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Top Facts about Loftus Road, The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium

Tue 15 February 2022 | 14:30

Stadiums are the heart of football where all fans gather together and cheer their team. Today we are going to read about one of this stadiums in Sportmob's top facts about Loftus Road.

If footballers are stars, stadiums are their sky! Today, we are going to read about one of these skies in our Top Facts about Loftus Road. Loftus Road, since 2019, known as the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, is an all-seater football stadium in White City, London, England, and the home of Queens Park Rangers. It was the first stadium in British professional football to install an Omniturf artificial pitch in 1981. This was used until 1988 when it was replaced with a natural grass pitch.

While Craven Cottage was closed for redevelopment, rugby union team London Wasps shared the ground with QPR from 1996 to 2002, and Premier League football club

Fulham

shared it from 2002 to 2004. AFC Wimbledon shared the ground during the 2020–2021 season while they awaited the completion of their own stadium in Merton.

The Jamaican and Australian national football teams are among the stadium's other users. Barry McGuigan won the World Boxing Association featherweight championship at the stadium in 1985, defeating Eusebio Pedroza.

The club granted the stadium's naming rights to The Kiyan Prince Foundation, a charity founded in memory of former QPR junior player Kiyan Prince, on June 7, 2019, and the stadium was renamed the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium. Now let's start our fact hunting in Sportmob's 

Top Facts about Loftus Road

.

Here we go! Top Facts about Loftus Road

Let us start the Top Facts about Loftus Road with some quick facts about this stadium. These quick facts will help us find interesting stories trough out the article.

  • Full name:

    Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium

  • Location:

    White City, London, W12 England

  • Public transit:

    London Underground White City

  • Owner:

    Queens Park Rangers Football & Athletic Club Ltd

  • Capacity:

    18,439

  • Record attendance:

    35,353 including standing Queens Park Rangers v. Leeds United, 27 April 1974; 19,002 all-seated Queens Park Rangers v. Manchester City, 6 November 1999

  • Field size:

    112 by 72 yards,102 by 66 m

  • Surface:

    Grass

  • Scoreboard:

    Electronic

  • Built:

    1904

  • Opened:

    1904

 Loftus Road History

Let's start the

Top Facts about Loftus Road

with some stories about the stadium's past. Shepherd's Bush, an amateur team that was disbanded during the First World War, played on the ground for the first time on October 11, 1904. After having their ground at Park Royal seized by the troops in 1915, QPR relocated to Loftus Road in 1917.

The site was an open field with a pavilion at the time. In 1919, one of Park Royal's stands was removed and re-erected as the Ellerslie Road stand. Until 1968, this stand was the only covered seating in the stadium, and it was replaced in 1972. It could hold 2,950 people.

QPR relocated from Loftus Road to White City Stadium for the start of the 1931–32 season, however after a £7,000 loss, the team returned for the start of the 1933–34 season. A second covered terrace for 6,000 spectators was built by Framed Structures Ltd at the Loftus Road end in 1938, bringing the total ground capacity to 30,000.

The Rt Hon Herbert Morrison, the senior Labour MP and future wartime Home Secretary opened it at the match against

Crystal Palace

on October 29. It cost £7,000 (with £1,500 contributed by the QPR Supporters Club). The covered section of the terracing was concreted at this time, with the uncovered section concreted later in 1945.

After winning the Third Division (South) championship in April 1948, the club purchased the freehold of the stadium as well as 39 residences on Loftus Road and Ellerslie Road for £26,250, financed by £30,000 share floatation. The houses had to be sold when the club's finances were in jeopardy in the late 1950s.

For the first time on October 5, 1953, floodlights were turned on at Loftus Road for a friendly match versus Arsenal. The original floodlights were replaced by much taller floodlight pylons in the summer of 1966. These were replaced with modern floodlights in the summer of 1980.

In the 1962–63 season, QPR tried again to move to White City Stadium, but after less than a complete season, they returned to Loftus Road. To replace the original open terracing, the South Africa Road stand was built in the summer of 1968 at a cost of £150,000.

The tin-roofed grandstand erected in 1919 was replaced by a new stand along Ellerslie Road in 1972, which was initially used in the match against

Oxford United

on December 2, 1972. The television gantry was moved in the opposite direction, while the changing rooms and offices were relocated to South Africa Road.

The stadium's highest recorded attendance of 35,353 was on April 27, 1974, during a match versus Leeds United. The South Africa Road stand's paddock was converted from terracing to seating with the installation of 4,600 seats the following summer, bringing the stadium's capacity down to 31,002 for the final home match of the 1975/6 season against

Leeds United

on April 24, 1976.

Loftus Road Development

Development and adapting is another story that we are going to read about in the Top Facts about Loftus Road.In the summer of 1981, an Omniturf artificial pitch was built at Loftus Road, making it the first of its kind in British professional football.

