Sport in Cardiff
Sport in Cardiff is dictated by, amongst other things, its position as the capital city of Wales, meaning that national home sporting fixtures are nearly always played in the city. All of Wales' multi-sports agencies and many of the country's sports governing bodies have their headquarters in Cardiff and the city's many top-quality venues have attracted world-famous sport events, sometimes unrelated to Cardiff or to Wales; the city hosts numerous international sporting events, be it independently or on behalf of Wales or the United Kingdom. Rugby fans around the world have long been familiar with the Cardiff Arms Park and its successor the Millennium Stadium, a visible presence from in and around the city. Early this century, hundreds of thousands of English football and rugby league supporters visited Cardiff during the six years it took to rebuild Wembley Stadium, as the FA Cup and Rugby League Challenge Cup finals were played at the Millennium Stadium. In 2009, Cardiff hosted the first Ashes cricket test, between England and Australia, to be held in Wales.
Cardiff hosted eight football matches of the London 2012 Olympics and was the training base for certain participating nations. In 2008/09, 61% of Cardiff residents participated in sport and active recreation, the highest percentage out of all 22 local authorities in Wales. Cardiff plays host to many high-profile sporting events at a local and international level. In recognition of the city's commitment to sport for all, Cardiff was awarded the title of European City of Sport 2009. Organised sports have been held in the city since the early 19th century. Cardiff Arms Park, in central Cardiff, is among the world's most famous venues—being the scene of three Welsh Grand Slams in the 1970s and six Five Nations titles in nine years—and was the venue for Wales' games in the 1991 Rugby World Cup; the Arms Park has a sporting history dating back to at least the 1850s, when Cardiff Cricket Club relocated to the site. The ground was donated to Cardiff CC in 1867 by the Marquess of Bute. Cardiff Cricket Club shared the ground with Cardiff Rugby Football Club —forming Cardiff Athletic Club between them—until 1966, when the cricket section moved to Sophia Gardens.
Cardiff Athletic Club and the Welsh Rugby Union established two stadia on the site—Cardiff RFC played at their stadium at the northern end of the site, the Wales national rugby union team played international matches at the National Stadium, Cardiff Arms Park, which opened in 1970. The National Stadium was replaced by the 74,500 capacity Millennium Stadium in 1999—in time for the 1999 Rugby World Cup—and is home stadium to the Wales national rugby and football teams for international matches. In addition to Wales' Six Nations Championship and other international games, the Millennium Stadium held four matches in the 2007 Rugby World Cup and six FA Cup finals while Wembley Stadium was being rebuilt. Sport Wales, the Welsh Sports Association and the Federation of Disability Sport Wales, the country's multi-sport agencies, are based at the Sport Wales National Centre, Sophia Gardens. Sport Wales is responsible for promoting sport and active lifestyles in Wales, it was established in 1972 with the objectives of "fostering the knowledge and practice of sport and physical recreation among the public at large in Wales and the provision of facilities thereto".
Sport Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government's main adviser on sporting matters and is responsible for distributing National Lottery awards to sports in Wales. The Welsh Sports Association is an independent, umbrella body and representing the national and international interests of all the national governing bodies of sport and physical recreation in Wales, it has a membership of over 60 NGBs. The WSA acts as an independent consultative body to the Welsh Assembly Government, Sport Wales and to UK Sport; the Federation of Disability Sport Wales is the national pan-disability governing body of sports organisations that provide local sporting and physical activity opportunities to disabled people in Wales. Cardiff Athletic Club owns the Cardiff Arms Park site, it was established in 1922, has been the main body responsible for much of the premier amateur sporting activities in Cardiff. The Athletic Club has cricket, rugby union, field hockey and bowls sections. Cardiff is one of the centres of British baseball and hosts the annual Wales vs England international game every other year at Roath Park, although the 2008 game – marking the centenary of the fixture between the two countries – was held in Llanrumney.
