DW Stadium: Wigan Athletic

Loire Drive, Wigan, Greater Manchester, England, WN5 0UH
Dan Farrimond / Flickr.com

Wigan Athletic are one of the youngest clubs in the Football League, formed as they were in 1932. For the majority of that time they played their games at Springfield Park, but when it was decided that that old ground was no longer up to task it became clear that the club would either have to move elsewhere or revamp the place. Plans to do just that had actually been mooted as early as 1986, with numerous ideas getting as far as the planning permission stage before being abandoned.

A move to the now demolished Robin Park Stadium was considered until Wigan Council announced that they would be looking to build a new ground with Wigan Warriors, the rugby league team. When Stephen Gage sold the club to Dave Whelan in 1995 it became clear that the most sensible decision would be for the football club to join forces with their rugby counterparts in order to build a state-of-the-art multi-purpose stadium that all of the city could enjoy.

Stats

DW Stadium Stats
Year Opened1999
Capacity25,133
Average Attendance11,722
Record Attendance25,133 (Wigan v Man United (2008))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
NicknameThe DW
Former NameJJB Stadium, Wigan Athletic Stadium
OwnerWigan Football Company Ltd
SponsorDWSportsfitness
Clubs HostedWigan Athletic, Wigan Warriors, Orrell RUFC
First FixtureWigan v Morecombe (01/08/1999)
Wigan Athletic Stats
Year Founded1932
NicknameThe Latics
Club MascotStripey the Laticat
Rivals Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End, Bury, Oldham Athletic, Burnley, Blackburn Rovers
Previous StadiumsSpringfield Park
KitBlue & White (Home) / Black (Away) / Green (Third)
Training GroundEuxton Training Ground
Shirt SponsorInter Sport
Team OwnerDave Whelan
Record GoalscorerAndy Liddell (70)
Record AppearancesKevin Langley (317)

DW Stadium Photos

DW Stadium Seating Plan & Where to Sit

The DW Stadium is very much built in the ‘English Style’ of having four distinct stands that run along the sides and ends of the pitch. Here is a little bit of information about each of them:

  • The North Stand - This is behind one of the goals and is normally dedicated to the away supporters. It is a single-tiered stand that can house over 5000 fans.
  • The Boston Stand - Named after the former Wigan Warriors winger Billy Boston, this stand runs along the side of the pitch and can house over 8000 fans in a single-tier, with Athletic fans knowing it as The East Stand.
  • The South Stand - This is where the more vocal Wigan fans tend to sit and is basically an exact replica of the North Stand.
  • The Springfield Stand - This is considered to be the main stand at the stadium and it houses the changing rooms as well as executive offices. It’s another single-tier stand with a row of corporate boxes at the back of it and it's also known as The West Stand.

Wigan Athletic Ticket Prices

Wigan Athletic aren’t exactly selling out their tickets every week, so fans may ask why the club makes it so difficult to understand their ticketing prices. Do they categorise their games? Do they charge more to sit in different parts of the ground? Who knows.

Here are the ticket prices for adults and concessions for their match against Fleetwood Town in the 2017-2018 season:

  • Adults: £24
  • Concessions: £17

Just for your information, prices are £2 cheaper if you buy them in advance.

How To Get Wigan Athletic Tickets

As is the case with most clubs in the modern era, the best place to start if you’re looking for tickets to watch Wigan live is the club’s official website. If you’re a bit more old school then you can call the ticket office on the phone or drop by in person.

Where to Buy

Getting To DW Stadium

Move Map
Swap Start/End

Wigan is technically in Greater Manchester, though some would argue no part of Manchester is great. Regardless, it’s reasonably easy to get to the ground wherever you’re coming from, so here are some tips depending on your chosen mode of transport:

Train - Wigan, exciting town that it is, has two railways stations for you to aim for. Wigan North Western tends to service passengers from London, Glasgow and the like, whilst Wigan Wallgate is for those of you coming from places like Liverpool and Leeds. They are opposite each other on the main road in the town centre and are just over a mile from the ground. To walk to the stadium should take you about twenty minutes at a nice casual pace.

