A £24 million project to transform Copthall Stadium into the prestigious Allianz Park development has reached completion.
The state-of-the-art sporting venue – which is home to Saracens Rugby Club – is supported by Sport England, the Rugby Football Union and UK Athletics and boasts an artificial pitch, an Indoor Training Centre, and food and retail units. The Indoor Training Centre has a multi-function use, designed as an indoor athletics and multi-sport area it is converted into the biggest bar in UK professional rugby on match days with large TV screens and a house band on stage to entertain fans before and after the rugby.
The stadium has incorporated the latest technologies to take the spectator experience to a new level. The combination of 10m x 7m screens, hi definition stadium wide Wi-Fi, an in house video production system and a clever mobile app enables supporters to watch replays of action on their mobile phones or tablets from one of four camera angles within 15 seconds of the action taking place. You can even order a pizza to be delivered to your seat at half time! This coupled with a high quality PA system and wider seating ensures a unique experience for the 10,000 capacity crowd.
Whilst the new stadium is the official home of Saracens Rugby Club, it is also home to Shaftsbury Barnet Harriers Athletics Club and during the summer, due to the use of temporary seating, becomes a 3,700 seated athletics stadium that will become the most attractive athletics venue in the south east outside of the Olympic Stadium.
Allianz Park is open seven days a week, providing a facility for both business and pleasure. As well as a first class sporting venue, Allianz Park also offers a range of conferencing and events facilities including three large banquet rooms that open into one space capable of hosting 600 for dinner, 14 breakout rooms and an indoor arena to hold a capacity of 1,200 guests.
Benefitting from views that over look the pitch as well as the fields that surround the stadium, Allianz Park is more than capable of hosting a range of events, from weddings and conferences to Bar Mitzvahs. The Park’s dedicated staff is on hand to provide much needed advice and assistance right through until the day of the celebration.
Work began on the project in May 2012 and reached completion in February 2013, with the first Premiership Rugby game taking place on February 16th. Eric Wright Construction was the main contractor on the project, whilst Roberts Limbrick Ltd provided all architectural services.
Discussing their involvement, Jonathan Raynor of Eric Wright Construction, said:
“Although we have delivered sporting facilities before now, such as the new Carrington Training Centre for Manchester United, this project was different from any we have undertaken previously. Not only was it delivering an activity complex, but it also established rugby’s first contemporary artificial playing pitch – a world first – plus we only had 37 weeks to do it in.
“Working together with Saracen’s project team, we delivered a sustainable, first-class sporting venue for one of Europe’s premier rugby clubs which will serve as a beacon of sporting excellence for many years to come.”
Allianz Park was built to achieve a BREEAM standard of ‘Excellent’ and was designed to blend into the environment. The park is served by numerous transport links including the Saracens Express, a coach service which offers passengers the opportunity to arrive just outside the doors of Allianz Park.
Saracen FC Chairman, Nigel Wray, said:
“Allianz Park will deliver wonderful memories for people right across our community.”
“Eric Wright Construction were outstanding partners in our Allianz Park project. They had to combat virtually every form of weather and in my experience, for a London development, completed things in almost breakneck speed, but certainly with no loss of quality and always with good manners, hard work, intelligence and humour. It was a really excellent partnership.”