The UK’s first dedicated football stadium for women is in discussions to be built at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. Scarborough Group International has submitted a planning application for a 3,900-capacity stadium, which would become the new home of Sheffield United Women Football Club.
Designing the £5 million (US$6.5m, €5.6m) Stadium will be Whittam Cox Architects, supported by Arup Sheffield. It will feature a single grandstand, housing hospitality and conferencing facilities, as well as office space.
“We’re looking forward to working with all Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park stakeholders as we deliver the Community Stadium,” said Mark Jackson at Scarborough Group. “This will be the start of an important phase in realising the vision of the Park, bringing forward significant private sector investment. We plan to start on site as soon as possible, once we have finalised the necessary documentation with Sheffield City Council.”
The plans for a dedicated women’s football stadium come two months after Sheffield United Football Club rebranded its female team as Sheffield United Women, ditching the old ‘Sheffield United Ladies’ name. The club said the name change “reflects the club’s position as an emerging presence within the women’s game”.
“The owners, board and everyone associated with the club were in favour of the change, as the excitement continues to build about seeing the women’s team mirror the men’s team in playing in the second-tier next season,” said Sheffield United’s chief operating officer, Andrew Birks. “It’s a decision we feel is right to reflect the modern times of the women’s game and we are focused on having an identity and brand consistency when promoting ourselves within the women’s game.”
The 60-acre Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park already houses the English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EISS), iceSheffield, Don Valley Bowl, Oasis Academy Don Valley, UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park campus, 3G pitch and park environment including Outdoor City Run Routes, cycle paths and green open spaces.