The Riverside Stadium is a football stadium in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England, 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.

The stadium was built to replace Ayresome Park 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 Tees for development. The new 30,000 seater stadium was constructed by Taylor Woodrow Construction 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. Their first season at their new stadium was also their first back in the FA Premier League following promotion after two seasons away. In their second season at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough were runners-up in both of the domestic cups but a points deduction in the league meant that they were relegated from the Premier League. In 1998 ”“ when Middlesbrough were promoted back to the Premier League at the first attempt ”“ the capacity was increased by 5,000 by filling in the north and south west corners at a cost of £5 million. This expansion gave the stadium its current 35,000 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, which would bring its capacity to 42,000. Another addition has been statues of former players, George Hardwick and Wilf Mannion. The entrance is also the location for the "Borobrick Road" where fans making a donation can have a message, often in memory. For Armistice Day 2008, a set of bricks commemorating 8 players who died in the World Wars was unveiled. 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 Park, the Riverside Stadium has played host to international football. During the construction of the new Wembley Stadium, 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 Vladimí­r JanoÄko 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.


The stadium is fully enclosed with every seat offering an uninterrupted view of the pitch. The four main stands are commonly known as the North, East, West and South stands. The corners are commonly known as the North-East, North-West, South-East and South-West corners. The North stand backs on to the River Tees and is where the majority of the more vocal home support congregates. The roof houses an electronic scoreboard. The West stand runs along the length of the pitch and is the stadium's largest stand. The stand contains a number of executive boxes along its length as well as restaurants etc. The stand houses the changing rooms, and the players tunnel emerges from the middle of the stand. The main television gantry and commentators / press box is located at the back of the stand. White seating in the top tier spells out the club's nickname "BORO". The East stand opposite the main West stand greets the players as they walk out the tunnel. White seating in the top tier of the stand spells out "MFC". The roof houses five flagpoles with various flags flying, usually representing the league and cup competitions the club are participating in, as well as a flag of the team crest. The South stand generally houses the away support (on the South-West side), although home supporters can be accommodated (on the South-East side). The roof houses an electronic scoreboard similar to that in the North stand roof.

  • Record Attendance (All teams): 35,000 England v Slovakia, 11 June 2003, ( Euro 2004 qualifier)
  • Record Attendance (Middlesbrough): 34,836 v Norwich City, 28 December 2004 ( FA Premier League)

Average Attendances
All data for FA Premier League games only.

Date Result Competition 31 August 2000 England 6”“1 Georgia Under-21 Friendly 4 September 2001 England 5”“0 Albania 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification 11 June 2003 England 2”“1 Slovakia 2004 UEFA European Football Championship qualification 7 August 2004 England 3”“1 Ukraine Under-21 Friendly 29 March 2005 England 2”“0 Azerbaijan 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification 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

Building Activity

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