KC Stadium
The KC Stadium, often shortened to the KC, is a multi-purpose facility in the city of Kingston upon Hull (Hull), England. Conceived as early as the late 1990s, it was completed in 2002 at a cost of approximately £44 million. It is named after the stadium's sponsors, telecommunications provider KC, formerly Kingston Communications, a subsidiary of the KCOM Group. The stadium is owned by Hull City Council and operated by the Stadium Management Company (SMC), who are looking to expand the stadium up to 32,000. The bowl-shaped stadium contains a continuous single tier of seats with a second tier on the west side. Its current capacity is 25,404. The stadium accommodates fans of its two tenants, association football club Hull City A.F.C., which moved there from Boothferry Park, and rugby league football club Hull, relocated from the Boulevard. The ground also hosts international association football and rugby league football competitions and acts as a venue for concerts by musical artists, such as Elton John and The Who.

History
The idea of a new stadium for Kingston upon Hull was first mooted in 1997, but funds to finance such a project only became available when the city council sold a portion of its holdings in Kingston Communications. The council provided most of the funds, more than £42 million, with the rest stemming from government single regeneration budget grants and from the Football Stadium Improvement Fund. The council appointed John Topliss to head the stadium construction project. He and his team partnered with consulting firm Drivers Jonas to explore preliminary issues such as stadium location, seating capacity, and facilities offered. Stated Mr. Topliss: "We had a totally blank canvas and, working with consultants, made a thorough assessment of what was needed." The project team considered over a dozen sites, inside and outside of the city, before settling on The Circle in West Park. Factors contributing to the decision include transport guidance, central government planning guidelines, existing athletic facilities, isolation from residential areas, and council ownership. The final recommendation of Drivers Jonas included additional facilities for both indoor and outdoor sports for the people of West Hull in addition to the main stadium, planned to seat from 25,000 to 30,000 spectators. Professional services firm Arup Associates provided initial concept proposals for the stadium. The Miller Partnership, an architectural and interior design firm, adopted these proposals during the stadium's design. In spite of a number of obstacles during the course of the project, including Hull City A.F.C.'s receivership in 2001 (just after the granting of planning permission), the stadium complex was completed on time (in fourteen months) and on budget (at approximately GB£44 million). The stadium opened its doors on 18 December 2002. Hull City beat Sunderland A.F.C. 1”“0 in a friendly match to mark the occasion. Steve Melton scored the goal, the first at the KC Stadium.

Structure and facilities

The all-seater stadium consists of a single-tier, asymmetrical bowl that can seat approximately 20,000, with a second tier on the Forest Pines West Stand that can seat approximately 5,000. Current capacity is 25,404. Plans provide for future expansion to a capacity of approximately 30,000 by the addition of a second tier on the Arco East Stand. Each stand has a name for corporate sponsorship purposes. On 29 July 2010, Hull City revealed that the stadium's west stand would be sponsored by the local Forest Pines Hotel & Golf Resort under a new agreement. Corporate hospitality is provided by 28 executive boxes located between the two tiers of the Forest Pines Hotel West Stand, while security of the stadium is handled using 57 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras that cover the stadium. Over the summer of 2007, SMC installed an LED screen in the Smith & Nephew North Stand to replace the old electronic scoreboard. The screen has an area of approximately 40 m² (430 ft.²) and displays such content as live home game feeds, match highlights, interviews, and action replays. The stadium's seats are mostly black, with a band of white and amber seats around the circumference. White and amber seats form the word Hull in the north and south stands. In the Ideal Standard East Stand, the seats form an image of a coronet, a symbol of the city that also appears in the club crest for Hull and in the coat of arms of the city council. Black, white, and amber were chosen in order to remain neutral toward the colours of its two tenants: black and white for Hull and black and amber for Hull City A.F.C. The blue and gold of owner Hull City Council appear in the stadium's four external columns. The size of the playing surface is 114 x 74 metres (125 x 81 yd) and made of rye grass with a 3% additive of artificial grass. This provides ample room for a FIFA-regulation association football pitch of 105 x 68 metres (115 x 74 yd) and a standard rugby league football pitch of 100 x 68 metres (109 x 74 yd). The playing surface has an automated watering system and below-surface heating. Set within Hull's West Park, the stadium is the first in England to be built in a parkland setting. The stadium complex also includes the 1,500 seat Bonus Arena, a skate park, two multi-use all weather pitches, a community learning zone complete with classrooms, a health & fitness suite, a cyber cafe, and a library. The KC Stadium has received several honours. It was named the chief new development in Yorkshire at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Pro-Yorkshire Awards It was also on the shortlist for the Prime Minister's Award for Better Public Building and received a high commendation in the British Construction Industry Awards in the Best Value category. In a 2005 poll that was carried out by Drivers Jonas and decided by football fans from across the country, the KC Stadium was rated highest in comfort, services and view among all grounds in the Football League and was also rated the most-improved venue.

