University of Bolton Stadium
|Full name||University of Bolton Stadium|
|Former names||Macron Stadium (2014–2018)|
Reebok Stadium (1997–2014)
|Location||Burnden Way |
|Operator||Bolton Wanderers (1997–present)|
|Field size||110 x 72 yards (100.6 x 65.8 metres)|
Opening in 1997, it was named the Reebok Stadium, after club sponsors Reebok. In 2014, Bolton Wanderers signed a naming rights deal with Italian sportswear company Macron. It was renamed the University of Bolton Stadium in 2018.
A hotel forms part of the stadium and some of the rooms offer views of the pitch.
- 1 History
- 2 Footballing firsts
- 3 Other events
- 4 Attendances
- 5 Transport
- 6 Nat Lofthouse Statue
- 7 References
- 8 External links
University of Bolton Stadium is an all-seater stadium with a capacity of almost 29,000 and was completed in 1997, replacing the club's old ground, Burnden Park. The lead consultant/architect of the project was Lobb Sports, while local firm Bradshaw Gass & Hope acted as planning supervisors and quantity surveyors, the contractor was Birse Construction, and Deakin Callard & Partners provided structural engineering services. The value of the contract was £25 million (US$42.1 million). The stadium is noted for its distinct gabled architecture, first pioneered by the John Smith's Stadium.
The stadium consists of four stands: The Carrs Pasties (North) Stand at one end; the South Stand (Franking Sense and also the away end) at the other end; the West Stand at one side of the pitch; and the Nat Lofthouse (east) Stand at the other side.
When the stadium was named after long-time team sponsor Reebok in 1997, fans considered the title impersonal and believed that too much emphasis was being placed on financial considerations. This opposition considerably lessened after the stadium was built, as fans grew accustomed to the name and were bolstered by Reebok's status as a local company.
The Macron title was applied in July 2014 after the Bolton Wanderers club finalised a partnership with the large Italian sportswear brand. In April 2014, club chairman Phil Gartside stated that he was "proud" to be associated with Macron and had "been very impressed with their [Macron's] passion for football". A four-year duration was negotiated for the Macron deal and the club had the option to extend at completion.
When the deal with Macron came to an end in August 2018 the stadium was again renamed, this time as the University of Bolton Stadium.
- The first competitive – and Premier League – match at the stadium was a 0–0 draw between Bolton and Everton on Monday 1 September 1997. Bolton's Gerry Taggart had a header that crossed the line wrongly ruled out, and the points it would have won would have saved Bolton from relegation at Everton's expense.
- 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.
- On 6 September 2002, it hosted its first international, a friendly between England under-21 and Yugoslavia under-21. It ended in a 1–1 draw with 10,531 in attendance. Visitor Danko Lazović scored the first goal and Shaun Wright-Phillips equalised.
- 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 late goals from El Hadji Diouf and Jared Borgetti secured a 2–1 home victory in the first competitive European match in Bolton's history.
The stadium also hosted the UK Open Darts Championship, boxing matches with local boxer Amir Khan and in 2011 Premiership rugby union, when Sale Sharks lost to London Irish. It will also host group matches and the quarter-final of the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.
The stadium has also hosted six rugby league matches.
Rugby League Test MatchesEdit
|1||7 November 1998||New Zealand def. Great Britain 36–16||27,486||1998 Great Britain vs New Zealand series|
|1||18 November 2000||New Zealand def. England 49–6||16,032||2000 Rugby League World Cup semi-final|
|3||17 November 2001||Australia def. Great Britain 40–12||22,152||2001 Ashes series|
World Club ChallengeEdit
|1||26 January 2001||St. Helens def. Brisbane Broncos 20–18||16,041||2001 World Club Challenge|
|2||14 February 2003||Sydney Roosters def. St. Helens 38–0||19,807||2003 World Club Challenge|
|3||23 February 2007||St. Helens def. Brisbane Broncos 18–14||23,207||2007 World Club Challenge|
Bolton Wanderers Free SchoolEdit
In 2014, the club established Bolton Wanderers Free School at the stadium. It was a sixth form centre offering sports and related courses for 16- to 19-year-olds, and utilised the facilities of the stadium for most of its teaching and learning. However, this closed in 2017 due to low pupil numbers which made it 'not financially viable'.
