The Riverside Stadium - Middlesbrough
Ayresome Park, do we miss it? Not a chance. What a horrible, run the gauntlet place that was. Following the Taylor Report, Boro realised that the old place would be limited to 20000 with seats so they took the decision with Teeside Development Corporation to build a complete new ground.
Ayresome Par, the home of football to the Boro for 92 years was doomed. There were 14 options for the ground offered along with several sites, and eventually the Middlehaven site by the river Tees was taken up. The fans chose the grounds name following the final game at AP. Opened in 1995 the opening game saw Boro beat Chelski 2-0. It only took a mind boggling 32 weeks to complete, and even by today's standards a total build cost of £16million looks excellent value for money. There is still a reminder of Ayresome Park- the gates which were famously locked when the club went in to liquidation have been erected at the entrance to the Riverside, a constant reminder of the bad old days.
The ground has a capacity of 34,988. It has been extended over the years and is now completely enclosed.
This season sees us move to the East Stand instead of being behind the goal.
How To Get There
M55, M6 North. Leave the M6 at J38 (Brough) and join the A685 at the 2nd exit off the roundabout. Stay on the 685 for 16 miles then join the A66. Just after Scotch Corner Services, join the A1 North. After 4 miles and only 1 junction leave at J57 and join the A66.
The ground is well sign posted from the A66. The 66 heads eastbound towards Middlesbrough, continue on the A66 through the town centre to the next roundabout, take the first exit into Shepherdson's Way for the ground, and take the third exit for the town centre.
Sat navvers - TS3 6RS
For the Virgin Lovers amongst us - The ground is walkable from Middlesbrough train station. If you come out of the main entrance turn left onto Zetland Road. Then left again, onto Albert Road, and go under the railway bridge. Turn immediately right into Bridge Street East, going past the Bridge pub and then take the next right onto Wynward Way. The stadium is down this road. If you come out of the rear station entrance, turn right onto Bridge Street East. Go straight past the Bridge pub and then take the next right onto Wynward Way for the ground.
For those taking up the Samm Airways flight, Teeside Airport is 13miles away.
Where To Drink
I wonder if the Riverside set the trend for new grounds having crap parking and no pubs nearby?
Doctor Browns allows a mix of home and away fans and is a ten minute walk away from the ground at the bottom of Corporation Road, in the city centre. The Bridge Inn, which is next door to the railway station on Bridge street has mixed reviews, no colours should see you safe.
The town centres not a million miles away but in previous seasons we`ve drunk in the hamlet of Yarm.
Plod & Stewards
It`s becoming lower profile as the years pass by. Should be a low key approach.
Fear Factor Rating - 3.
Last Saturday saw a last gasp winner and It`s been a start better than any of us could have thought possible. With 1 new face already in here`s hoping that come 5pm on Saturday it`s been a case of business as usual and we`re still in the mix.
Onwards + Upwards