|Location||Ballymena, Northern Ireland|
|Owner||Ballymena Borough Council|
|Capacity||4,100 (Safe capacity: 3,050)|
|Ballymena United F.C.|
The Ballymena Showgrounds is a football stadium in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It is home to Ballymena United F.C.. It is owned by Ballymena Borough Council. In addition to men's soccer a variety of other sports and events are held at the stadium and surrounding facilities, including women's soccer, field hockey, and stock car racing.
The stadium was redeveloped in 2001 at a cost of £3m. This reconstruction included the building of a new stand and new dressing room facilities. In 2010 the Warden Street stand was redeveloped to all-seater standard with a new capacity of 2,200 seats. The stadium now holds 4,100 spectators, but is limited to 3,050 by health and safety legislation.
Home to Ballymena United
The New Stand replaced the old 'Clock Stand' which ran parallel to the side of the pitch and was knocked down in 2001, in preparation for the new construction. The stand incorporates approximately sixteen changing rooms, offices and bars - as well as press and corporate facilities.
The first game it was open to the public was an Ulster Cup tie against Carrick Rangers in August 2002; however was officially unveiled a month later with the glamour friendly with Bolton Wanderers.
Home supporters are situated in this stand, as they use the turnstiles at the social club to enter the ground.
The stand cost £3million pounds to build, and as yet has not been officially named despite prolonged debate by the council who have recently proposed selling the naming rights to local businesses, although the fans thoughts that the 'New Stand' should be renamed 'The Norman McBurney Stand' after the Ballymena born owner of haulage company McBurney Transport.
Warden Street Stand
The stand, which is now used to hold visiting supporters has a seating capacity of just over 1,200. The stand was used to house the home supporters until the opening of the new grandstand in 2002.
In front of the stand is terracing which can hold around 2,000 standing spectators. The dug-outs also sit in front of this stand.
United's PA Announcer - Davy "Kingo" King can be found in this stand, as when he's not covering games live for local radio station - SevenFM from the old press box, he's playing his unique collection of records over the tannoy.
It has been revealed that there has been announcements that the stand is going to be completely refurbished to bring its seating capacity up to 2,200, the work shall commence on 14 January 2010 in which the terracing shall be removed and replaced by seating the roof shall also be replaced and the seats replaced.
This work has now been completed and the new stand was first used in a 3-1 home victory for Ballymena United F.C over Portadown F.C on 16 October 2010.
With aid of grants from the Sports Council, Ballymena United have erected a brand new security control tower which will be used by the police and United stewards to monitor behaviour at the Showgrounds.
This further adds to the reputation of the Ballymena Showgrounds as the best(sic) facility for football in Ulster.
Pitch 2 (3G)
Home to BUFC Reserves/Thirds Home to Southside Youths FC
Home to Carniny Amateur and Youth FC Football Development Centre http://www.carninyyouthfc.co.uk
Home to Ballymena United FC Youth Academy Football Development Centre
Home to Carniny Youth FC NIBFA National League Teams and Carniny Amateurs II, Ballymena and Provincial Junior Div 2 team.
Stock Car Racing
Stockcars run at Ballymena on select Friday evenings from Good Friday until the end of September, with many Championship races taking place throughout the season, most recently the 'Raceway' (as it is fondly known to fans) hosted the Stockrod Championship of the World.
Racing at the track was originally promoted by Hot Rod driver Ernie Kilpatrick and Robert Mathers in 1977. At the time it was the third track in Northern Ireland, the other two being Aghadowey and Portadown. In 2007 the Raceway celebrated its 30th Anniversary which featured a celebratory race meeting featuring many famous retired drivers, along with guest drivers from other forms of Motorsport, most notably Kris Meeke who tried his hand at racing a National Hot Rod.
visit for info. www.ballymenaraceway.com
- "AQW 1178/11". niassembly.gov.uk. 18 October 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2013.