So far in our ‘Meet the Venue’ series, we’ve shared insights into some of our favourite locations, including the Royal Albert Hall, the SEC and dock10. Continuing with what is turning out to be a popular theme, we’re going to take a closer look at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, where Gallowglass event crew in Cardiff and the Midlands have been hard at work this year for the venue’s spring and summer events programme.
Name(s): Principality Stadium, formerly known as the Millennium Stadium
Age: 19 years old
Location: Westgate Street, Cardiff, Wales
Capacity: 74,500 – 78,000
Principality Stadium was built to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup, costing a grand total of £121 million. It’s the national stadium of Wales and home to the National Welsh Rugby Union Team, where all home fixtures are played on the 9,480 m2 pitch. However, it’s not just rugby that’s enjoyed by so many thousands at this venue; a plethora of other experiences take place here, including association football, boxing, motor sports, concerts, conferences, film and music events.
In 2014, the pitch was given a £3.1 million investment - in a hybrid pitch, which blends grass with artificial fibres to create a more stable and versatile surface for all event types.
Seating 74,500, this grand venue is the third biggest in the Six Nations Championships and features an innovative retractable roof. For certain events, additional seating has been provided, with the record standing at 78,000 for the Antony Joshua vs. Carlos Takam fight in October 2017.
Although opened as the Millennium Stadium, 2015 saw the Welsh Rugby Union sign a 10-year sponsorship deal in partnership with the Principality Building Society, meaning that the stadium is now officially known as Principality Stadium.
Gallowglass at Principality Stadium:
Gallowglass have been providing crew to Principality Stadium since 2017, primarily laying and removing the hybrid playing surface to cater for the needs of each event. This often involves incredibly tight deadlines, so speed and efficiency from our crews are essential for the events to run smoothly. This task is tackled by two teams of 18, with the Antony Joshua vs. Carlos Takem fight having the pitch changed from rugby pitch to boxing arena and back again in just five days.
In the last 12 months, Gallowglass event crew have put in over 7,750 hours of support for a number of high-profile music and sporting events. So far this year, we’ve already worked on Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and the Rolling Stones concerts, as well as the Monster Jam motor event, where 12ft trucks with 66-inch tyres thrilled the audiences in the Stadium. July also saw our event crew in Cardiff working hard on the British FIM Speedway Grand Prix, and there’s plenty more to come towards the end of the year too!
Not only do our crews work on laying the pitch, but they also provide general logistics support to ensure that the pedestrian traffic flow is managed, without blocking any of the essential access points into and within the venue.
The Facilities and Safety Manager of the Welsh Rugby Union Group, Darren Crossman, commented:
“Our initial introduction to the Gallowglass Group came during the run-up to the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final, when sister company Gallowglass Health and Safety was appointed to oversee the overlay build process. We’ve been impressed by the support that Gallowglass are providing. Everyone who comes into contact with them, or uses their services is nothing but complimentary. They have made a real impression here at the Stadium.”
Keep an eye on the blog to see which venue we’ll be homing-in on next!
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