Parc y Scarlets
Parc y Scarlets is a rugby union stadium in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, that opened in November 2008 as the new home of the Scarlets and Llanelli RFC. The ground replaced Stradey Park, the home of Llanelli's rugby teams for almost 130 years. The stadium complex includes facilities for matchday supporters and for non-matchday revenue generation, as well as a training barn and a training pitch with athletics track.
Design and construction
The ground was built by Port Talbot based Andrew Scott Limited on a site owned by Carmarthenshire County Council, next to a new retail park featuring stores such as Morrisons. The stadium was designed by specialist sports stadia architects, The Miller Partnership, whose designs include Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. Structural steelwork for the development was provided by Rowecord Engineering of Newport.
The stands have a slight curvature to allow for better views. The stadium's main stand, on the south side of the ground, contain the club's shop and museum, the ticket office, a large sports bar (called "The Delme Thomas"), the players' gym and changing rooms on the ground floor, while the upper floors is provided with eating and drinking areas.
Having previously been known by the provisional title of "Pemberton Stadium", the stadium's official name – Parc y Scarlets – was announced on 20 May 2008. The approach to the main stand is known as the "Ray Gravell Legends Walkway" paved with bricks naming each Llanelli RFC and Scarlets player to have played for Wales. A statue of Ray Gravell is erected outside the stadium, while other Llanelli legends are honoured in the naming of other of the stadium's facilities, with the museum known as the "Ken Jones Museum", while the various executive lounges are named after Carwyn James, Phil Bennett and the Quinnell family.
Parc y Scarlets officially opened on 15 November to Llanelli RFC who played the first match at the stadium in a 32–3 win over Cardiff RFC in the Principality Premiership. The match was held before a crowd limited to a maximum of 4,000 due to laws that require a stadium to host three events at restricted capacity before it can be authorised for its full capacity. The Scarlets hosted their first match at Parc y Scarlets on 28 November against Munster in the Magners League with capacity limited to 9,000. The Scarlets' first Heineken Cup match in the new stadium was on 12 December against Ulster, with a capacity limit of 11,000. The official opening ceremony was held on 31 January 2009 when the Scarlets hosted the Barbarians, defeating them 40–24.