Excelsior Stadium

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Excelsior Stadium
New Broomfield
Excelsior Stadium.png
Excelsior Stadium is located in North Lanarkshire
Excelsior Stadium
Location in North Lanarkshire
Location Airdrie
Coordinates 55°51′35.09″N 3°57′35.11″W / 55.8597472°N 3.9597528°W / 55.8597472; -3.9597528
Capacity 10,170 (all seated)[1]
Field size 115 × 75 yds
Surface 3G artificial pitch
Opened 1998
Tenants
Airdrieonians FC (2002–present)
Airdrieonians F.C. (1878) (1998–2002)
Queen's Park FC (2013–present),(Glasgow City LFC),source: >www.glagowcityladiesfc.co.uk<

The Excelsior Stadium is the home of Airdrieonians of the Scottish League One. It was built in 1998 to house the original Airdrieonians club, which went into liquidation four years later. Since then the new Airdrieonians have played their home games there, between 2002 and 2013 under their original name of Airdrie United.

When the stadium first opened it was officially titled Shyberry Excelsior Stadium ("Shyberry" being the company who sponsored the stadium when it first opened). The fans, and indeed sometimes the media often refer to the stadium as New Broomfield, which is more palatable from an Airdrie perspective due to its association with the former home of the original Airdrieonians, Broomfield Park.

History[edit]

Following the sale of Airdrieonians' home ground (Broomfield Park) to large supermarket chain Safeway in 1994, the club searched for several years for a suitable site, and planning permission for, a new home. The motive for the move was to build a stadium that would allow the club entry to Scottish Premier League (Clubs were required to have a stadium with a seating capacity of at least ten thousand). The building work on Excelsior Stadium was eventually completed in 1998, and Airdrieonians played here until the club went out of business due to heavy debts in May 2002. This left an opening in the Scottish League, which was filled by Northern Premier League side Gretna. To attain a position in the league, Jim Ballantyne bought out the ailing Clydebank, renamed the club Airdrie United, changed the strip and relocated the side to Airdrie, Airdrie United have since become known as 'Airdrieonians' the same name as the club dissolved in 2002.

The ground seats 10,170[1] and, as well as hosting Airdrieonians first, youth and ladies team games, various local amateur sides and several charity events, it has also played host to a Scottish Challenge Cup final, as well as Scotland under-21 fixtures and Old Firm reserve matches.

In 2003 Falkirk enquired about groundsharing at the stadium for a season, as their former home, Brockville did not meet SPL criteria. This was later rejected in a meeting between SPL chairmen, meaning Falkirk were denied a place in the SPL. In August 2008 it played host to Queen of the South's UEFA Cup 2nd qualifying round 1st leg against Nordsjælland. The stadium also hosted all of Motherwell's Europa League qualifying round ties in the 2009-10 season, against Llanelli, Flamurtari and Steaua Bucharest.[2]

Since the original Airdrieonians FC went into liquidation, the ownership of the stadium has been in several hands. Currently the stadium is owned by a limited liability partnership called Excelsior Stadium LLP. The current stadium management company is called Excelsior Stadium Ltd. The Directors of Excelsior Stadium Limited incorporated a new company on 11 March 2011 called Broomfield Stadium Ltd. The owners work closely with Airdrieonians, with personnel involved in coaching youth players, along with various commercial and sponsorship initiatives.

Queen's Park are currently sharing the stadium with Airdrieonians, as their normal home ground Hampden Park is being redeveloped for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.[3]

Records and facts[edit]

AirdrieFC.jpg

The record attendance at New Broomfield was 9,612 for the 2005 Scottish Challenge Cup Final, played between Hamilton Academical and St. Mirren on 6 November 2005.[4] The highest attendance for an Airdrieonians match was 9,044 for a Scottish League One fixture against Rangers on 23 August 2013.[4] Excelsior Stadium is the second highest stadium in Scottish league football, at 124 metres above sea level, 3 metres below the highest, Clyde's Broadwood Stadium.

Facilities[edit]

View from Jack Dalziel stand toward South stand

In addition to the executive match-viewing boxes that look onto the pitch, the stadium boasts conference and banqueting facilities, with six separate spaces and a public bar being situated within the main (Jack Dalziel) stand. Disabled facilities are also provided in the North, East and South stands. A Sports Injury Clinic operates from the main stand.

Nine five-a-side football pitches were installed for community use in early 2010, adjacent to the stadium on the South stand side and to the East stand side. The car parks were resurfaced, and new fencing and gates were erected around the perimeter of the stadium and land.

At the end of the 2009–10 season, a new 3G artificial surface was installed.[5] Although due for completion prior to season 2010-2011, in July Airdrie United played their opening Challenge Cup 1st Round game v Ayr United at Alloa Athletic's Recreation Park ground, as the work had been delayed due to heavy rain. The first competitive game played on the new surface was on 14 August 2010, as Airdrie entertained Ayr United.

Stadium dimensions

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Airdrieonians Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Miller, Stevie (5 August 2009). "Steaua's story". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Godfrey, Mark (November 2013). "Queen's Park on the move from Hampden home". When Saturday Comes. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Adams, Duncan (2013). "Airdrieonians". www.footballgroundguide.com. Retrieved 28 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Airdrie install artificial pitch at Excelsior Stadium". BBC Sport (BBC). 22 May 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 

External links[edit]