Bus - The main bus station is located in the heart of the city centre, so any bus from the local region that goes through Wigan will drop you a twenty minute walk from the ground at most. For buses that run from there to the DW you’re best off checking with the local transport officers.

Car - From the North leave the M6 at Junction 27 and follow the signs from Shevington. Take the B5375 and stay on it for about two miles before following signs. From the South leave the M6 at Junction 25 and follow the A49 until you see the ground. From the East come off the M61 at Junction 6 and get onto the A6. Then you’ll want the B5238 until you see signs for Orrell. Keep following Orrell until you see signs for the DW.

By Air - You’ve got two choices if you’re looking to fly in to watch a Wigan match. The first is Manchester Airport, the second is Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Manchester is around thirty miles away whilst John Lennon is about 32 miles, though you’ll perhaps find the public transport options better from Manchester as it has its own train station, whereas you’ll need to get a connecting bus from John Lennon.

Taxi - A taxi from Wigan North Western Railway Station to the ground will take about 5 minutes and cost in the region of £7. If you get stuck in traffic, mind, it’ll probably take longer and therefore cost more.

Parking Near DW Stadium

There are around 2000 car parking spaces at the DW Stadium, so the chances are that you’ll find a space if you get there early enough. Car Park 3 is for season ticket holders, whilst Car Parks 1, 4 and 5 are all open to everyone and require payment upon entry. You may well be able to find on-street parking near to the stadium too, though beware any parking restrictions that might be in place.

Useful Resources

DW Stadium Hotels

Wigan is an interesting place to stay all on its own, but there’s also the draw of the bright lights of both Liverpool and Manchester, should you prefer somewhere a bit more lively. Here are some of our favourite choices:

Mercure Wigan Oak Hotel - £50+

Orchard Street, Wigan, Greater Manchester, WN1 3SS
Located just under two miles from the DW is this branch of the Mercure chain of hotels. As well as a restaurant and bar there’s also seven meeting rooms, free Wi-Fi and free parking available. More details.

Britannia Hotel Wigan - £60+

Almond Brook Road, Wigan, WN6 0SR
About four miles from the ground is this 3-star hotel that offers a restaurant, a bar, a health club with an indoor pool and a full-service spa. There’s also free Wi-Fi and free parking, for those of you that love the internet and driving around. More details.

Macdonald Kilhey Court - £70+

Chorley Road, Standish, Wigan, WN1 2XN
Located in Standish, a village about five miles from the stadium, is this 4-star hotel with a full-service spa and indoor pool, a garden, a health club and a restaurant. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near DW Stadium

Wigan’s night life and pub scene is probably best described as ‘characterful’. There’s a good old-fashioned Northern vibe about the place, with numerous watering holes for your pre-match pint. Here are some of our favourites:

Red Robin - Fayre & Square

Robin Park, The Red Robin, 1 Anjou Boulevard, Wigan, WN5 0UJ (01942 218965)
This chain pub is the closest to the ground and as such is mostly welcoming of home supporters. You’ll get your usual mix of pub grub, cheap drinks and a family friendly atmosphere.

The Moon Under Water

5-7A Market Place, Wigan, WN1 1PE (01942 323437)
Not far from Wigan’s two train stations is this JD Wetherspoon’s pub. The good thing about Wetherspoon’s is that you know what you’re getting: cheap food, cheap drink, unfriendly locals. The perfect place to prepare for the match…

The Anvil

Dorning Street, Wigan, WN1 1ND (01942 239444)
The Anvil has won numerous awards from CAMRA over the years, so you know you’ll have a great selection of ales here. They’ve also got a large beer garden as well as televisions showing the main sport of the day.

