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'It's got such a nice feel to it' - Allianz Park celebrates first birthday
Rugby players toasted a “fantastic” year at their lively new stadium as it celebrated its milestone first anniversary.
Allianz Park, in Champions Way, Mill Hill, has become more than just a sports ground in the year it has been open - attracting athletes, schools and even disabled groups to its facilities.
The stadium is home to Saracens rugby team, who have vowed the centre will remain “lively and vibrant” for years to come.
Director Gordon Banks said: “It’s a very lively place. It’s going such an amazing atmosphere to it and there’s always something gong on.
“We’re proud of all we have achieved. At the start, we set out to develop a genuine community stadium and that’s exactly what we’ve done.
“It has been a fantastic year and I’m looking forward to many more to come.”
Every day, the pitch is abuzz with the laughter and screams of children who use the pitch for their school PE lessons and summer sports days free of charge.
It also hosts dance lessons for over 50s and sports sessions for severely autistic 14 to 24-years-olds, who come from far and wide to attend.
Saracens 23-10 win against the Exeter Chiefs during a home match on Sunday, which ended in a fireworks display, was a perfect way to toast their first year at the stadium.
Hungry rugby fans have gobbled 16,735 pies during games, and washed it down with 2752 pints of Saracens ales.
And the team have scored 645 home tries and averaged 35.8 points per game when playing at home.
Mr Banks added: “You walk in and you’re suddenly inspired to put on a tracksuit and run into the pitch. It’s got such a nice feel to it - I love that.”