Boundary Park

Capacity10 638
Country England
CityOldham
ClubsOldham Athletic AFC
Other names Athletic Ground (1896-1904)
Inauguration 1896
Renovations 1986, 1991, 1994, 2008
Record attendance 47,671 (Oldham Athletic - Sheffield Wednesday, 1930)
Address Boundary Park, Oldham, OL1 2PA

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Description: Boundary Park

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.

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