for serious cracks revealed during reconstruction in the west end. It was eventually demolished and rebuilt from scratch as well.
The massive project brought complete change in Windsor Park’s appearance. Now dominated with light colours and green-blue decorations, the building is more dynamic and stands out in Belfast’s landscape even without its old floodlight masts. It’s also equipped with significant floorspace, enabling both Linfield and the Irish FA to have their offices here, as well as providing banqueting facilities and room for two sports stores.
Owner and main team are Linfield FC, but national team or Northern Ireland is also using it. Annually the domestic cup final is also decided here.
Stadium of the Year 2016: Reason 27, Windsor Park
You may have heard of Northern Ireland facing issues with international games due to no modern stadiums there. Well, those days are gone and Belfast now has one of the best venues across the island.
UEFA: Who gets the 2019 club finals?
15 national associations expressed interest in hosting of the 2019 finals. Champions League, Europa League, Women’s Champions League and Super Cup will be decided among 19 stadia!
Stadium of the Year 2016: Join the global vote!
It’s time to make your voice heard and select the best stadium opened in 2016 around the world. Public Vote is now open and will last until March 4.
Stadium of the Year 2016: Name your nominees!
For 10 days you’re welcome to share your favourite stadiums opened in 2016. We know of over 30 stadiums eligible for the competition, now let’s see your candidates.
Belfast: Windsor Park contractor announced
O'Hare and McGovern will soon have a football stadium in their portfolio as the company were announced as general contractors for Northern Ireland's national stadium redevelopment. Belfast Telegraph report.
Belfast: Funding approved for Windsor Park revamp
The plan to completely redevelop Northern Ireland's national stadium received the anticipated funding of £31 million. Two stands will be built from scratch and two will undergo thorough renovation works.
Belfast: IFA delayed or on schedule with Windsor Park revamp?
Preferred bidder was to be selected in September, but BBC claims there is trouble reaching an agreement. IFA denies any delay claims and assures the project is on schedule.
Belfast: National stadium revamp threatened?
It seems so after U.tv reported Crusaders FC challenging the redevelopment of Windsor Park. The club claims it would be state aid to their derby rivals, Linfield FC.
Belfast: Green light for new Windsor Park
After years of stagnation it may turn out that the redeveloped national stadium will be only the first step of what is called the ‘sporting village’, BBC reports. Works may start this year.
Belfast: Planning application submitted as planned
After weeks of consultations, Irish Football Association filed their planning application for Windsor Park redevelopment. If things continue to go along plans, construction should start in September.
New country: Northern Ireland
Despite long and proud traditions, stadium in Belfast are in desperate need for renovations. And since they are to get some soon, checking out their current state me proof to be a good idea.