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Why Bridgend is the obvious choice for Ospreys

OPINION: The Ospreys have been a shining light in an abysmal time for Welsh Rugby as of late.

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Tony Booth’s team has put in many impressive performances recently, whether in the United Rugby Championship or Europe.

A big talking point for the team is where they will call home next season.

They will be leaving the Swansea Stadium and have been looking at options for the future.

One of the grounds on the list is the Brewery Field in Bridgend.

After two successful games in the town, it is easy to argue that it’s time for a full-time move.

The town’s people are hoping for the Brewery Field to be selected in early May.

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Bridgend and Rugby

Bridgend boasts a storied rugby history, a testament to the town’s deep-rooted love for the game and its fervent fan base.

The county is home to a multitude of teams, with the Bridgend Ravens currently leading the pack.

Having competed in the Premiership for a significant period, they are set to make their mark in the new elite competition next year.

This rich landscape in Bridgend is a promising demographic for the Ospreys to tap into.

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Bridgend has many memorable moments in the Welsh Rugby Union’s history.

The town welcomed New Zealand to the Brewery Field in 1978.

The All Blacks came out on top that day as they won the game 17-6. It was a brutal game in front of a packed-out Brewery Field.

Famously, legend JPR Williams was busted wide open after being stamped on in a ruck, and he returned to the game 15 minutes later. The Daily Mail described the game as “a sickening outburst of violence”, which perfectly described the brutal contest.

The town had games against Australia, the Barbarians, and even Wales.

When it comes to domestic games, Bridgend has played many big games at the Brewery Field. People used to pack out the ground for monumental games against furious competition. Many of the greats of the game have come from Bridgend.

Sensational players such as JPR Williams, Rob Howley, and Gareth Thomas originate from the town.

Before it became part of the Ospreys’ region, Bridgend had its own regional side.

When the game in Wales became regionalised, Bridgend joined forces with the mighty Pontypridd to form the Celtic Warriors.

The side had tremendous talent in the team, with players like Neil Jenkins, Gethin Jenkins, and Ryan Jones all taking to the field for the Warriors.

There was a lot of promise going into the formation of the region. Bridgend was the last side to lift the Welsh title.

The Warriors first played half their games in the Brewery Field and the other half at Sardis Road.

They eventually moved to Bridgend full-time after poor attendance numbers in Pontypridd. One of the region’s most significant moments on the pitch was beating the London Wasps at Causeway Stadium. In a magical night, the Warriors secured 14-9 against a formidable Wasps side.

It is interesting to note that Welsh coach Warren Gatland led the Wasps. Once the team folded, Bridgend became part of the Ospreys region. At the same time, Pontypridd became part of the Cardiff region.

This shows that Bridgend has an immense history, and it would be fantastic if the Ospreys could preserve it. It would allow Bridgend to host more high-profile matches.

Why It Would Be Great For Bridgend

Bridgend is a town in South Wales with a population of around 145,000 people. It was a vibrant town back in the day.

However, for a long time, it has become entirely run down.

Yet, in the last few years, there has been a wave of new bars, restaurants, and shops coming into the town. In particular, Bridgend has become a hotspot for food and drink, with people packing many pubs and eateries in the area.

If the Ospreys were to move to the Brewery Field full-time, it would be fantastic for the town.

It is because an Ospreys game would bring more people. The move could catalyse the increase in foot traffic for businesses in the area. Boosting the economy will give Bridgend a significant selling point.

It could also be an exciting business option for the Brewery Field.

The ground would benefit from the improvements the Ospreys would have to make in order to move there.

They could rent the pitch to schools, other rugby regions, or the local football regions. Similar to what Cardiff does with the Arms Park.

There are many reasons why an Ospreys move would benefit Bridgend economically.

Why The Ospreys Should Call The Brewery Field Home

The Ospreys are making the right call moving away from the Swansea Stadium.

It is simply too big for the team.

When watching the game, the crowd is not as boisterous compared to matches at the Brewery Field, which is inevitable because the Swansea Stadium has a much larger capacity.

Bearing in mind the capacity of the Brewery Field is 8,000. The crowd will always look more prominent because it’s a smaller venue.

Furthermore, the Brewery Field is a traditional rugby ground, which would benefit Ospreys.

The move is similar to when Cardiff moved from the Cardiff City Stadium to the Arms Park.

It also helps the players because they play in a fantastic atmosphere.

The crowd was sensational in the two games the Ospreys played in Bridgend.

Players praised the crowd for this in each game.

The likelihood is that fans would pack out the matches most weeks.

It is because the town has such an appetite for the game.

In terms of logistics, Bridgend is the perfect option.

The bus and train station are a short walk away from the ground. If you are driving to the match, it is right off the motorway, which means it’s accessible.

Furthermore, as stated before, it is close to a wide variety of great restaurants and pubs for fans to enjoy before or after the game.

There are many exciting options for the Ospreys to go in the future.

Yet, Bridgend has an excellent infrastructure to host a team.

The Ospreys and Bridgend could help each other as there are many reasons for both parties to move.

It will be interesting to see what the Ospreys decision will be.

The region needs to make the right move.

It is fantastic to see a lot of excitement around the Ospreys, and it shows there is still a massive interest in the sport.

By Peter Ryan

 

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