HomeBoro FCClub Info

Boro FC club history

Riverside stadium

For ninety-two years, Ayresome Park served Middlesbrough FC well.

But the tragedy at Hillsborough in 1989 hit the footballing world hard and the following report from Lord Justice Taylor called for all football clubs in the top two divisions to have all-seater stadiums to prevent further overcrowding.

Clubs around the country began examining options.  Boro officials looked at their options.

With Ayresome Park set in a residential area, the club knew it would be difficult to expand the stadium outwards.

Expansion upwards would still only leave the club with a maximum capacity of 20,000, which would limit crowds and income for the club.

Other options were explored and it became clear that a new stadium was required.

The location at the Middlehaven site on the banks of the River Tees was the most viable solution and designs were drawn by the achitect group The Miller Partnership.

The group came up with 14 designs which were put to the club, who chose the one that they believed would make opposition fans jealous that their club did not have a stadium as good.

Ayresome gates outside the Riverside Stadium

The design consisted of two main sections. The first was the West Stand, which would hold the offices and main reception.

The second section was the 'horse-shoe' which incorporated the North, East and South stands. The North-West and South-West corners were left empty.

It took just ten months to complete the stadium which had an initial capacity of 30,000.

The stadium had become the biggest new arena to be built in the country since World War Two.

Crews worked round the clock to ensure that the ground would be ready for Middlesbrough's return to the Premiership in August 1995.

The name of the ground was chosen by the fans.

Every fan who attended the final match at Ayresome Park was given a voting slip with four options, which included Teesside Stadium and Riverside Stadium.

Riverside was the most popular.

The prefix of Cellnet came from a sponsorship deal with the company.

This deal meant that the name Cellnet was supposed to be linked to the stadium until 2005 as part of a £3million package, making it the UK's biggest ever stadium sponsor.

Cellnet later decided to prematurely end the contract.

The club can now boast impressive facilities with ten bars, ten food stands, nine betting kiosks, 19 executive boxes, a 220-seat restaurant, 450-seat banqueting suite and a huge members lounge.

There are also TV screens on every concourse showing the games on match days.

The inaugural game at the Cellnet Riverside Stadium was on August 26th 1995 against Chelsea, which a crowd of 28,286 watched.

It was the highest home attendance in 14 years for the club. They watched Boro win the first game at their new home 2-0, Criag Hignett scoring the first ever goal at the Riverside with Jan Aage Fjortoft grabbing the second.

Both players and manager were impressed with their new ground.

Bryan Robson commented "Middlesbrough Football Club now has one of the best football stadiums in the whole country.

"One thing that struck me was the way the structure of the stadium appeared to create a tremendous atmosphere.

"Certainly the players love it because thta extra atmosphere can drive them on."

The stadium cost £16million. It soon became clear that 30,000 was not enough for the growing club and the North-West and South-West corners were added as an extension of the West Stand.

The club also has permission to add an extra 7,000 seats which would bring the capacity to 42,000.

As redevelopment around the stadium continues, the Riverside Stadium is a ground that everyone in the area can be proud of.

Club Contacts

Address: Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, TS3 6RS

Telephone: 01642 877700

Fax number: 01642 877840

Ticket Fax: 01642 877843

Ticket info: 01642 877809

Credit card: 01642 877745

Travel club: 01642 877745

Roary club: 01642 877700

Disabled allocations: 24 spaces available for disabled fans.

Away fans allocation: 3,450

Stadium Shop: 01642 877720

Conference & Banqueting: 01642 877750

Clubcall: 09068 121181

Football in the community: 01642 453111