Wales won the encounter again, having not lost to England, home or away, since 1995. Welsh Baseball Union – formed 1892 – the governing body of men's British baseball in Wales, is based in Heath, Cardiff. Welsh Ladies Baseball Union, the governing body of women's British baseball in Wales, is based in Grangetown, Cardiff, it was formed in 2006 when the WLBU decided to break away from the men's WBU. The Cardiff Celts basketball team compete in the English Basketball League, Division 1; the Celts play their home games at the Sport Wales National Centre. Basketball Wales, the sole controller and the governing body of all aspects of the game of basketball in Wales, is based at the Sport Wales National Centre, Sophia Gardens, it is responsible for the management of the Welsh National Basketball
Cardiff Grange Harlequins A.F.C.
Cardiff Grange Harlequins are a Welsh football team originating in Grangetown, Cardiff. The team's first choice strip is black shorts and red socks, their second strip is black shorts and black socks. They used to play their football at Cardiff Athletics Stadium in Leckwith; the Quins were formed in 1935, progressed in the 1990s from'parks' football into the Welsh League, via the FAW Pyramid system. The club won the Welsh League Challenge Cup in 1995. In the 2005/2006 season, they played in the Welsh Premier League. However, a lack of finances and fan support led to the departure of key players, leaving the club to rely on youth and reserve players. The'Quins' remained rooted to the bottom of the table, never looked able to avoid relegation. A second relegation followed in 2006/7, the club's prospects of returning to the Premier in the short term look slim. With the demolition of the old Cardiff Athletics Stadium in 2007 Grange Quins lost their home ground; because a replacement was not due to be completed until late 2009 the Quins had nowhere to play and, in any case, were considering withdrawing from the Welsh League because of the far higher costs of playing at the new Cardiff International Sports Stadium.
The club has a long-standing rivalry with fellow Cardiff side Cardiff Corinthians which dates back to the 1980s, when both clubs were fierce cross-city rivals and took part in some mouth-watering fixtures. Both clubs have been in the same division, but the rivalry resumed in 2014–15 with the Corinthians relegation to Division 3. In 2014–15 the Cardiff Grange Harlequins resigned from the Welsh League towards the end of the season, their record was expunged; the team continues to play in the Cardiff & District League, though with none of the players that played in the Welsh League. They use the park facilities at Pontcanna Fields as their home ground
Cardiff City Stadium
The Cardiff City Stadium is a stadium in the Leckwith area of Cardiff, Wales. It is the home of the Wales national football team. Following expansion of the Ninian Stand in July 2014, the stadium holds 33,280 supporters; the stadium replaced Ninian Park as Cardiff City's home ground in 2009, is managed by Cardiff City Stadium Ltd., owned by Cardiff City Football Club Holdings Ltd. It hosted the home matches of the Cardiff Blues rugby union team until the 2011–12 season, although the Blues had a lease until 2029. After the Millennium Stadium, it is the second largest stadium in Wales; the stadium is part of the Leckwith development, which includes the Cardiff International Sports Stadium. A branded sponsor name will be assigned as and when the naming rights are sold; the stadium was opened on 22 July 2009, with Cardiff City playing a friendly match against Celtic. The stadium was built on the site of the former Cardiff Athletics Stadium and forms part of the larger Leckwith development; the 60-acre development was estimated to cost £100m and include construction of the following: A 28,018 seater stadium A new athletics stadium 470,000 sq ft retail development between 13 major retailers A housing development on the site of Ninian Park Brand new 70 room hotel with bar & restaurant A new road system First mooted as a long term target by former owner Sam Hammam, the new stadium first gained public approval after a meeting between Hammam and Cardiff Lord Mayor Russell Goodway in January 2002, giving the club 12 months to agree a planning and business plan.
In November 2002 the club and Cardiff Council signed an outline agreement for the development, subject to agreement for outline planning permission. In March 2003, stories began to emerge that the Chief Executive of the Millennium Stadium wanted Cardiff City to use their stadium instead, saw no viable plan for two 50,000+ seat capacity stadia in the Welsh capital; this was increased in light of Cardiff City's promotion to the Championship in May 2003 with local fears over traffic and access problems. However, on 20 August 2003 Cardiff councillors gave unanimous approval to the stadium plans, although expressed concerns over the need and scale of the retail development but understood its need to fund the stadium. On 9 September 2003 the Welsh Assembly gave approval to the plan. In April 2004, Cardiff Council gave the first phase covering the stadium with a capacity of 30,000 seats and new athletics track approval; the next phase was held up by various legal and technical delays from November 2004 to January 2005, when the council gave approval to three detailed plans for the retail development, subject to agreement of suitable underlying business plans.
