Macron Stadium

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Macron Stadium
Reebokstadium inside.jpg
Full name The Macron Stadium
Location Burnden Way
Horwich
Bolton
England[1]
Coordinates 53°34′50″N 2°32′8″W / 53.58056°N 2.53556°W / 53.58056; -2.53556Coordinates: 53°34′50″N 2°32′8″W / 53.58056°N 2.53556°W / 53.58056; -2.53556
Built 1996–1997
Opened 1997
Owner Bolton Wanderers
Operator Bolton Wanderers (1997–present)
Surface Desso GrassMaster[2]
Architect Populous [3]
Capacity 28,723[4]
Record attendance 28,353
Field size 110 x 72 yards (100.6 x 65.8 metres)

The Macron Stadium is the home stadium of English Football League Championship club Bolton Wanderers, and is located on the Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich in the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, Greater Manchester.[1] It has four stands: The Bartercard (North) Stand at one end, the South Stand (the away end) at the other end, the West Stand (Nationwide Franking Sense) at one side of the pitch and the Nat Lofthouse (east) Stand at the other side. The stadium has a hotel built into it giving views of the pitch from some of the rooms. The hotel was operated by the De Vere Group until August 2013, when the club took charge and renamed it the Bolton Whites Hotel. Originally known from 1997 until 2014 as The Reebok Stadium, after long term club sponsors Reebok, after Bolton Wanderers signed an initial four-year naming rights and kit deal with the sportswear manufacturer the stadium name was changed to reflect the new deal.[5]

History[edit]

It is a modern, all-seater stadium with a capacity of 28,723 which was completed in 1997, replacing the club's old ground, Burnden Park. Despite the improved facilities and larger capacity (and resultant larger ticket revenues), this move was unpopular with many of the club's fans. This was partly due to the new stadium being built out-of-town, and partly due to sentimental attachment to the old stadium and its history. In recognition of this, the street on which the stadium is situated is called Burnden Way.

The lead consultant/architect of the project was Lobb Sports, but the local firm of Bradshaw Gass & Hope acted as planning supervisors and quantity surveyors. The value of the contract was £25 million.[6] The stadium is noted for its distinct gabled architecture, first pioneered by the Galpharm Stadium. The upper-tier corners do not have seating due to concerns of health and safety access.

The stadium was opened on 1 September 1997 by the recently appointed Labour Party deputy prime minister John Prescott.

When the stadium was named for long-time team sponsor Reebok in 1997, it was unpopular with many fans, as it was considered impersonal, and that too much emphasis was being placed on financial considerations. This opposition considerably lessened since the stadium was built, however, as fans grew accustomed to the name and since Reebok is a local company.[7]

Footballing firsts[edit]

ReebokStadium.jpg
  • The first competitive – and Premier League – match at the stadium was a 0–0 draw between Bolton and Everton on Monday 1 September 1997.
  • The first player to score at the stadium was Alan Thompson, a penalty in the 1–1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur, on 23 September. Chris Armstrong, who later in his career had a short spell with Wanderers, got the equaliser.
  • Lokomotiv Plovdiv were the visitors in the first UEFA Cup match at the stadium, on 15 September 2005. Boban Janchevski scored first for the visitors, but two late goals from El Hadji Diouf and Jared Borgetti secured a 2–1 home victory in Bolton's first European match. It was also the first European competitive game that the club had played in its history.

Other events[edit]

Bolton.jpg

In addition to hosting football games, the stadium also offers other services, such as a hotel and function rooms.

The stadium has been used to host concerts by famous acts such as Oasis,[8] Pink, Elton John & Coldplay.

Footage from the Coldplay concert was used in the video for the single, "Fix You", which shows lead singer Chris Martin entering the stage as the song reaches its climax.

The Rugby League World Cup Semi-final in 2000 between England and New Zealand was hosted at the Reebok Stadium. The rugby league football World Club Challenge took place there in 2001 between the National Rugby League (NRL) Grand Final premiers Brisbane Broncos and the Super League grand final premiers St. Helens. Another World Club Challenge took place in February 2007, on this occasion St. Helens were the eventual winners beating Brisbane Broncos.

The stadium has also held Great Britain rugby league internationals, The UK Open Darts Championship, boxing matches with local boxer Amir Khan and 16 April 2011 when it hosted its first rugby union match when Sale Sharks lost to London Irish.

