The main west stand
|Expanded||2004–05 (North stand)
2009 (South stand)
|Owner||Falkirk Community Stadium Ltd|
|Main contractors||Mowlem (north and west)
Ogilvie (south stand)
|Record attendance||7,245 v Rangers
2 December 2006
|Field dimensions||105 x 68 m |
The Falkirk Stadium is a football stadium in the east of Falkirk in central Scotland, which is the home ground of Scottish Championship club, Falkirk. The stadium has a capacity of around 9,200 and currently consists of three fully completed stands.
The stadium was opened in 2004 with the main stand completed. It became the home of Falkirk in the same year after the club ground shared Ochilview Park for the 2003–04 season whilst the stadium was being constructed. The north and south stands were built and opened in 2005 and 2009 respectively.
The project of building the stadium was a partnership between Falkirk Football Club and Falkirk Council who set up the Falkirk Community Stadium Ltd which provided the funds to construct and run the stadium. Falkirk Council estimated £6.1 million would be required for the first stage of the Community Stadium build and would contribute £3.1 million initially. The sale of Brockville Park amounted to £9 million pounds for the club, of which £2.8 million went towards the build, whilst £200,000 came from sportscotland.
The first stage of the stadium was completed in time for the 2004–05 football season and Falkirk moved in after spending the previous year ground-sharing with local rivals, Stenhousemuir at their Ochilview Park home.
Falkirk's first ever game at the stadium was a friendly in July 2004 against Dundee resulting in a 2–1 defeat. A month later the first league game was hosted in the stadium with visitors Hamilton Academical drawing 1–1.
In October 2004 construction work commenced for the building of a second stand to the north of the pitch. The stand has a capacity of 2,000. After completion, the £1.58m facility would bring the stadium's capacity to over the Scottish Premier League's 6,000 seating criteria meaning Falkirk would be allowed automatic promotion from the First Division. The stand received its safety certificate in late March 2005, shortly before the SPL's deadline for a stadium which met the seating criteria. By May of the same year the north stand was fully completed.
Construction of the south stand began in December 2008 by contractors Ogilvie. A £2m pledge from Sandy Alexander, founder of Schuh and Falkirk supporter, helped fund the project. The south stand has a capacity of around 2,000 and is identical in appearance to the north stand of the stadium. It was officially opened in August 2009 in a friendly game against Royal Antwerp FC of Belgium. This brought the capacity of the stadium to around 8,000 people without the inclusion of the temporary east stand.
The joint venture that was set up between Falkirk F.C. and Falkirk Council, ended in 2009, just a few months before the opening of the south stand. The football club took full control of the facilities such as the pitch, seats, under-soil heating and floodlights, whilst the council retained most of the development rights for the site and manages and receives rent from businesses set up the stadium's main west stand.
An artificial playing surface will be installed at the stadium during June 2013.
Structure and facilities
The Falkirk Stadium is an all-seater stadium which currently consists of three completed stands in the form of the main west stand and smaller north and south stands. Upon the stadium's construction the west stand was the first to be built, and subsequently completed in 2004. The north and south stands were completed in 2005 and 2009 respectively. The west stand has a capacity of roughly 4,200 and hosts several facilities which have ranged from a nursery to a restaurant. A temporary east stand has been present on several occasions.
As well as hosting the home games of Falkirk F.C. in football, the stadium has also hosted several youth level international rugby matches. In 2008 the stadium was the venue chosen by the Scottish Rugby Union to host Scotland's home matches at the Six Nations Under 20s Championship which were played against England U20s and France U20s. Former Falkirk manager John Hughes had commented on the condition of the pitch which was previously damaged during rugby matches.
The stadium is also used on occasion by the Scotland women's national football team in World and Euro qualifying championships as well as in friendly matches. Also in relation to football, the stadium has hosted the home matches of the Scotland national under-21 football team, the first happening in November 2004 in a game against Sweden.
On 10 June 2012 the Falkirk Stadium is due to host part of Elton John's Greatest Hits Tour. It will be the first time an artist has played at the Falkirk Stadium since the stadium opened. The gig at the Falkirk Stadium was due to be John's only performance in Scotland, however, it was later announced that he would also perform at the SECC in Glasgow as well as adding another show in Cardiff to his tour.
The Falkirk Stadium is within a 30 minute walk of Falkirk Grahamston railway station which is on the main Edinburgh to Dunblane Line and Cumbernauld Line from Glasgow. During weekdays and Saturdays alternate trains between Glasgow and Cumbernauld terminate at Falkirk Grahamston.
Special match day bus services provided by FirstGroup allow direct transport to the stadium from around the Falkirk area. The number 98 service from Brightons passes through Shieldhill, Hallglen and Laurieston before terminating at the stadium. Access from Larbert on match days is provided by the number 99 bus, which is destined for the stadium via Stenhousemuir, Carronshore and Bainsford. As well as the special match day routes, regular services are also provided by First from Falkirk bus station to Grangemouth (routes 3 and 4/4A) and Linlithgow (routes 6A and 7) which stop outside the stadium.
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