The Riverside Stadium is a football stadium in Middlesbrough, England. It has been Middlesbrough’s home since it opened in 1995. Right now, it can hold 34,742 fans, and everyone sits in seats. But they have permission to make it bigger, up to 42,000 seats if they need to. Also, starting in May 2023, the Middlesbrough F.C. Women’s team is now part of Middlesbrough F.C., and they will play some of their games at the Riverside Stadium.
The stadium was made to replace Ayresome Park because of a report called the Taylor Report. This report said that all the big football stadiums needed to have seats for everyone. After the report came out in January 1990, Middlesbrough had to have a new stadium with seats for everyone by August 1994. They couldn’t make Ayresome Park bigger because it was in a neighborhood, and if they built more seats upwards, the stadium would only fit around 20,000 people. But the club wanted a much bigger stadium.
So, the club decided to build a new stadium. Teesside Development Corporation gave them a spot by the River Tees to build it.
The new stadium had 30,000 seats, and it was built by Taylor Woodrow Construction for £16 million. It took about nine months to finish after they started working on it in the fall of 1994.
The first game at the new stadium was played against Chelsea in front of a crowd of 28,286 people, which was the highest attendance at a home game in 14 years. This happened on August 26, 1995. Middlesbrough won that game 2-0, with Craig Hignett scoring the first-ever goal at the stadium, and Jan Åge Fjørtoft scoring the second.
Their first season at the new stadium was also their return to the Premier League after being away for two seasons. In 1998, when Middlesbrough got promoted back to the Premier League after just one season away, they added 5,000 more seats by filling in the north and south-west corners. This cost £5 million, and it made the stadium’s capacity 35,100.
Since then, they’ve made some changes to the seating layout a few times. Right now, the stadium can hold 34,000 people as of the 2017-18 season. The club has permission from the Council to make the stadium even bigger by adding 7,000 more seats if lots of people want to come, which would make the capacity around 42,000.
After the club got promoted to the Premier League at the end of the 2015-16 season, they spent £5 million to make improvements to the stadium. These changes were meant to meet the high standards required for Premier League stadiums.
They did things like putting a big press box at the back of the East Stand, building two permanent TV studios at the back of the South East Corner, and setting up areas for TV equipment outside the stadium. They also reorganized the reception, tunnel, and changing room areas in the West Stand. Additionally, they installed new, better floodlights and fixed up the concourse areas, including adding new kiosks where you can buy things and allowing card and contactless payments.