Home to Wigan Athletic and Wigan Warriors, the DW Stadium now boasts modern hospitality, conference and events spaces thanks to a £1 million investment from venue partner Sodexo Live!
The upgrades reflect Sodexo Live!’s commitment to the DW Stadium and the wider Wigan community, which was cemented in an 11-year catering and hospitality agreement with the stadium in September 2021.
A notable highlight of the venue upgrades is a new sports bar renamed in honour of Wigan Athletic’s former owner, Dave Whelan. Whelan's Bar offers hot and cold snacks, plus alcoholic favourites and a traditional English brew. On 27 July, Dave Whelan christened his namesake bar at an exclusive launch event.
The popular DW Sports fitness lounge has also been transformed into an exclusive venue equipped with state-of-the-art AV, advanced projectors, and a sophisticated sound system. Hosting up to 500 people, it benefits from its own private entrance on the ground floor.
The Chairman’s Lounge which boasts a birds-eye view of all the action, has been renovated and now offers a premium experience for up to 100 people on matchdays and beyond. Guests looking for pitch-side views will also love the transformed Phoenix Lounge.
Along with the extensive upgrades, Sodexo Live! executive head chef, Roger Varley, has created tantalising new premium menus and is available to create bespoke offers too.
Rebecca Kane Burton, CEO Sodexo Live! UK and Ireland, said:
With Wigan Athletic back where they deserve to be in the Championship, it’s only fitting that Latics fans will have more reason to cheer when they return to the DW Stadium this season.
We’re thrilled to be partnering with the DW Stadium and believe that together we can offer unrivalled service for Latics and Warriors fans and help drive the use of the venue on non-matchdays, creating a true destination venue for conferences, events and celebrations whilst nurturing local food and hospitality talent in the Wigan area.
Commenting on the opening of Whelan’s Sports Bar and the investment into facilities at the DW Stadium, Wigan Athletic chief executive Malachy Brannigan said:
Firstly, it was fantastic to welcome Mr. Whelan to the opening of Whelan’s Sports Bar to formally open the facility.
It is important that the continued respect for what Mr. Whelan did here at Wigan Athletic is prominent. Clearly through the statue and Whelan’s Sports Bar, the high esteem in which Mr. Whelan is held here will be evident to all visitors to the Stadium.
We are aware that Rigaletto’s was named after Mr. Whelan's father, whose stage name was Tony Rigaletto when he performed as a singer and entertainer, so again we wanted the name to remain with the Whelan family.
Working with our partners at Sodexo Live!, there has been significant investment into the facilities at the Stadium as we continually look to improve the matchday and non-matchday experience. We think Whelan’s Sports Bar will be a really popular offering for supporters, so we encourage our fans to come down, have a look at the bar and try the food and drink in the next few weeks and at our upcoming fixtures.
PSAM editor John Sheehan caught up with Yves De Cocker, Managing Director of PitchTecConcept, who explains how his company bridges the gap between sports organisations and the technology used in the playing surface industry.
The interview covers:
Yves 20+ years industry leading experience in the evolution of hybrid grass, trends he has noticed and some of the notable projects he has been involved with
The key reasons for Yves launching PitchTecConcept
Common mistakes often made with playing surface management
The steps he offers as a bridge between the industry and the end user
Advice to clubs looking to maximise their event calendars without compromising on the performance of their playing surface