Hillsborough Stadium

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Hillsborough Stadium is the home of Sheffield Wednesday football club, Sheffield, England. 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 39,812 capacity all-seater stadium,[2] making it the largest stadium in the city. 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.[1]

On 15 April 1989, the ground was the scene of one of the worst sporting tragedies of all time when 94 Liverpool fans (the final death toll was 96) 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 stadiums around the country.

Although the ground has received little investment since Euro 1996, it is still regarded as "a beautiful ground oozing character."[3] 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 terrace, 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.


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