The surface was not universally praised, with QPR goalkeeper Peter Hucker characterizing it as "essentially a bit of carpet over two feet of concrete" and stating that diving onto it as a goalkeeper would result in "near to third-degree burns because the pitch would totally pull the skin off."

Rangers were defeated 1-2 by Luton Town in the first league match played on the new surface on September 1, 1981. QPR reached two cup finals and won the Second Division during the period when the Omniturf surface was erected at Loftus Road, which detractors argued was due to the advantage the pitch provided, while QPR's home games in the 1984–85 UEFA Cup were played at

Arsenal's

Highbury Stadium.

It was alleged that manager Terry Venables would allow opponents to train on the pitch when it was dry, then purposefully dampen the pitch before kickoff so that the ball would play differently than expected. Because of football legislation, it was removed in April 1988 and replaced with grass. Only three other league stadiums in the country featured a plastic pitch, and all of them had been demolished by 1994.

New stands were built at the School End in the summer of 1980, and at the Loftus Road end a year later. Executive boxes were installed in the bottom tier of the South Africa Road stand and the artificial pitch was constructed at the same time as the new Loftus Road stand was being built.

The stadium had a capacity of 27,000 people at the time, and it was one of Britain's most sophisticated and advanced stadiums, having been totally rebuilt over a 13-year period from 1968 to 1981. With the addition of seating in the lower Loftus Road stand in the summer of 1994, the Loftus Road ground became an all-seater stadium. The last time home fans were permitted to see a game from the terracing was against Everton on April 16, 1994.

Loftus Road sad story?

Only a few seasons after its formation in 1996, the Loftus Road Group, which owns QPR, London Wasps, and the stadium, plunged into the red in the late 1990s. When Queens Park Rangers went into administration in 2001, there were fears that the team and the stadium would have to be sold separately.

Commercial purchasers and housing developers were both interested. A supporters' trust was formed to help keep the team at Loftus Road and to resist the proposed move to Milton Keynes.

A merger between QPR and another London club

Wimbledon

was also suggested, with the newly amalgamated team playing at Loftus Road, however, this plan was dropped after receiving negative feedback from supporters. In exchange for a ground-sharing deal, while Craven Cottage was being developed, QPR's long-time local rivals Fulham paid £1 million in 2002 to help alleviate the financial woes.

When non-league football club Yeading met Premiership powerhouse Newcastle United in the third round of the 2005 FA Cup, Loftus Road became their temporary home. Yeading took the decision because they believed their home stadium could not adequately separate the supporters. Yeading went on to lose the match 2–0 despite holding out for fifty minutes.

Loftus Road Stadium was renamed the 'Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium' on 7 June 2019, following nominations and a fan vote from a shortlist, in honor of former QPR youth squad member Kiyan Prince, who was fatally stabbed in 2006. Let's talk about the future in the next part of the Top Facts about Loftus Road.

 Loftus Road Stepping into future

Following years of speculation about whether the club would expand the stadium's capacity or relocate to a new site in the event of a return to the Premier League, chairman Tony Fernandes announced on November 28, 2011, that the club was looking into relocating to a new site in West London to build a larger stadium. The stadium's current capacity is 18,439.

In March 2006, director Antonio Caliendo recommended an area near the BBC Television Centre as a prospective site for a new commerce and leisure complex, while then QPR manager Luigi De Canio indicated in 2008 that the team has to leave the stadium in order to achieve its goals.

In August 2013, QPR began talks with Hammersmith and Fulham Council about moving into a new stadium, rumored to be on the outskirts of Old Oak Common, and announced in December that they would be departing Loftus Road for the short journey across west London.

These plans were thwarted in July 2014, after the club's current tenants, Car Giant suggested the club's plans were "speculative and presumptuous." New Queens Park was supposed to be the name.

Loftus Road Facilities

The stadium can hold 18,439 people. The Loftus Road End (also known as The Loft), Ellerslie Road Stand, South Africa Road Stand, and the School End are the four stands. The Loftus Road End (also known as The Loft), Ellerslie Road Stand, South Africa Road Stand, and the School End are the four stands. The Loftus Road End (also known as The Loft), Ellerslie Road Stand, South Africa Road Stand, and the School End are the four stands.

In comparison to many other stadiums, spectators are much closer to the pitch because of the stadium's size. There are no gaps between the four contemporary stands, providing the impression of a tightly contained stadium. With the exception of the Ellerslie Road Stand, all of the stands feature two levels.

The largest of the four stands is the South Africa Road stand. It's a two-tiered stand that features The Paddocks and is separated from the upper-tier by a row of executive boxes. The dugouts, locker rooms, executive suites, tunnel, club offices, club shop, box office, and press conference rooms are all located there.