Although development could have started in May 2005, the underlying need for seed financing revealed the financial status of Cardiff City football club as poor, with over £30 million of debt and the need to sell star player and club captain Graham Kavanagh to Wigan Athletic F. C. in March 2005. It was revealed that players and staff had not been paid for a month as the club struggled to honour a wage bill believed to be £750,000 a month, while auditors were looking at possible cutbacks. On 1 March 2005 the club delayed the development until at least July 2005. After a 1–0 home loss to Sheffield United and a mobbing by fans, on 6 March 2005 Hammam apologised to fans, released club accounts which showed club debt at March 2004 at £29.6 million. After a summer sale of players, the entry of former Leeds United chairman Peter Ridsdale and numerous rumours, the development was given a period of 90 days from 31 December 2005 by Cardiff Council to finalise the underlying business plan. On 31 January 2006 the developers secured Asda as the lead retailer of the new development, which enabled the final funding of the stadium to start.
This allowed the council timetable to extend by four months to September 2006. On 24 October 2006 Laing O'Rouke won the contract to develop the 30,000 seat stadium, which Ridsdale stated would be ready for December 2008. On 27 November 2006 Cardiff Council approved the business plan for the stadium, granted a 125-year lease for the land on which the stadium was to sit upon, allowing the final planning approval to be gained from the council authority and the office of the Deputy Prime Minister. In March 2007, the stadium plans were altered to allow construction to begin as soon as possible. To minimise construction costs, the 30,000 capacity was reduced to 25,000 by removing three-quarters of the second tier of seating, however the plans allow the option of completing the second tier to reach the 30,000 capacity if required; the former chairman of Cardiff City, Steve Borley, said in March 2008 that "We are working to raise the capacity and right now it stands at 26,830. The task is to raise that further, we believe it could be 28,000 when the stadium opens."When work commenced Peter Ridsdale stated that he expected the stadium to be ready by Christmas 2008 but it was completed in May 2009.
Although some believe this slight delay was caused by Cardiff City's ongoing legal action with Langston, it was caused by unexpectedly poor weather during the summer of 2007. Land clearance started on 21 February 2007, while on 9 May, final finances were put in place for Laing O'Rourke to bring equipment on site and start construction. Developers and contractors The lead developer was PMG Developments, a Cardiff-based property developer led by Cardiff City director Paul Guy and former Wales rugby captain Mike Hall. Laing O'Rourke were contracted to build all the highway improvements necessary to cope with the in
The Leckwith development is in the Leckwith area of southwest Cardiff, Wales. Work started in Autumn 2007 with the construction of a new stadium for Cardiff City F. C. and Cardiff Blues. The project consisted of: A new 26,828 seat stadium for Cardiff City F. C. A 470,000 sq ft retail park with 18 retail units A New athletics stadium to replace the demolished Cardiff Athletics Stadium A new housing estate on the site of the current Ninian Park Stadium A 70-room hotel with bar and restaurant A new Glamorgan Archives to house archives from the historic county of Glamorgan and worldwide genealogical resources. Completion of the development was planned for Spring 2010. To complete the deal, it involved a simple land-swap arrangement of existing facilities across three sites: Cardiff Council gave a nominal 125year lease to Cardiff City on a 40acre block of land, on which the former Cardiff Athletics Stadium stood Cardiff City agreed to build a new athletics stadium on a further 20acre council owned plot north of the existing site On completion of the new athletics stadium, Cardiff City gained the 125-year rent-free lease.
On half of the land they developed the new Cardiff City stadium and retail park The residual 20acres would be used for development of the new Glamorgan Record Office, a hotel and the community sports facility House of Sport. If the football club failed to complete House of Sport development by December 2009 the lease on the hotel would forfeit to the council The football club, once they had moved stadium,could sell the land of the former Ninian Park stadium for housing redevelopmentUnfortunately, due to unforeseen issues in construction across the two council owned sites, the football club incurred additional costs; this resulted in an agreement to lapse the development of the House of Sport until December 2010. In January 2009, with Cardiff City facing a winding-up order due to an outstanding £2.7M bill to HMRC, the club asked the council for permission to sell the residual 20acres to a developer. The Capital Shopping Park in Leckwith, started building at the end of 2007 and originated from the idea of a new stadium for Cardiff City FC.
