England: How Are Rotherham United Fairing In Their 10th Year At the New York Stadium?
source: StadiumDB.com; author: StadiumDB.com
It is now 10 years since the Rotherham stadium opened. Although it took just over a year to build, the plans were ready much earlier. What has the past decade been like and what lies ahead for Rotherham United FC's team stadium?
Back in the summer of 2012, Rotherham United’s brand-new 12,000-capacity New York Stadium opened its doors. Prior to the stunning new stadium’s completion, the club had been exiled to neighbouring Sheffield, having to play their home fixtures at Don Valley Stadium. The ground was primarily an athletics stadium constructed to host the 1991 World Student Games and the reason the club had to play there was due to a rent dispute at their former long-time home, Millmoor.
When owner Tony Stewart purchased The Millers at the culmination of the 2008 season, he stated that the club would have a brand new stadium within four years, and he didn’t disappoint. In the four years prior to his purchasing the club, Rotherham had entered administration on three separate occasions and had a total of 47 points deducted by the English football league. They also found themselves in League Two, the EFL’s basement division.
The New York Stadium Catapults The Millers To The Promisedland
In Rotherham’s first season in their new ground, they immediately secured promotion to League One. Then, after just twelve months in the third tier, they secured an immediate promotion to the Championship courtesy of a stunning playoff final comeback at Wembley. Steve Evans’ side found themselves 2-0 down at halftime to Leyton Orient at the home of football, however, they came roaring back courtesy of a brilliant Alex Revell double. They then sealed the victory after holding their nerve in a penalty shootout.
In the years since The Millers have become the very definition of a yo-yo club. They managed to remain in the Championship for two years before eventually being relegated in 2017 following a disastrous campaign firstly under Alan Stubbs, then Kenny Jackett, and finally, Paul Warne. From there, however, The Millers have either been promoted from League One or relegated from the second tier in each of their last six seasons. Last year, they finished as runners-up courtesy of Georgie Kelly’s last-minute debut winner away at Gillingham on the final day of the campaign.
Heading into the 2022/23 season, OddsChecker, which compares football odds and free bets, had made The Millers the favourites for relegation this season. However, as the campaign reaches its apex, they are currently sitting pretty in 18th place, four points clear of the drop zone and with a game in hand on their nearest rivals.
What Does The Future Hold For Matt Taylor’s Men?
One thing that is certain is that the future is certainly bright at the New York Stadium. The 12,000 capacity ground has room for expansion in two phases, firstly to 15,000 and secondly to 18,000. Owner Stewart has stated numerous times that his ambitious aim is to get the Millers into the Premier League.
While that may seem far too optimistic to some, stranger things have happened. Both Huddersfield Town and Blackpool have managed to power their way into the English top flight in the last decade or so, and there’s no reason to think that The Millers can’t stun their opposition and seal a spot at English football’s most elite dining table for the first time in the club’s history.
This January, Rotherham enjoyed their best transfer window for some time. They managed to bring in the likes of Irish midfielder Conor Coventry from West Ham United, talented winger Tarique Fosu from Brentford, Norwegian under-21 international defender Leo Fuhr Hjelde from Leeds United, and finally, the current jewel in the crown, experienced striker Jordan Hugill. The veteran target man arrived on a free transfer from Norwich City and has already netted four times for the club, including two in his last two games.
The priority for this campaign at least remains Championship survival. And as we mentioned earlier, the club is in a great position to do exactly that. Once the trap door is avoided, Rotherham can begin to look ahead rather than over their shoulder. But don’t be surprised to see the immaculate New York Stadium featuring in Premier League coverage the world over in years to come.