Facilities

The DW isn’t exactly full of stories and excitement like the stadiums of old, but it’s clean and modern and offers all of the facilities you’d expect from a newish ground. There are places to buy a drink and a bite to eat before and during the game as well as programme sellers and kiosks to place a bet. If you want more than that then I’m not sure you understand what football grounds are supposed to offer.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.00
  • Pie: 2.40
  • Cup of tea: 1.80

Hospitality

There are a number of good hospitality options open to you at the DW Stadium, with several lounges to choose from. Here are some details about the most popular offerings:

  • The Springfield Lounge - Located in the heart of The Springfield Stand, this lounge offers you the chance to enjoy delicious food from either the carvery or the chef’s table. There’s an informal dress code and a relaxed atmosphere here as your day is hosted by club legend Tommy Gore.
  • The Coors Lounge - This is the premium hospitality package available at the DW, so expect a private table for your party, three-course dining served to you by a waitress and the chance to enjoy the match sponsors’ post-game presentations.
  • The Champagne Lounge - The clue is in the name with this hospitality option. You’ll enjoy a champagne arrival, a complimentary tasting menu and informal lounge seating.
  • Rigalettos - What says Wigan better than an Italian restaurant? Here there are two different options, both including delicious food from the open kitchen and exciting live music in the build-up to kick-off.

Private Hire

The DW Stadium offers twelve flexible meeting rooms that can host anything from 5 to 500 people. Whether you’re looking to host a seminar, a product launch, a conference or an exhibition, there’s little that this venue in the heart of the North-West won’t be able to handle. The ground is even able to host every part of your wedding day, whether that be your wedding breakfast, the evening party or even the ceremony itself.

Stadium Tours & Museum

Despite being the home of both a football and a rugby league club, there are no tours of the DW Stadium at the time of writing. Equally there is no museum for either club that you can go and visit, so sorry about that.

About Wigan Athletic

Mark Hilditch playing for Wigan in the late 1980s - By Arshavingoon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Wigan’s footballing journey has always been a fascinating one. Not founded until 1932, the club was elected to the Football League in 1978 and spent eight seasons in the country’s top-flight from 2005 until 2013. Their final season in the Premier League was one of mixed emotions for their supporters, with the club winning the FA Cup for the first time in its existence at the same time as it was relegated from the top division. The 2013-2014 season was also a mixed bag, with Wigan competing in the second-tier of English football at the same time as it was embarking on its first ever European campaign in the UEFA Europa League.

Football has long played second fiddle to rugby in the town of Wigan, with part of that perhaps being down to the lack of success of Wigan Athletic on the field. They steadily progressed through the leagues during the 1990s and early part of the new millennium, winning the Third Division in 1997, the Second Division in 2003 and the Championship in 2005. Their first season in the Premier League saw them finish a very respectable 10th place in the top-flight as well as reach the final of the League Cup, only to lose 4-0 to Manchester United at The Millennium Stadium.

DW Stadium History

Stadium Under construction 1999 - David Ashcroft [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Named after the club’s owner, Dave Whelan, and his chain of gyms and shops DW Sports Fitness, the DW Stadium was designed by Alfred McAlpine and cost in the region of £30 million to build. Wigan Athletic were earmarked to play in the ground pretty much ever since Whelan bought the club, but Wigan Warriors, the rugby league club, also moved into the stadium a month after it opened in 1999. They had previously played their home games at Central Park, much as Wigan Athletic used to call Springfield Park their home.

It hasn’t all been plain-sailing for Wigan at the new ground, though, despite their meteoric rise and fall through the leagues. In March of 2005 Greater Manchester police said that they would no longer police Wigan matches; a decision that would almost certainly have resulted in the club’s safety certificate being revoked. It was all down to a dispute between the force and Dave Whelan over £300,000 in unpaid policing costs. The whole thing was eventually resolved with Wigan paying the costs before later winning a court case to claim them back.

Future Developments

By Dan Farrimond (The DW Stadium, 4th August 2009) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There are no plans to develop the DW Stadium in the foreseeable future, though obviously if that changes we’ll update this section tout-suite.

User comments

There are no user comments for this listing.