|Other names||Cellnet Riverside Stadium (1995-2002)|
|Inauguration||26/08/1995 (Middlesbrough - Chelsea, 2-0)|
|Cost||£ 16 million (1995), £ 5 million (1998), £ 5 million (2016)|
|Record attendance||35,000 (England - Slovakia, 11/03/2003)|
|Design||The Miller Partnership|
|Contractor||Taylor Woodrow Construction|
|Structural Engineer||Ove Arup|
|Address||Middlehaven Way, Middlesbrough TS3 6RS, United Kingdom|
Riverside Stadium – stadium description
Riverside Stadium was built in the post-Taylor-Report era, released as crucial new stadium safety guidelines in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster. The document outlined measures to be implemented, primarily installation of individual seats, which prompted mass conversions and expansions to meet ticket demand. With the redevelopment of century-old Ayresome Park considered unviable, Middlesbrough FC decided to relocate to a new ground.
Where did Middlesbrough play before Riverside Stadium?
Middlesbrough FC spent almost all of the 20th century at Ayresome Park, built back in mid-1903. The ground stood roughly 2.4 km (1.5 miles) south-west of the Riverside, in a housing area. This meant it wasn't possible to expand sufficiently in the post-Taylor era, beyond its closing capacity of 26,667 people. Once the club stopped using it even for training purposes, Ayresome Park was demolished in 1997 and replaced by housing.
Where is Riverside Stadium?
Geographically closer to the city's centre, the new stadium was located in an industrial area, within the largely vacant Tees docks. The deteriorated site was offered by the Teesside Development Corporation and approved by the local council. Construction began in fall of 1994 and took impressively little time, less than 9 months. Opening game against Chelsea drew over 28,000 people, which was already the highest turnout in 14 years. Demand proved high enough to prompt expansion just 3 years into the stadium's existence. Addition of corner sections brought the capacity up to roughly 35,000.
Who owns Riverside Stadium?
While the land and necessary approvals required cooperation from both public and private entities, the stadium is owned privately by Middlesbrough FC, who also financed construction of Riverside Stadium. However, the project – being the largest new stadium opened in England post WWII – also utilised public funding for anciliary infrastructure, primarily the road network.
When was Riverside Stadium modernised?
Although the first expansion took place just 3 years after opening, in 1998, corner stands offered the same standard as the initial construction. It wasn't until 2016's return to Premier League that the stadium proved somewhat aged, following over 20 years in operation.
The stadium received a brand new LED floodlighting system, a new press section with improved working area for journalists, as well as wheelchair platforms to match growing push for accessibility of English stadia. The hospitality facilities were also upgraded, while the south stand received two new TV studios.
The north stand, along the Teesside, is referred to by fans as the New Holgate End, in honour of the famous terrace at Ayresome Park, where generations of supporters used to stand. The west side is by far the largest in terms of volume, not only comprising bulk of matchday facilities but also offering two tiers of seating rather than one.
Riverside Stadium hasn't only been home to Middlesbrough FC games but also internationals. During reconstruction of Wembley, for example, the national team played here against Slovakia before Euro 2004, setting the stadium's attendance record.
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