Every November the Reebok Stadium hosts Kidz up North which is one of the largest free UK exhibitions totally dedicated to children with disabilities and special needs, their parents, carers and professionals who work with them.

The venue's Premier Suite is home to the UK's leading amateur mixed martial arts event, Full Contact Contender.[9] As of 16 March 2013 The Reebok has played host to three Full Contact Contender events.[10]

Records[edit]

Record attendance: 28,353 v Leicester City, 28 December 2003 (FA Premier League)

Lowest attendance for a competitive match: 3,673 v Gillingham, 21 September 1999 (League Cup 2nd round 2nd leg)

Lowest Premier League attendance: 17,014 v Derby County, 2 January 2008

Record UEFA Cup attendance: 26,163 v Atlético Madrid, 14 February 2008 Last 32 1st leg

Record FA Cup attendance: 23,523 v Arsenal, 12 March 2005 quarter finals

Record League Cup Attendance: 18,037 v Tottenham Hotspur, 27 October 2004 3rd round

The stadium as seen from nearby Crooked Edge Hill

Average attendances[edit]

Season League Average Attendance[11] European Average Attendance FA Cup Average Attendance League Cup Average Attendance
2000–01 14,960 14,982 4,957
2001–02 25,098 7,015
2002–03 25,016 10,123 12,621
2003–04 26,794 8,759 10,191
2004–05 26,005 19,837 18,037
2005–06 25,265 17,635 15,223 11,997
2006–07 23,606 21,088
2007–08 20,901 18,367 15,286 15,510
2008–09 22,485 7,136
2009–10 21,880 13,120 8,050
2010–11 22,869 14,035
2011–12 23,670 10,532 6,777

Transport[edit]

The stadium's West Stand lies about 200 metres from Horwich Parkway railway station. The station lies between Lostock and Blackrod on the Manchester to Preston Line. Football specials operate to and from this station on matchdays. Bus services are laid on by the club from across the borough when the Wanderers are at home.[12]

On non-matchdays Horwich Parkway is served by three services an hour in each direction, operated by Northern Rail or First TransPennine Express. Numerous routes serve bus stops near or at the ground, operated by Arriva and FirstBus.[13]

Nat Lofthouse Statue[edit]

Bolton Wanderers unveiled a bronze statue of their most famous player Nat Lofthouse prior to a game against Queens Park Rangers on 24 August 2013. The statue which cost £100,000 due to the generosity of public donation and sponsors is situated near to the South West corner at the Reebok Stadium and was officially revealed by club owner Eddie Davies in a special ceremony.

Club chaplain Phil Mason, chairman Phil Gartside and the son of Nat Lofthouse – Jeff Lofthouse, also took part in the ceremony as did sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn. Hedges-Quinn had taken 18 months overall to complete the project having worked successfully on the statues such as that of Bob Stokoe at The Stadium of Light, Ted Bates at St Mary's Stadium and Sir Bobby Robson and Alf Ramsey at Portman Road.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b To check the stadium's full postal address, go to the Royal Mail address finder and type: BL6 6JW. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Main | News". SAPCA. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Reebok Stadium architect Populous
  4. ^ "Official Site of the Premier League". premierleague.com. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "BWFC strike stadium and kit deal with Macron". bwfc.co.uk. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Bradshaw Gass & Hope website retrieved 26 October 2007
  7. ^ Sam Antrobus (17 December 2012). "Should football fans really be so fearful of such deals?". FootballFanCast.com. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  8. ^ McNair, James (17 July 2000). "Oasis | Reebok Stadium, Bolton". The Independent. 
  9. ^ Wharton, Brad. "Full Contact Contender 3 Report and Results". YourMMA.tv. YourMMA. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  10. ^ McCann, George. "FCC 5 Review and Results". Love2Fight Magazine. Love2Fight Magazine. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  11. ^ http://www.bwfc.co.uk/page/Attendance/
  12. ^ "Directions to the Reebok Stadium". Bwfc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  13. ^ http://www.bwfcbusiness.co.uk/travelling-to-the-reebok-stadium1/
  14. ^ "Nat Lofthouse statue at Bolton's Reebok Stadium". BBC News. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 

External links[edit]