The Darlington Arena
The Darlington Arena (known as The Northern Echo Darlington Arena for sponsorship reasons) is a football stadium in England that hosts Darlington Football Club's home fixtures.

Prior to moving to the ground in 2003, Darlington had been playing at Feethams, located near to the town centre. The current stadium is built on a greenfield site next to Darlington's A66 bypass. Upon completion the arena was originally called the Reynolds Arena, after the club's then-owner, George Reynolds. However, following Reynolds' bankruptcy and arrest on charges of money laundering, the name was changed to The New Stadium in April 2004. Since then the club have sold the naming rights for the stadium to sponsors, firstly as the Williamson Motors Stadium then as the 96.6 TFM Darlington Arena between November 2005 and September 2007, and then as the Balfour Webnet Darlington Arena between September 2007 and February 2009. The ground took its current name in February 2009 when The Northern Echo began sponsorship. It is the largest Blue Square Premier venue with a capacity of 25,000, although attendances are restricted to 10,000 by local planning laws. A crowd of 11,600 watched the first game in the new stadium for a 2”“0 defeat to Kidderminster Harriers. Since then the ground has averaged a gate of around 3,000 to 4,000 supporters, although certain fixtures such as derby match against local rivals Hartlepool United in March 2007 (10,121 spectators), have pulled in a significantly larger turnout. The capacity of the stadium is currently capped at 10,000 for football matches due to poor access roads around the stadium, although the club are allowed to apply for an exception for certain occasions. The Darlington Arena consists of four equally sided stands. The West Stand, which is located just behind the goal, is generally the more vocal of the two sides used by home supporters. Attendances at the stadium were particularly low in the 2009-10, when a terrible season in League Two saw the club relegated to the Football Conference for the second time in just over 20 years. Their average attendance for the season was the second lowest in the whole Football League at just under 2,000. Their highest crowd of the season was 2,744 and their lowest was a mere 1,296. They go into the 2010-11 season with the largest capacity ever seen in the Football Conference.

Other uses
Darlington plan to use the stadium for musical concerts to increase club revenue. The first set of concerts, called Pitch Invasion, were due to take place in June 2007 but were cancelled by the club just three months before. However, Elton John was the first act to play at the stadium, on 5 July 2008. The Arena also played host to first ever professional rugby league match in the history of County Durham, when the Gateshead Thunder used the ground for their fifth round 2009 Challenge Cup game against the Oldham Roughyeds due to a fixture clash.

  • New Stadium
  • Williamson Motors Stadium
  • Darlington Arena
  • 96.6 TFM Darlington Arena
  • Balfour Webnet Darlington Arena
  • Northern Echo Darlington Arena

Building Activity

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    about 6 years ago via