The Hive Stadium

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The Hive Stadium
The Hive Stadium 3.jpg
The Hive after a 5-0 win by Barnet in March 2015
The Hive Stadium
Location Canons Park, London
Coordinates 51°36′09″N0°17′30″W / 51.602599°N 0.291785°W / 51.602599; -0.291785 Coordinates: 51°36′09″N0°17′30″W / 51.602599°N 0.291785°W / 51.602599; -0.291785
Public transit Underground no-text.svg Canons Park
Owner Barnet F.C.
Operator Barnet F.C.
Capacity 6,500 (5,419 seated) [1]
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke ground2003
OpenedJuly 2013
Tenants
Website
www.thehivelondon.com

The Hive Stadium is a stadium in Canons Park, north-west London, on the former site of the Prince Edward Playing Fields in the London Borough of Harrow. The stadium is home to National League football club Barnet, London Bees of the FA Women's Championship and Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Women of the FA WSL.

Contents

The stadium's official total capacity is 6,500 and its current record attendance is 6,215, set on 28 January 2019 for Barnet's 3–3 draw with Brentford.

Background

Barnet F.C. chairman Anthony Kleanthous had sought to move the club from its long term home at Underhill Stadium since the 1990s due to the poor facilities at the ground. Various attempts to move to Barnet Copthall athletics stadium or to the greenbelt site directly to the south of Underhill were both unsuccessful, with then deputy prime minister John Prescott over-ruling a move to Copthall in 2001 after planning permission had initially been granted. [2]

Construction of a stadium at the Harrow council-owned Prince Edward Playing Fields in Canons Park had originally begun in early 2003, specifically intended as a new home for local non-league club Wealdstone F.C. In April 2004, with the building work more than 30% completed, Wealdstone F.C.'s investment partners in the project, a private company called Stadia Investment Group, went into liquidation and this caused the construction work at the site to be brought to a sudden halt due to a lack of funds to pay the builders. [3] With Wealdstone F.C. unable to afford the completion of the project on their own, there was no further progress at the site for two years.

The partially built stadium in 2005 Thehivestadium.jpg
The partially built stadium in 2005

Harrow London Borough Council then decided to place the lease for the site up for tender in 2006. Barnet F.C. bought the lease and with it the right to occupy the site, which they stated they would use purely as a training centre, and not as a new home stadium. It was a condition of the Harrow Council's tender offer that the stadium must be completed by the new lease holders for the use of Wealdstone F.C., but this failed to happen and Wealdstone F.C. received no recompense for their initial investment into the ground. [4]

Having used the surrounding site as a training centre for some years, Barnet F.C. eventually moved completely to the stadium in summer 2013, ostensibly as a result of a disagreement with Barnet London Borough Council with regards to the lease of the land surrounding their home since 1907, Underhill Stadium, [5] as well as the limited facilities at Underhill restricting the club's income. The awarding of the Barnet Copthall site to Saracens F.C., effectively ended Barnet F.C.'s hopes of ever moving to that site, accelerating the move to the Hive further. [6]

The club originally claimed they intended the use of the stadium at the Hive to be a temporary arrangement, with the long-term aim to build a 10,000-capacity stadium back in the London Borough of Barnet. However that changed in 2015 [7] with the chairman announcing the club would no longer actively search for a home elsewhere. [8] Initially there was a restriction on the lease of the Hive that prevented its use for Football League matches, however Barnet F.C. were granted a 10-year change to this condition which came into effect in June 2015. In 2018 Kleanthous purchased the freehold for the site from the London Borough of Harrow and so this restriction no longer applies.

The Hive

The Hive Stadium in April 2016 during a London Bees match London Bees's The Hive Stadium (03).jpg
The Hive Stadium in April 2016 during a London Bees match

A new training ground and centre of excellence for Barnet, which they named the Hive, was opened at the site by Trevor Brooking and the then England manager Fabio Capello in 2009. [9] In the years following this, other facilities at the 44-acre site, including a banqueting suite, bar and lounge as well as a gym open to the public and also used by the club's players, were opened.

The club officially announced their intention to depart Underhill in December 2011, and confirmed that the 2012/13 season would be their last at the ground. In February 2013, the Football League ratified Barnet's move to the new stadium at the Hive.

