Central Park Rugby Ground
Part of Group:
At Risk: No
Wigan Rugby Club started life playing on the ground of Wigan Cricket Club off Prescott Street. They then moved to Springfield Park sharing with Wigan Athletic while their ground at Central Park was being developed. The First match took place on the 6th September 1902 when they welcomed Batley and Won 14.8. The Record Official Attendance at the ground was on Good Friday 27 March 1959 when 47,747 was recorded in the match against St Helens. Wigan winning 19-14.
The Ground was improved over the years with the New Stand replacing the original Dutch Barn, a covered area on the Kop and a New Stand replacing the old wooden one along the riverside. The Final Development was a large Stand at the Scoreboard End covering the original Office Block and Riverside Club. Floodlights had been installed in 1967.
On the 7th October 1987 the ground held the first World Cup Challange with Wigan beating the Australian Champions Manly. The Official Gate was about 37.000 but many people thought there was far more in the ground.
In January 1997 the Club Shareholders voted to sell the Stadium to Dave Whelan with the idea of completely refurbishing the ground as a home for Wigan Rugby and Wigan Athletic. However 2 months later the Club Chairman Jack Robinson accepted an improved offer from Tesco and in due course the Club moved to the New Stadium on Robin Park and Central Park was demolished to make way for a Tesco Supermarket.
The Final game at Central Park was held on Sunday 5 September 1999 when Wigan beat their old rival St Helens 28-20.