The Paddocks section of the ground is the cheapest, while the upper tier is the most costly. Here you'll find the exclusive W12 and C Clubs. The Loft is a two-tiered stand behind the goal that was built in 1981 and is where most members and season ticket holders sit. In the summer of 2012, the lowest tier was converted into a Family Stand.

The third most costly stand to sit in is this one. In the second half, QPR usually assaults this end because it is seen to be lucky. This stand houses the members' bar in the ground, The Blue and White Bar, as well as the police crowd observation box. On the advertising boards between the upper and lower tiers, a new color scoreboard was built in the summer of 2008.

The Ellerslie Road Stand, which was renovated in 1972, is continuously renamed and sponsored, yet it is still referred to as the Ellerslie Road Stand by QPR supporters. It's a single-tiered stand with the shortest height, but not in terms of loudness or capacity.

It's also the only stand that doesn't have blue and white hoops painted on it; instead, "QPR" is painted across it. It houses the famed "R Block," as well as the Loft's Q and P blocks, where QPR's partisans congregate. In addition to the Loft, this stand generates most of the noise.

Because of the perspective and atmosphere, this stand is a favorite of some fans. This is the stand with the second-highest price tag. The commentary and television camera gantry are also located here.

The School End, located at the stadium's west end, has been completely sat since the Taylor Report in 1990. The Upper Tier has 1,850 seats that are reserved for away fans during league matches, with away clubs being relegated to the bottom tier if demand warrants.

Other uses for Loftus Road

Of course, other uses of stadiums are interesting! So, we are going to talk about them in this part of the Top Facts about Loftus Road. From September 1996 to the conclusion of the 2001–02 season, Loftus Road was the home of professional rugby union team London Wasps, who relocated from their previous home in Sudbury, Middlesex, as part of the Chris Wright takeover of both Wasps and QPR.

In their first season at Loftus Road, Wasps won the English Premiership. It was part of a seven-year ground-sharing agreement arranged by Chris Wright, who had recently purchased Wasps just as rugby union became professional.

Wasps decided to relocate to Wycombe Wanderers' Adams Park facility at the end of the 2001–02 season in order to rent the ground to Fulham F.C. for two seasons between 2002 and 2004 while Craven Cottage was undergoing renovations.

It was Fulham's chosen temporary venue, with West Ham's Upton Park being recommended as an alternative. Wasps had the option of returning, but they chose not to do so once Fulham left. The finals of the British Universities and College Sport football tournaments have also been held there.

The facility has also hosted boxing in the past, with the most noteworthy bout being a WBA featherweight championship bout between Irishman Barry McGuigan and Panamanian Eusebio Pedroza on 8 June 1985 in front of a sold-out crowd of 27,000 fans.

For the evening, the stadium was transformed into a little bit of Ireland, with tickets for Ireland's Saturday Night on sale and a man dressed as a leprechaun dancing around the ring before the main event.

McGuigan knocked down the Panamanian in the seventh round en route to a unanimous decision victory: Pedroza was defending his championship for the nineteenth round, and Ireland had not had a boxing world champion in 35 years. On May 10, 1975, the band Yes gave a concert at the stadium, which was recorded and broadcast on The Old Grey Whistle Test.

International Usage

 

Two England B internationals were played at Loftus Road. The first was a 2 - 0 victory over France B in 1992, while the second was a 4 - 1 victory over Russia-2 in 1998. It was the first 'neutral' stadium to capitalize on the opportunity to stage an international friendly involving teams other than England.

In March 1998, QPR lost 2–1 against the Jamaican national team in a testimonial match for Simon Barker, and the national team returned to Loftus Road in 2002 to play Nigeria, losing 1–0. Because UEFA had forbidden Israel from staging home games on its own land due to security concerns, Israel asked to play their Euro 2004 qualification match against

Cyprus

.

The application was denied since there were already five scheduled matches over the span of thirteen days because QPR was sharing Loftus Road with Fulham at the time. On July 23, 2005, QPR hosted the Iranian national team in a pre-season friendly.

In an international friendly on November 14, 2006, Australia drew 1–1 with Ghana at the venue. At Loftus Road in 2007, Denmark defeated Australia 3–1. In 2008, Australia played South Africa in another friendly match at Loftus Road, which ended 2–2. On March 3, 2010, South Korea defeated Ivory Coast 2–0 at Loftus Road.

The 2015 Saudi Super Cup was held at Loftus Road between Al Nassr and Al Hilal, and it was the first time the competition was conducted outside of Saudi Arabia. Two rugby league internationals were held at the venue.

The first was a 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations match between

Australia

and New Zealand, which Australia won 32-16 on Saturday, October 23, 2004. The other was a 2005 Rugby League Tri-Nations match between Great Britain and New Zealand, which New Zealand won 42 - 26 on October 29, 2005. Thanks for reading Sportmob's 

Top Facts about Loftus Road

.

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