New stadiums: Oldham, Scunthorpe, Kidderminster
source: StadiumDB.com; author: michał
Like English football? Then you cannot miss out on our latest additions. The coldest stadium in England with a famous artificial turf, first of the ‘modern era’ stadia and one senior venue, 116 years old.
Name derives from location at the boundary of neighboring cities in Greater Manchester. But it wasn’t called that since the beginning. In early years, since 1896, it was called Athletic Ground. Make no mistake, though, Oldham Athletic didn’t exist back then, the ground was used by Oldham County. This changed in 1904 when tenants changed and the venue had its first revamp.
There is another name, one used more as an anecdote – Ice Station Zebra. Thanks to its location high above sea level (at 155m asl – one of highest stadiums in England) it was exposed to cold winds and thus regarded as one of the coldest stadia in the country. Zebra part refers to the club playing in black-white stripes.
In first decades it was very big with crowds in excess of 40,000 possible. This isn’t the case no more due to al-seating regulations that were introduced when Oldham were in Premier League after the Taylor Report and needed to apply the new regulations. Capacity reached its lowest point in 2008, when one of the long end stands was demolished to make way for new structure. This never arrived, though, with insufficient funding blocking the project of Oldham Arena indefinitely and leaving Boundary Park with just three stands. Oldest one, the main grandstand, still has some elements of the initial stadium of early 20th Century.
Interestingly, Oldham laid artificial pitch already in 1986, long before it became a recognized solution. This brought accusation that good results are based on pitch advantage. But those results led the club to Premier League in 1991 and forced Oldham to lay a natural turf, as synthetic ones aren’t accepted in top tier football in England.
It’s famous for one single reason. In 1988 Scunthorpe United were the very first club in over 30 years to have a new ground in England. No wonder some call it the beginning of a revolution in English football that was struggling with serious safety regulation issues in late 1980’s.
The name given to this simple, single-tiered venue comes from Glanford Borough that used to exist there, but has been dissolved later. Since United aren’t playing above third tier in league system, they’re allowed to have a portion of terracing inside the stadium.
Despite announcements from 2006, the ground hasn’t been redeveloped yet. First phase was supposed to be a second tier to one of the stands.
Standing in the same spot since 1890 (!), this ground looks almost nothing like it used to a century back, obviously. It went through some renovation works in late 1990’s and 2000’s due to promotion of the club to League Three – top of what they achieved.
Half the capacity are seats with other fans standing on terraces. Currently at just over 6,000, this ground had its best game in 1948 with over 9,000 people in attendance.
Interestingly, in 1955 it became the first ground in England to host a floodlit FA Cup game.