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Lowest attendance for a competitive match: 1,540 v Everton U23s, 30 August 2016 Football League Trophy, Northern Group Stage, Game One
Lowest Premier League attendance: 17,014 v Derby County, 2 January 2008
|Season||Division||League Average Attendance||European Average Attendance||FA Cup Average Attendance||League Cup Average Attendance|
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.
On non-matchdays Horwich Parkway is served by three services an hour in each direction, operated by Northern or TransPennine Express. Numerous routes serve bus stops near or at the ground, operated by Arriva North West and First Greater Manchester.
Nat Lofthouse StatueEdit
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 donations and sponsors, is situated near to the south-west corner of the 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.
- To check the stadium's full postal address, go to the Royal Mail address finder and type: BL6 6JW. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "Official Site of the Premier League" (PDF). premierleague.com. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- "Groundsmen Win Top Awards with Desso Pitches". SAPCA. 18 June 2007. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- "Reebok Stadium". architect Populous. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- "BWFC strike stadium and kit deal with Macron". bwfc.co.uk. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Welcome to the University of Bolton Stadium". Bolton Wanderers F.C. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
- "Bolton Wanderers Football & Athletic Co Ltd. New Stadium". Bradshaw Gass & Hope. Bradshaw Gass & Hope, LLP. 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Timeline: A history of the Reebok Stadium". The Bolton News. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- Sam Antrobus (17 December 2012). "Should football fans really be so fearful of such deals?". FootballFanCast.com. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
- "Bolton to change stadium name to Macron Stadium – but where does it rank in the worst arena names?". The Daily Mirror. 24 April 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
- "Welcome to the University of Bolton Stadium". bwfc.co.uk. 1 August 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
- Shaw, Phil (2 September 1997). "Football: Speed's miss spares Bolton". The Independent. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- Iles, Marc (8 July 2017). "Two decades after Gerry Taggart's 'goal that never was' - Bolton Wanderers finally get goal-line technology". The Bolton News. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- Walker, Michael (21 January 2019). "I scored historic goal but couldn't keep Bolton up". Press Reader. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- "Wright-Phillips saves England". BBC Sport. 6 September 2002. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- "Bolton 2 Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1". Manchester Evening News. 15 September 2005. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- McNair, James (17 July 2000). "Oasis | Reebok Stadium, Bolton". The Independent. Archived from the original on 12 July 2009.
- Montgomery, James (2 August 2005). "Coldplay's clip for 'Fix You': All new footage of Chris Martin walking around". MTV. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
- Wharton, Brad. "Full Contact Contender 3 Report and Results". YourMMA.tv. YourMMA. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
- McCann, George. "FCC 5 Review and Results". Love2Fight Magazine. Love2Fight Magazine. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
- Marshall, Brad (17 August 2019). "Jeremy Corbyn addresses hundreds of activists at University of Bolton Stadium rally". The Bolton News. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
- Rugby League Project
- "Semi Final Venues Announced". rugby-league.co.uk. 30 May 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
- "Bolton Wanderers Free School 'not financially viable'". bwfc.co.uk. 7 March 2017. Archived from the original on 26 October 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Premier League 2001/2002 - Attendance". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
- "Championship 2012/2013 - Attendance". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
- "League One 2016/2017 - Attendance". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
- "Bolton results 2012-13". Football365. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- "Bolton results 2013-14". Football365. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- "Directions to the Reebok Stadium". Bwfc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
- "Nat Lofthouse statue at Bolton's Reebok Stadium". BBC News. Retrieved 24 August 2013.