The stadium has gradually been developed by Barnet F.C. since the decision to move there, initially with extra seating in the original East stand, and the construction of a new West stand with a capacity of 2700 and two bars underneath. This was followed a couple of years later by a medical centre, a banqueting suite, and a new ticket office in the East stand, and in 2017 by a new 1890 capacity North stand for away fans with a large bar underneath.

London Broncos Rugby League

On 13 December 2013, it was confirmed that rugby league club London Broncos would move to the Hive for two seasons, commencing with the 2014 season. In round 2 of the 2014 Super League season Broncos played their first match at the Hive, against Salford Red Devils.

The record crowd for the Broncos in 2014 was against Super League giants Wigan Warriors where 2,013 were in attendance at the Hive. [10]

The Broncos left The Hive at the end of the 2015 season and moved to the Trailfinders Sports Ground in Ealing for 2016. [11]

Future

Some aspects of previous planned works are incomplete, a rear extension on the west stand is still expected to be built in the near future. On 6 November 2017 planning applications were submitted for the next phase of stadium development which will bring capacity up to 8,500. Also an application for the development of additional on-site sporting facilities including full size covered pitch for the academy and a sports hall behind the North stand providing seven badminton courts and a basketball court with spectator seating .

International matches

On 25 March 2015, the Hive hosted its first international fixture as England U20 drew 1–1 with Mexico U20. [12]

The Hive hosted Nigeria when they played against Senegal and Burkina Faso on 23 March 2017 and 27 March 2017, respectively. [13] However the game against Burkina Faso was cancelled due to seven of the players being unable to acquire visas in time. [14]

Due to its geographical proximity to Wembley Stadium, the Hive has been used as a base for several foreign international teams prior to playing against England, and was also selected as the venue to coordinate and coach the referees taking part in the 2012 Olympics football tournament.[ citation needed ]

On 28 March 2018 Nigeria played against Serbia in an international friendly, with Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring twice for Serbia in a 2–0 win. [15]

Nigeria national football team

23 March 2017 Friendly Nigeria  Flag of Nigeria.svg1–1Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal London, England
Report
Stadium: The Hive Stadium
Attendance: 2,013
Referee: Anthony Taylor (England)
27 March 2017 Friendly Nigeria  Flag of Nigeria.svgCanceledFlag of Burkina Faso.svg  Burkina Faso London, England
Report Stadium: The Hive Stadium
27 March 2018 Friendly Nigeria  Flag of Nigeria.svg0–2Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia London, England
22:00 (GMT, UTC±0) Report Mitrović Soccerball shade.svg 68', 81'Stadium: The Hive Stadium
Attendance: 3,500
Referee: Craig Pawson (England)

Transport

Canons Park (400m) and Queensbury (600m) are the nearest tube stations to the Hive. Both are on the Jubilee line. Journey times are approximately 25 minutes to Baker Street and 35 minutes to London Bridge.

Edgware at the end of the Northern line is around 25 minutes walk away.

Bus routes 79, 186, 288 and 340 all serve the stadium.

See also

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References

  1. "Stadium". Barnet Football Club.
  2. "Working together. A vision of the future in partnership with the London Borough of Barnet, for the benefit of the community" (PDF). Archived from the original on 9 November 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2013.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. Harrow Times https://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/493609.stones-crisis-explained/.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. "A Brief History Of Wealdstone's Legacy At Prince Edward Playing Fields". Under the League.
  5. "Barnet resolve to leave Underhill and find a new ground". BBC.
  6. "Barnet FC blasts council on Copthall stadium plans". BBC.
  7. "Barnet FC chairman Tony Kleanthous confirms former Underhill Stadium has been sold to Education Funding Agency". Harrow Times.
  8. "Barnet: Football League ratifies move to The Hive". BBC.
  9. Kirk, Tristan (15 December 2009). "England boss to open Barnet FC training ground". Harrow Times. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  10. "London Broncos: Super League side agree Barnet groundshare". BBC.
  11. "London Broncos to make Ealing home". londonbroncosrl.com.
  12. "ENGLAND U20S STAY HOT FROM THE SPOT TO BEAT MEXICO". Football Association. 25 March 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  13. Okeleji, Oluwashina (27 February 2017). "Nigeria to play friendlies in London". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  14. Okeleji, Oluwashina (25 March 2017). "Nigeria friendly with Burkina Faso cancelled". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  15. "Nigeria 0-2 Serbia: Hot talking points". ESPN. 28 March 2018. Retrieved 15 February 2020.