Loftus Road


Loftus Road

:"Loftus Road is also a nickname of the Bulgarian FC Spartak Plovdiv ground, the Todor Diev Stadium."Infobox Stadium
stadium_name = Loftus Road


fullname = Loftus Road Stadium or Rangers Stadium
nickname = The Loft
built = 1896
opened = 1904
seating_capacity = 18,200 (though restrictions apply)
tenants = Queens Park Rangers (1917-present)
London Wasps (1996-2002)
Fulham F.C. (2002-2004)|
Australian Socceroos (2001-present) dimensions = 112 x 72 yards

Loftus Road is a football stadium in London. It is home to the English football team Queens Park Rangers and has a capacity of around 18,200.

History

The stadium was first used by Shepherd's Bush F.C. from 1904, an amateur side that disbanded in World War I and QPR moved there in 1917, from their previous home of Park Royal Showground.

The stadium's highest recorded attendance of 35,353 was in a game against Leeds United on 27 April 1974, before it was converted into an all-seater stadium, for the beginning of the 1994-95 season.

The four stands are called the Loftus Road End (often shortened to The Loft), Ellerslie Road Stand, South Africa Road Stand (often called Little South Africa) and the School End, which is for away supporters. All the roads surrounding Loftus Road have South African connections.

During the summer of 1981 an artificial pitch was installed at Loftus Road, the first such surface to be used in British professional football. But it was removed in April 1988 because of football legislation and replaced with grass.

In 1985 Barry McGuigan successfully challenged Eusebio Pedroza to become WBA world featherweight boxing champion at Loftus Road.

It was home to Wasps R.F.C. (now called London Wasps) from 1996/97 to 2001/02, having moved from their home in Sudbury, near Wembley in Middlesex. It was part of a 7 year ground share deal, by Chris Wright who had just bought Wasps as rugby union became professional. Wasps agreed to move out, to Wycombe Wanderers' Adams Park ground, at the end of the 2001-02 season to allow Fulham F.C. to rent for 2 seasons between 2002 and 2004, while their ground, Craven Cottage, was redeveloped. The success of Wasps at their new ground meant they didn't move back after Fulham left.

Internationals

Loftus Road was the first 'neutral' venue to capitalise on hosting international friendlies (not involving England). The ground has subsequently hosted 'home' ties for the Jamaican and Australian national teams to capitalise on the large Australian and Caribbean populations in West London.

In addition, in 2004, as part of the Gillette Tri-Nations rugby league competition, New Zealand played Australia (Australia winning by 32 points to 16). In 2005, Great Britain lost to New Zealand at the stadium in the same competition, 26 - 42.

On the football front, on the November 14 2005, Australia drew 1-1 with Ghana in an international friendly at the ground.

3 years later Australia would play another friendly at Loftus Road against South Africa. The Match ended 2-2.

outh Africa Road Stand and The Paddocks

This is the biggest of the four stands at Loftus Road which was completed in 1968 replacing an open terrace. It is a two tier stand which includes The Paddocks, containing a row of boxes separating The Paddocks and the upper tier. It also houses the dugouts, changing rooms, suites, tunnel, offices, club shop, box office and press conference rooms. The Paddocks area is the cheapest in the ground, whereas the upper tier is the most expensive. The new highly exclusive W12 and C Clubs are located here.

The Loft

This is a two tier stand behind the goal and traditionally where most members and season ticket holders sit. This is third most expensive stand to sit in. QPR generally attack this end in the second half, because it is believed to be good luck (similar to Nottingham Forest and The City Ground's Trent End). The police are based in this stand and it is home to the members' bar in the ground, The Blue and White Bar. A new colour scoreboard is located at this end, installed in Summer 2008, on the advertising boards between the upper and lower tiers.

The Ellerslie Road Stand

This stand built in 1972, replacing the old wooden stand which originally housed the home and away changing rooms, is constantly renamed and sponsored, but QPR fans refer to it as the Ellerslie Road Stand. It is a single tiered stand and is the smallest in height, but not in noise and capacity. It is also the only stand not to be painted in blue and white hoops, instead it has "QPR" painted across it. It is home to the famous "R Block" where, along with the Loft's Q and P blocks sit QPR's partisan following. Most of the noise is generated from this stand, in addition to the Loft. This stand is a favourite of the fans because of the view and atmosphere. This is the second most expensive stand. It is also home to the commentary gantry.

The School End

At the west end of the ground is the School End. In appearance, it is a carbon copy of the Loft. 'The School' seats the away fans and the upper tier can been opened to home fans if the lower tier is sold out. This is the end where Trevor Sinclair scored his famous overhead kick against Barnsley, and where Gerry Francis scored in 1975 by against Liverpool.fact|date=October 2007A new big screen was installed on the roof of the School End in the summer of 2008, which joins the original electronic scoreboard which is located on the advertising boards between the upper and lower tiers.

The Future

The club continue to insist that they do not have plans to move, and that they will investigate further improvements to Loftus Road before any relocation would occur. However, given the tight constraints on the ground, it is unlikely that the capacity could be increased significantly.

References

External links

* [http://www.qpr.co.uk Queens Park Rangers' Website]


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