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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 July 2005, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Flying start for Swans' new home
The first ball is kicked at Swansea's new stadium
And they're off... as the first ball is kicked at the new stadium

Ten thousand football fans heralded a new era for Swansea with the first game at the city's new stadium.

A sell-out crowd saw Swansea City draw 1-1 against Premiership side Fulham in the friendly opening match.

Industrial action by First Cymru staff at the company's Swansea depot disrupted city bus services.

However, fans used three park and ride services, with regular buses to the stadium, and the crowd turnout was unaffected.

Capacity at the 27m stadium was halved for the game for safety reasons, and all the tickets were snapped up for a match which was also a testimonial for long-time Swans hero Alan Curtis.

The match was held at a venue which for the moment has no name. The club is due to announce soon what the stadium will be called, when sponsors have been confirmed.

Panoramic view of Swansea's new stadium

The new ground represents a fresh sporting start for the city in more ways than one, as the football club will share it with the Ospreys rugby union team.

Before kick-off the Ospreys did a tour of the ground with their Celtic League trophy.

Ospreys captain Barry Williams said: "We couldn't have asked for better welcome here today.

"It's a football day and its nice to see the football supporters are getting behind the rugby, and hopefully the rugby supporters will do the same with football."

Swansea-born singer Bonnie Tyler sang for the capacity crowd and was delighted that the ground was more than a new sporting era for the city.

"I've been told that they are going to be doing live shows as well," she said.

"We always have to go up to the Millennium Stadium (in Cardiff) for shows and now we've got our own stadium."




SEE ALSO:
Swansea 1-1 Fulham
23 Jul 05 |  Swansea City
Curtis hails testimonial 'honour'
22 Jul 05 |  Swansea City
Crowd cut for first stadium game
04 Jul 05 |  South West Wales
Fans' farewell to hallowed Vetch
01 May 05 |  South West Wales
Services hit by city bus walkout
15 Jul 05 |  South West Wales


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