The retail development was completed in 2009 and has a total of 21 tenants including Costco, Asda, M&S Home, Mamas & Papas, Smyths Toys and Costa. It has 13,935-square-metre of retail space, it was owned by Capital Retail Park Partnership, owned by commercial developer PMG, but in February 2014 it was sold to Aberdeen Asset Management for £59.65 million. Boots were on the original list of tenants, however they did not sign up. Matalan were named in an original planning application, but pulled out in March 2005; the new stadium has 33,280 seats and is home to Cardiff City F. C. club. The stadium hosted the home matches of the Cardiff Blues rugby union team until the 2011–12 season, it is the second largest stadium in Cardiff and Wales. The stadium cost £29,000,000, Laing O'Rourke was contracted for the whole development; the new athletics stadium, built to replace the previous Cardiff Athletics Stadium, demolished to make room for the new rugby and football stadium. Construction started in March 2007.
The athletics stadium is the only part of the development to not be built by the main contractor, Laing O'Rourke and instead individual contractor, Cowlin Construction. The stadium will include a gym, meeting rooms, several offices, which should be completed in the new year. Members of the public are now permitted to come and watch the events that are taking place on the track or field in the now completed stand; the track and field are now open for public use. The Glamorgan Record Office moved to a site behind the new football/rugby stadium from the Glamorgan Building in Cathays Park at the end of 2009; the newly renamed Glamorgan Archives offers facilities for visitors to search its 8.5 km of archives relating to the historic county of Glamorgan, as well as conference space for workshops and school groups, a modern paper conservation studio. The retail park now rests on the site occupied by Cardiff's city farm. Cardiff Council planned for the retail park to be built on the current site of the allotments, located on Bessemer Road.
Some of the unused plots at the entrance to the allotments were planned to become the site for a new community centre for disabled children and people with learning disabilities, run by Cardiff-based charity, Vision 21. This development was accepted by Cardiff Council on 20 October 2008, in their development control announcements; this site was to include a café, garden centre, a small shop and meeting rooms. The stadium was handed over to Redrow Homes by Cardiff City chairman Peter Ridsdale on 10 September 2009. Redrow was to build 142 new homes on the site; the development was still to be known as Ninian Park. A planted square was proposed at the centre of the new housing development, in the area of Ninian Park football ground's centre spot; the first show home of the £24m development was to open by late spring 2010, with a mixture of terraced and semi-detached houses. The estate welcomed its first residents in November 2010; the main road was named Bartley Wilson Way after the founder of Cardiff FC.
Ground improvements at British football stadia Cardiff Arms Park – the former Cardiff Blues stadium Ninian Park – the former Cardiff City stadium Cardiff City Stadium Glamorgan Archives Cardiff City F. C. Welsh Athletics
Cardiff Athletic Bowls Club
Cardiff Athletic Bowls Club known as the Cardiff Bowls Club and the Cardiff Athletic Club - Bowls Section is a bowls club based at Cardiff Arms Park, Wales. Cardiff Athletic Bowls Club is a section of the Cardiff Athletic Club, which includes the Rugby Section, the Cricket Section, the Hockey Section and the Tennis Section. Cardiff Athletic Bowls Club was established in 1923, since the club has used the Arms Park as its bowling green; the bowls club is a section of the Cardiff Athletic Club and shares many of the facilities of the Cardiff Arms Park athletics centre. The Club has produced two Welsh international bowlers. An agreement in principle was reached in December 2015 between the landlord of the stadium site and its tenant to give the club a 150-year lease on the stadium site. More detailed negotiations will begin with a final approval expected early in 2016. If the final agreement goes ahead, Cardiff Athletic Club would receive an upfront payment of £8 million; as part of the agreement, CABC would have to vacate its current site at the Arms Park and move to a new facility.
At present Cardiff Blues pay Cardiff Athletic Club rent of around £115,000 per annum, however this would nearly double to around £200,000. Sport in Cardiff Cardiff Athletic Club - Bowls section Official website of Cardiff Athletic Bowls Club