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Oldlady's Ground Guide - Warrington Wolves
Posted by southstander on July 22 2005 - 11:44:28

The HJ Stadium
by Oldlady

Following the demise of the old ground guides, when we had the apocalyptic server crash last October, we've decided to reconstruct the Ground Guide section.

On a week-by-week basis, for all away games this year, Oldlady will give us her guide to our place of pilgrimage, this week with the assistance of Oldham_Rhino.

We continue this week with Warrington Wolves.

Warrington Wolves - Halliwell Jones Stadium
Known to some as the 'Gerry'.

After 105 years at Wilderspool the Wolves moved to the new purpose-built stadium in 2004. It was specifically designed for Rugby League but was used for the UEFA European Women’s Championships earlier this year. It has a huge pitch – 120m X 74m.

Unlike other sparkly new stadiums it seems to be growing an atmosphere of its own, partly because it is not all-seater and does not always look empty, like, for example, the JJB. It still has a way to go. One end and one side are seated and the other two stands have clear views for those who prefer to stand.

The North Stand –the Main Stand, is impressively kitted out with a range of offices, community use rooms, conference facilities, executive boxes etc. The press also gather here but the TV cameras have a purpose-built gantry high in the South Stand. There are sometimes a few seats left in the North Stand for away fans.

The Primrose and Blue website advises fans to bring their sunglasses if they intend to be in the other seated area, the East (Martin Dawes) Stand, as the sun causes a few problems as it goes down during afternoon or summer evening matches. I think I need them for the reflection off Paul Cullen’s shiny silver shirts too!! There are excellent disabled viewing galleries located at the back of the East Stand and it has a huge function room which stretches along the length of the stand.

The South (Prime Time Recruitment) Stand is where most home fans wishing to stand go. The East (Lever Faberge) Stand is usually unreserved seating and is regarded as the family enclosure.

All concourses have good toilet and refreshment facilities. Drinkers seem to like the 2 pint plastic glasses.

We like to stand so we we tried the West stand last season. The view was fine but the other try line is a heck of a long way away. Be warned though – at the last match the Warrington band joined us away fans and they bang drums louder than any one else I know (and that includes the SS band just behind us when we are at home)!

Angela Powers’ ground assessment on Boots ‘n’ All is bound to give high praise to this ground and not just because she is a Wolves fan. It does offer good facilities and views and parking was easy in a nearby office car park at £3. The get away was very quick and easy too and there was a choice fast food outlets on the way out to the motorway for topping up the hungry teenagers we had on board.

Best:

Place to sit: East Stand

Place to stand: West Stand is allocated for away fans... or South Stand

Place to park: Plenty of private and public car parks within easy walking distance of ground. Don’t park in Tesco

Directions: Stadium is on North edge of Warrington town centre. Take M62 to J9 then follow signs for Towncentre along the A49 which takes you right there.

Place to eat:Food is served at the Lord Rodney and there is a KFC within site of the ground as well. When coming into Warrington itself from the M62 there are a number of places to eat in the reails park which line the A49. If all else fails you could always go to the cafe in the huge Tesco which is behind the northern end of the ground.

Place to drink: Good thing about Warrington moving into the town centre is a wider choice of drinking venues. There is the Original Wire on the main A49 road, near there is the Alliance Centre situated in the big mill across the road. And for those who fancy a game of snooker the 147 club is just down from the Alliance Centre. Right across from the ground are the Red Lion and the Lord Rodney. The Lower Angel and Blue Bell are a little further away from the ground as is the Railway Club. If you fancy a hike for some cheap beer but with a bite to eat there is a Weatherspoons called the Friar Penketh but its a 10 minutes walk from the ground.

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