Tenants

Hull City A.F.C.
The stadium replaced Boothferry Park as home to Hull City A.F.C., and was the backdrop for the club's recent climb through the English Football League. It first hosted the club's home games during the second half of the 2002”“03 season; the first competitive match was against Hartlepool United, a game that Hull City won by a score of 2”“0. Hull City, nicknamed the Tigers, attracted an average attendance of almost 17,000 in their first full season at the KC Stadium, 2003”“04. This figure is more than three times the average Third Division attendance for that season, and was only matched or exceeded by clubs in the Premier League and the First Division. However, the level of support was not matched by on-field performances; the Tigers finished 13th in their first season at the KC Stadium. However, in 2003”“04 (their first full season at the new ground), Hull won promotion as Third Division runners-up, securing their place in the newly-named League One (previously the Second Division). A second successive promotion to the Championship, again as runners-up, followed in 2004”“05. Attendances for Hull City's league games at the KC Stadium have averaged above 16,000 in each full season they have played there. The stadium hosted Premier League football in the 2008”“09 and 2009-10 seasons, with all 20,500 available season tickets selling out shortly after Hull City's Championship play-off victory at Wembley Stadium. The record attendance for a Premier League match is 25,030 set on 9 May 2010 for the last match of the season against Liverpool beating the previous record of 25,023 set on 13 March 2010 against Arsenal. While playing in the Championship, the record stood at 24,350 on 26 April 2008 for the visit of Crystal Palace, beating that of 24,311 on 30 January 2007 for the visit of local rivals Leeds United. Segregation between home fans and away fans prevents the stadium's stated capacity from being reached. Plans were drawn up for the potential extension of the stadium following Hull City's promotion to the Premier League. 4,500 seats could be added in a second tier to the east stand, and 2,000 seats each in the north and south stands, giving the stadium a capacity of approximately 34,000. In 2011 the new Tigers owner Assem Allam stated that he wants to buy the stadium from the current owners Hull City Council and expand it to a capacity of around 38,000.

Hull FC
Hull play their home games at the stadium, having relocated from the Boulevard. During their time at the KC Stadium, they have consistently ended each season on a high note: in 2003, the team just missed play-off qualification; in 2004, the club finished third. They finished fourth in 2005, and enjoyed even greater success in the Challenge Cup, in which they beat the Leeds Rhinos in the final. Hull FC reached the Super League Grand Final in 2006. Attendances average around 14,000, but are often well above that figure when the club hosts local rivals Hull Kingston Rovers, this local derby producing a record crowd of 23,004 for the 2 September 2007 fixture.

Other sporting events
The stadium has hosted several England Under-21s association football games; in fact, a crowd of 25,280 attended one under-21 match between England and the Netherlands in early 2004. The KC Stadium is now also a regular venue for international rugby league games, and has hosted Great Britain matches in both the Tri-Nations and the Ashes competitions. The stadium hosted the 2004 Tri-Nations match in which New Zealand lost by a score of 26”“24. The stadium also hosted the Tri-Nations game between Great Britain and Australia in 2005; the final score was 26”“14 to Australia. In 2009, the KC Stadium was shortlisted as a possible venue for games at the 2018 FIFA World Cup should England win the right to host it, but when the list of venues was announced on 16 December that year, the KC Stadium was not included.

Concerts
As well as serving as a sporting venue, the KC Stadium also hosts musical events, including such artists as Sir Elton John, Bryan Adams, R.E.M., Bon Jovi, and The Who.

Stand names and capacities Stand Location Capacity Smith & Nephew North 4,000 Arco East 6,000 MKM South 4,000 Forest Pines Hotel Lower West 6,000 Upper West 5,000 Hull City A.F.C. average attendances Season League Attendance 2009”“10 Premier League 24,390 2008”“09 Premier League 24,816 2007”“08 Championship 18,024 2006”“07 Championship 18,583 2005”“06 Championship 19,841 2004”“05 League One 18,027 2003”“04 Division Three 16,846 Hull FC average attendances Season Attendance 2010 13,731 2009 13,244 2008 13,432 2007 14,606 2006 10,866 2005 10,604 2004 11,458 2003 11,598

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