Twickenham reveals new look to the world

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The Independent Online
LIZ SEARL

Twickenham shows its new face to the world for the first time today, after being virtually completely rebuilt over the last five years.

The final part of the redevelopment, which cost pounds 60m, was put in place when work on the West Stand was completed in time to make today's international the unofficial opening.

The North, East and West Stands have all been rebuilt to leave a capacity of 78,000 all seated - 74,500 grandstand seats and 3,500 in corporate boxes. The South stand was rebuilt in 1980.

Terry Ward, the Sheffield- based architect, designed the new stands to get people in and out of their seats with the minimum of fuss.

Improvements to the North stand began in 1990 and the East - the highest in Britain at 100ft - followed in 1992. A second sports goods and memorabilia shop has been opened, alongside the existing restaurants and bars, which include what is claimed to be the longest bar in Britain.

The official opening of the new stadium is planned for 3 February at the England-Wales game in the Five Nations' Championship.

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