England take on Slovakia in their Euro 2004 qualifier at the Riverside Stadium o
England take on Slovakia in their Euro 2004 qualifier at the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday night. TheFA.com takes a look at the home of Middlesbrough FC...
The Riverside Stadium was the first newly-constructed stadium to be designed and then built to comply fully with the Taylor Report, which imposed new rules regarding the safety and structure of football stadiums in England.
Remarkably, the impressive 35,100 capacity stadium was built in just 32 weeks and was opened amid much excitement on 26 August 1995.
Middlesbrough's former home Ayresome Park - which they moved into in 1903 - suffered from the same problems as all stadia of that era experience. Surrounded by Victorian terraced housing, the ground was perfectly sufficient when grounds were just terracing but, with the advent of seating, just couldn't hold enough people.
The only way the ground could be enlarged was by building a second tier but even that would have restricted the maximum possible capacity to just 20,000.
So, under the leadership of the then new young chairman Steve Gibson, the club started discussions with Middlesbrough Council.
Teeside Development Corporation offered them the Middlehaven site and The Miller Partnership's design was chosen as the best of the 14 that were submitted. Taylor Woodrow were chosen as the contractors and engineers Ove Arup were then brought in to begin construction.
The new stadium was ready for the start of the 1995-96 season - just in time to see new stars such as Juninho and Fabrizio Ravanelli weave their magic.
The first match saw the Boro take on Chelsea in a match which saw the home side win 2-0.
Since then, another 5000 seats have been added, bringing the capacity up to its current level. In the near future, the Riverside Stadium will get another 7000 seats which will see the stadium become one of the biggest in the country.
The Riverside Stadium - The Stat Pack
Record Attendance: 34,800 v Leeds United, FA Premiership, 26 Febraury 2000
Record Receipts: £486,229 v Newcastle United, FA Premiership, 6 December 1998
Pitch Measurements: 105m x 68m