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The Riverside Stadium is a football stadium in Middlesbroughmarker, North Yorkshire, Englandmarker, which has been the home of Middlesbrough F.C. since it opened in 1995. Its current capacity is 34,988 all seated, although there is provisional planning permission in place to expand that to 42,000 if required. It was the first stadium designed and constructed to comply with the Taylor Report and, at the time, was the biggest new arena to be built in England since World War II.

History

The stadium was built to replace Ayresome Parkmarker after the Taylor Report, which required all top division football stadia to be all-seater. Middlesbrough were unable to expand the current stadium outwards owing to its location in a residential area, and expanding the stadium upwards would have limited the club to a capacity of 20,000 seats. The decision was taken by club officials to build a new stadium; Teesside Development Corporation offered them the Middlehaven site by the River Teesmarker for development.

The new stadium was constructed by Taylor Woodrow Construction with a 30,000 capacity for £16 million, taking 32 weeks to complete. The name of the stadium was chosen by the club's fans, following a vote during the final game at Ayresome Park. The other choices available were Middlehaven Stadium, Erimus Stadium and Teesside Stadium. When first opened, the name was amended to Cellnet Riverside Stadium (and then BT Cellnet Riverside Stadium) as part of a £3 million sponsorship deal with Cellnet, but this deal ended after the 2001–02 season.

The first game was played against Chelsea in front of a 28,286 crowd (the highest home attendance in 14 years) on 26 August 1995. Middlesbrough won the game 2–0, with Craig Hignett taking the honour of scoring the first ever goal at the stadium, Jan Åge Fjørtoft scoring the second.

In 1998, the capacity was increased by 5,000 by filling in the north and south west corners at a cost of £5 million, giving the stadium its current capacity.

In 2005 the club resurrected the old Ayresome Park gates which had been famously locked when the club went in to liquidation. They were erected outside the Riverside Stadium as a new entrance, a reminder of the past. The club have the Council's permission to extend the capacity by another 7,000 if demand made it necessary.

In July 2008, planning permission was granted by Middlesbrough Council to construct a wind turbine at the site of the stadium, standing 125 metres high and capable of generating 3 Megawatts of electricity. The turbine will be used to power the stadium, with the excess being sold to the National Grid.

International matches

Like its predecessor Ayresome Parkmarker, the Riverside Stadium has played host to international football. During the construction of the new Wembley Stadiummarker, the England national football team toured the country, playing at varying grounds. The Riverside was chosen to host the Euro 2004 qualifying match against Slovakia on 11 June 2003. England won the match 2–1 with a brace from Michael Owen after Vladimir Janočko had put Slovakia ahead. The match is also notable for pitting Middlesbrough's England defender Gareth Southgate against their own Slovakian striker at the time, Szilárd Németh.

Date Result Competition
31 August 2000 6–1 Under-21 Friendly
4 September 2001 5–0 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification
11 June 2003 2–1 2004 UEFA European Football Championship qualification
7 August 2004 3–1 Under-21 Friendly
29 March 2005 2–0 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification


Details

Records



Average Attendances

All data for FA Premier League games only.
Season Attendance
2002–03 31,025
2003–04 30,398
2004–05 32,012
2005–06 28,463
2006–07 26,092
2007–08 26,657
2008–09 28,428


See also



References

External links

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