A History of Boothferry Park
The site of the Boothferry Park ground on the corner of Boothferry Road and North Road was negotiated for as long ago as 1929.
It was originally part of the estate used as a golf course by the Hull Golf Club prior to its removal to Kirkella in 1924 and the deal was financed thanks to a loan of £3,000 from the Football Association.
Architects drew up plans, but the increasingly adverse financial situation meant that it was 1932 before the embankments for the terracing began to take shape.
The playing area was laid out over the next 12 months and part of the terracing put in, but nothing further transpired until 1939 when plans were announced for the development of a multi-purpose sports complex on the site including a football pitch at the cost of £120,000.
However, the City directors allayed supporters fears that they might have to give up the land when they resolved to complete their own scheme and during the summer the F.A. loaned the Club a further £6,600 which meant the Tigers could look forward to moving in during the close season of 1940.
Unfortunately those aspirations were soon in tatters as The Home Guard was allowed to use the sight during the war and at one stage tanks were repaired there which explained in part why the pitch waterlogged so easily during the 1946/47 season.
Problems in obtaining building materials and the poor state of the pitch meant that it was impossible to have the stadium ready for the 1945/46 season and the Club returned to one of its former sites the Boulevard in 1944.
The Boothferry Road ground was finally opened in August 1946, but even then it was a race against time to have it ready for the visit of Lincoln City.
Initial planning permission was granted for one grandstand - the West Stand, provided the structure did not cost more than £17,000, and for covering the central third of the North Stand behind the goal.
The Lord Mayor performed the opening ceremony in front of 20,000 spectators, but by 1948 the attendance record had been raised to 40,179 for the F.A. Cup visit of Middlesbrough.
Bulldozers increased the height of the terracing embankments and little more than 12 months later, 55,019 witnessed the visit of Manchester United.
A railway shuttle service between Paragon Station and the Boothferry Park halt began in 1951 while work began on extending the covered area of the North Stand.
The covering of the East Stand followed and this allowed for a suitable set-up for installing floodlights.
Two gantries, one along the East Stand and the other mounted opposite, housed 96 lamps and at the time was amongst the best in the country.
However, its inadequacy became all too apparent and a unique new six pylon system costing £50,000 was installed in 1963 increasing the number of lamps to 250.
Four of the six pylons were switched on for the visit of Barnsley in October 1964 and proved to be a memorable occasion in more ways than one. City beat Barnsley 7-0 that night with Chris Chilton scoring four and Ray Henderson netting three. It was the second time Chilton had scored 4 goals at Boothferry Park and would prove to be his best goals tally in any of his 470 plus League and Cup games.
A further sum of £50,000 was channelled into the building of a gymnasium behind the South Stand which opened in 1964 and was at the cutting edge of such facilities at the time.
The high bank of terracing at the south end of the ground gave way to a new stand during the close season of 1965, costing £130,000 and tripling the grounds seating capacity from 3,000 to 9,000.
Unfortunately, the state of the nation¹s economy effectively prevented realisation of further stages of the Club¹s proposed redevelopment of the stadium.
In June 1979, plans were announced to build a £1.5 million supermarket and leisure complex on the car park, but the cost of tunnelling beneath the railway line to link the ground with alternative car parking facilities off near by Kempton Road forced a re-think.
The North Stand was eventually demolished in 1982 as the Club crashed into Receivership and made way for a supermarket and new club offices, but the leisure aspects of the scheme were shelved.
The Safety of Sports Ground Act 1985 necessitated major work on the ground and the East Stand was closed after terracing at the rear of the stand was deemed unsafe. The railway shuttle hasn't been used since.
The stand later re-opened with a reduced capacity and in three years close on £60,000 was spent on bringing Boothferry Park up to standard including replacing the terracing on the South Stand and the addition of Executive Boxes in the West Stand.
The Boothferry Park pitch was restored to its former glory during the summer of 1991 when it underwent major refurbishment work which included the installation of a complete new drainage system. Work was also completed on extending the hospitality lounges under the West Stand.
The East Stand closed in its entirety in 1996 due to its state of disrepair and although it re-opened in 1997 with a further reduced capacity, it closed again in early1999 after failing to meet the minimum standards laid down by the Taylor Report.
Major reconstruction work began on the East Stand Terrace during the summer of 1999 at a cost of £80,000 while the North and South terraces underwent stringent barrier configuration changes.
At the same time the North and South wells in front of the West Stand seating had barriers installed and the last of the low perimeter fencing was removed.
The East Stand finally re-opened in March 2000 and the recent ground improvements meant that a revised capacity of 15,160 was in operation at Boothferry Park.
However, the club have now moved onto pastures new and are based at the £43.5m Kingston Communications Stadium which has been built on the old 'Circle' site.
Work started on the stadium in January 2002 and the Tigers officially opened it on Wednesday December 18 2002 when they beat Sunderland 1-0 in a friendly fixture.
They also won their first ever league fixture at the ground when Hartlepool were beaten 2-0 on Boxing Day 2002.