Some Thoughts On The Riverside Stadium

Some Thoughts On The Riverside Stadium

The home of Middlesbrough FC has had high and low points since opening in 1995. We examine these in this artice about the Riverside Stadium.

Construction of the Riverside Stadium was completed in 1994, with a build cost of £16 million. It has been the home base of Middlesbrough FC since its opening on August 26th 1995. It replaced Boros former home ground, Ayresome Park, where they had played since 1903. It is an all-seater venue, with a capacity of 35,100, though the club has provisional planning permission for expansion to 42,000. The new stadium is totally enclosed, enhancing its overall "feel," though the larger West Stand gives the ground an imbalanced look. Statues of former Middlesbrough stars, George Hardwick and Wilf Mannion, grace the area immediately outside the main entrance, while the old Ayresome Park gates were resurrected in 2005, providing a nice link to the clubs past.


Middlesbrough were founder members of the Premier League in the 1992-93 season. However, the club had a poor league season in 1996-97, which, compounded by a deduction of 3 points for failing to fulfil a fixture, resulted in relegation to the Championship. However, they regained top flight status at the first attempt, finishing runners-up to Nottingham Forest. Up to 2008-09, the Boro have enjoyed 11 successive Premiership seasons.

FA Cup Runners-up 1996-1997

Despite a disappointing league season, Middlesbrough had an excellent cup run, reaching their first-ever final, which they lost 2-0 to Chelsea. Perhaps their most notable moment at the Riverside was an impressive 6-0 hammering of Chester City in the 3rd round.

League Cup Runners-up 1996-97

Middlesbrough came close to collecting their first major trophy, only losing out to Leicester City in a replayed final. They enjoyed several Riverside "golden moments" en route to the final, including some high-scoring victories; 7-0 against Hereford in the 1st round and 5-1 against Huddersfield in the 2nd. They continued their success at the Riverside with notable victories over Newcastle (3-1) and Liverpool (2-1).

League Cup Runners-up 1997-98

The Boro were out of luck again the following season, losing 2-0 to Chelsea in the final. Their most notable Riverside success in this campaign was a 2-0 victory over Liverpool in the second leg of the semi-final.

League Cup Winners 2003-04

Middlesbrough broke their League Cup duck with a 2-1 win over Bolton, following a creditable 2-1 Riverside success over Arsenal in the semi-final 2nd leg.


The League Cup success granted Boro qualification for the 2004-05 UEFA Cup. They qualified for the group stage courtesy of an impressive 3-0 Riverside win over Czech side Banik Ostrava. They had a 100% record at the Riverside in their Group E campaign, with wins over Lazio and Partizan Belgrade. Having seen off Grazer AK of Austria in the last 32, Boro were eliminated by subsequent runners-up Sporting Lisbon. Middlesbrough reached their first European final in the UEFA Cup of 2006. Though soundly beaten 4-0 by Sevilla in the final, Boro put up some remarkable performances at the Riverside. They lost their quarter-final 1st leg tie with Switzerlands FC Basel 2-0 and were a goal down in the second leg. However, 4 goals sent the Riverside faithful into raptures and Boro into the semi-finals, to face Steaua Bucharest. Boro again lost the away leg (1-0) and trailed by 2 in the home leg. As if to prove that lightning can indeed strike twice, Middlesbrough conjured up another 4 goals to go through 4-3 on aggregate. <br><br><br /><br /><br><br />On the domestic front, Boro ensured Sven-Goran Erikssons career at Manchester City finished with a bang, thrashing the Light Blues 8-1 at the Riverside in May 2008. Middlesbrough`s bumper haul included a hat-trick from Afonso Alves, a brace from Stewart Downing, with Adam Johnson, Fabio Rochemback and Jeremie Aliadiere joining in for good measure.

Unfortunately, any bet on the UK Premier League involving Middlesbrough in the 2008-09 season is likely to involve only the relegation market. With only 7 games remaining, Boro find themselves in 19th place in the Premiership, with 27 points from 31 games, leaving them 5 points from safety. The bookmakers have effectively written off their chances of survival in the top flight, 1/5 being the price for relegation in several books and a best price of 3/10 with Coral.

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