The DW Stadium
(formerly the JJB Stadium)
Best viewed 800 x 600 resolution
The JJB Stadium staged its first game on Sunday 1st August 1999 when Latics played hosts in a friendly to Morecambe. A crowd of 4,020 turned up to see this first game which ended goalless amidst a torrential downpour.
The official opening by Sir Alex Ferguson took place 3 days later on the evening of Tuesday 4th August 1999, when a Manchester United team which included David Beckham, Phil Neville, Dwight Yorke, Jordi Cruyff and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were the visitors. The honour of scoring the first goal at the stadium went to Paul Scholes, and United won 2-0. With the East Stand unavailable due to work still being completed, a near-capacity crowd of 13,428 watched.
The first competitive game took place on Saturday 7th August 1999, when Latics beat newly promoted Scunthorpe 3-0 before a crowd of 7,418. Such was the interest that the kick-off had to be delayed for 15 minutes to ease the congestion outside the ground. Simon Haworth became the first Latics player to score at the new stadium.
For a good quiz question it could be noted that the first "away" team to win a competitive match at the JJB Stadium were....Wigan Athletic. They beat non-League Cambridge City in the FA Cup 1st Round on 30 October 1999. They were technically the away team (and in fact wore an all-gold change strip), as the game had been switched from Cambridge's ground which had been deemed unsuitable to host the tie. Many sites (Wikipedia and significantly Latics own official site) state that Latics used the away dressing room that day. They didn't!! I know - I was in the tunnel. And Latics insisted on using their normal dressing room.
I suppose I have to mention here that Wigan Warriors Rugby League team played their first game at the stadium on 19th September 1999 in a Championship play-off tie against Castleford Tigers, who won the game 14-10.
The stadium has been filled to capacity (officially 25,004) for a couple of rugby internationals (GB v Australia) and for Warriors v Saints at Easter 2005 (despite obvious empty seats!), but Latics reached the Holy Grail of a full house for the Premiership game with Arsenal on 19 November 2005.
The limit has been pushed since, and the ground record now stands at 25,133 on 11 May 2008 when Manchester United won the Premier League title and were presented with the trophy at the stadium.
The stadium has a capacity of 25,135. There are four stands, imaginatively called the North, West, South and East stands.
The stands' capacities are:
The pitch measures 110 x 60 meters.
The North Stand for away fans - If you're visiting the stadium with your team
then you can work out from here where your seat will be
The views from each of the stands is superb, and in 2005/6 home supporters moved into the East Stand which formerly held the away support. A new supporters bar was promised under the stand, but never materialised.
The East Stand
The South Stand is now the Family Stand, home of JJ's clubs for the kids. Under the South Stand is the Blue Chip Members Bar.
The South Stand
The West Stand is home to many of the long-standing season ticket holders. It is the only stand in the ground that doesn't carry the letters JJB.
The West Stand
Behind the seating for the fans and the directors, is a suite of executive boxes and a TV gantry and TV studio second to none in the country.
The West Stand TV Studio
The stadium has comfort and facilities for the fans, while at the same time having style to please the most pedantic of architectural critics.
The corner of the North and West Stands
It certainly is a great change from Springfield Park!!
The North and East Stands
The imposing view of the stadium on the approach from the retail park
From 1 August 2009 the stadium was renamed the DW Stadium after JJB's naming rights expired and Dave Whelan gave the stadium the name of his DW Sports Fitness company.