Date: 25th October 2006 at 8:25pm
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sbrjack provides us with the second of 3 articles about the Liberty Stadium compared to the Old Vetch.

Princess Anne opened the Stadium officially last week; a keen sportswoman herself it was fitting she opened the stadium officially even thought it has been in operation for over a year.

There has been praise of the new stadium with fans on this site giving an overall positive reaction towards our new home. From the in house Kevin Johns to the facilities at the Liberty stadium that are poles apart from the Leaky toilets and standing room only on the North Bank in the Vetch Field.

The all seated stadium has had its problems of which fans on this site took time to give their reasons why. The stadium offers a real sporting legacy for the city and is a jewel in the crown of sport in Swansea. So much so it even made the Swansea monopoly board.

In spite of this our new stadium certainly did not cost monopoly money. The £27 Million pound stadium offers much more than a sporting legacy but conference facilities that will bring added investment and stature to the city. The stadium has also hosted UEFA Cup action with Llanelli and OB Odessa playing at the stadium. In addition the Welsh international team with Bulgaria and Slovenia being the opposition.

There was criticism from fans over the cost of such games and the low attendance that was a direct by product of the poor ticketing conditions by the FAW. These issues must be addressed in future internationals if Welsh international games at the liberty stadium are to be truly viable. In this latest article about the Liberty stadium I asked a few of our active members what they feel the stadium’s negative points are and also do they feel it offers a real legacy for the city.

What are the Con’s of the stadium?

“The stewards down there are a shambles and are miles too strict. For instance I saw a bloke get kicked out for blowing a horn, I also see they stop people from singinand chanting, it`s a football stadium for god sake” STID

“The big concrete pillars in some areas of the ground need to be sorted out because they look tacky, as well as some bits of the Stadium looking as though they`ve been made out of plastic. Cosmetic issues yes, but they all add to the feeling that it still isn`t ‘home’ for us just yet. Another gripe I have is that the away supporters are given an area which is FAR too big. I mean, why give them an area of 3500 seats? Especially when some clubs bring no more than 300 supporters? It makes the ground look half empty and does nothing for the atmosphere….and that`s another thing, when the ground isn`t full or nearly full, it certainly lacks something which the Vetch had.” Bdazzler1

“The stadium hasn`t really got the atmosphere as the vetch did.” Swanzboichris

“Prices of the food.. 80p bottle of coke is £1.50 down there. Rip-off. Stewards you aren’t allowed to stand up 2 seconds.” Mattyjones

“Our fans are not on top of the pitch and so now we lose any intimidation bonus we had. Big teams will now really want to come to our ground and play us in a nice new stadium where as before no big club wanted to come down The Vetch.” Phillip

“Having to share the pitch with the rugby.” Willow

Do you feel the stadium offers a real legacy…?

“Yes and no really. It’s a credit to the city because of the extra finance and coverage the football and rugby teams are receiving and it puts a more professional look on the clubs plus its given the international team a second home because most of the international friendlies are played down here and some of the big games too.

I said earlier I don`t think its quite big enough, it should have been around 25.000 to 30.000 I know 5 to 10.000 difference doesn`t seem like much but if we go up it would be. For some reason I just cannot see it living up to the fortress and the legend that was known as the vetch.” STID

“The Swans and the Ospreys playing in what is, realistically, one of the best and most modern stadium in the UK it offers a solid base on which to build out of. If there were no stadium, both clubs would be playing out of old, run-down, antiquated grounds with capacities of around 10,000 and it simply wouldn`t attract paying customers. People these days don`t want to sit, or stand, in dumps. With the Liberty in place we have a basis on which to move forward, gain extra income and I think it probably encourages a younger generation of supporters in the area to take up the sports as well as attend matches. Everyone`s a winner. I have to be honest, if it`s really going to become a legacy for Swansea, the name needs changing. Liberty Stadium is awful. White Rock would be so much more appealing. ” Bdazzler1

“This will be a very memorable stadium ?the swans play there but also do the Ospreys. They will bring good fixtures over the years such as Australia are coming in a couple of weeks time. ” Swansboichris

“Yes. Since we have had the stadium lots more fans have come to watch the football and also the rugby.” Mattyjones

“Its definitely going to be the centre point where major sport in Swansea is played” Phillip

“I believe that we now have a stadium to be proud of

Last up in this series – what do fans think of the old lady?

Thanks to all those who took time out to answer the questions.