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The City Ground
The City Ground, Nottingham.jpg
Full name The City Ground
Location City Ground, Nottingham NG2 5FJ
Coordinates 52°56′24″N 1°7′58″W / 52.94°N 1.13278°W / 52.94; -1.13278Coordinates: 52°56′24″N 1°7′58″W / 52.94°N 1.13278°W / 52.94; -1.13278
Built 1898
Opened 1898
Capacity 30,602 [1]
Field dimensions 115 x 78 yards (105.2 x 71.3 metres)
Nottingham Forest Football Club (1898-present)

The City Ground is a football stadium in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, England, on the banks of the River Trent. It has been home to Nottingham Forest Football Club since 1898, and has a capacity of 30,602 .

The stadium was one of the venues for Euro 96, and is only three hundred yards away from Meadow Lane, home of Forest's neighbouring club Notts County; the two grounds are the closest professional stadia in England.

The City Ground will be the eighth largest stadium in Football League Championship during the 2009–10 campaign, and the tenth largest club football ground outside the Premier League.



Nottingham Forest moved to their new ground on 3 September 1898. In order to raise the £3,000 required to finance the move the club asked members, supporters and businessmen to subscribe to “New Ground Scheme” bearer bonds which cost £5 each. Over £2,000 was raised this way.

The new ground was called the City Ground. It was only a few hundred yards from the old Town Ground at the opposite end of Trent Bridge, which had been named after the Town Arms pub. Nottingham was granted its Charter as a City in 1897 and it was called the City Ground to commemorate this, in spite of the ground being ironically just outside the city. Meadow Lane lies opposite the City Ground, home of Notts County, which is ironically in the City limits. The ground was wide open on three sides with no protection from the weather but the pitch was one of the finest in the country. This was due to the presence on the committee of J. W. Bardill, a nurseryman whose family firm still exists near Nottingham and whose company was given the task of preparing the pitch.

In 1935, the club had the opportunity to buy the ground from Nottingham Corporation for £7,000 but it was not proceeded with.

On 12 October 1957, a new East Stand opened at the City Ground costing £40,000 and having benches to sit up to 2,500 fans. The visitors for the opening were Manchester United’s “Busby Babes”. A new record attendance of 67,804 saw United win 2-1 and the ball, signed by both teams, is still in the Trophy Room.

The Main Stand was largely rebuilt in 1965 but on 24 August 1968 fire broke out during a First Division game against Leeds United. The stand was subsequently burned to the ground but thankfully, despite a crowd of 31,126, there were no casualties. The fire started, probably in the dressing room area, just before half-time and, as much of it was built of wood, it spread rapidly and the whole stand went up in flames. As a result Forest played six ‘home’ matches at nearby Meadow Lane and did not win one of them. Sadly many of the club’s records, trophies, memorabilia etc were lost in the fire. The stand was rebuilt with a capacity of 5,708.

The Executive Stand was built in 1980 at a cost of £2 million—largely from proceeds of the unforgettable era in which Forest brought the European Cup back to Nottingham in 1979 and 1980. Under Clough’s reign Forest had taken the English domestic game and the European scene by storm and money raised from those outstanding successes was invested in a stand that had a capacity of 10,000. The stand was renamed The Brian Clough Stand after Clough's retirement, and was re-opened after refurbishment by the man himself in the mid-1990s. The stand also incorporates 36 executive boxes and a large dining area which was designed to be the focus of the club’s corporate hospitality arrangements.

More major development took part in 1992-93 with the rebuilding of the Bridgford Stand. Work started in April 1992 and when completed the Stand had a capacity of 7,710, the lower tier of 5,131 being allocated to away supporters. The unusual shape of the roof was a planning requirement to allow sunlight to reach houses in nearby Colwick Road. The Stand includes accommodation for 70 wheelchair supporters. It also houses a management suite, which includes the public address systems, computerised electronic scoreboard controls and the police matchday operation.

The Trent End was the most recent stand to be rebuilt—in time for Euro 96, the European Football Championships. The new stand, such a prominent landmark by the River Trent, held 7,338 to take the ground’s capacity to 30,576. The ground would be able to expand to up to 46,000 if ever there was ever a return to the top flight. On 20 June 2007, the Forest board announced plans for a possible relocation to a new 50,000-seat stadium in the city, though even if these plans do go ahead, the club's directors do not expect relocation to take place until at least 2014.

The City Ground also hosted the FA Women's Cup Final for two successive years in 2007 and 2008. The 2007 final was contested by Arsenal L.F.C. and Charlton Athletic L.F.C. with the attendance of 24,529 smashing the previous record attendance for the competition of 13,824 for the final between Arsenal L.F.C. and Fulham L.F.C. at Selhurst Park in 2001. In 2008, the attendance record was broken once again when 24,582 spectators saw Arsenal A.F.C. beat Leeds United 4-1.

Aside from football, the stadium has also hosted two other large-scale events. On April 28 2002, the stadium hosted a semi-final of rugby's Heineken Cup in which Leicester Tigers beat Llanelli Scarlets 13-12 and on 6 July 2005, the stadium hosted its first music concert when R.E.M. performed there in front of an audience of 20,000.

Proposed relocation

In June 2007, Nottingham Forest announced plans to leave the City Ground after more than 100 years. The plan is to move to a new purpose built stadium in the south of the city, which will form part of a new housing and leisure development near to the city's Clifton Estate. Although the plans are still preliminary, any such ground would seat 40,000–50,000 people and would be a potential venue should England win the right to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The ground would be served by the Nottingham Express Transit tram extension from the city centre, and would be within good access from the A453, a major road which links Nottingham with the M1 motorway. More recent developments reveal plans to build the new stadium on a site in Gamston[1].

However, there are plans to rebuild the City Ground's Main Stand (on the condition that Forest return to the Premier League) - a plan which would make the ground up to around 40,000 capacity. However, with this in mind, the plans for a new ground came as quite a shock to fans, especially after just losing out on promotion to the Championship. Forest justified the new ground over the previously proposed City Ground Main Stand extension by suggesting that the current 'new' stands (Trent End, Brian Clough Stand, Bridgford Stand) are in a state which, 10 years down the line, would be money intensive on club funds. Much of the funding for the brand new stadium however would be from the private sector, primarily the construction company, and would as a result work out cheaper for Nottingham Forest.

Fans views of the move have to date been somewhat mixed about a new stadium being built for Nottingham Forest because of their previous League One status.

Possible stadium names have even been suggested by some supporters, including the Brian Clough Arena, the New City Ground, City of Nottingham Stadium, and the Robin Hood Arena.


Panorama taken from the Trent End.
Panorama taken from the Brian Clough Stand looking across at the Main Stand.
Panorama taken from the Bridgford End Lower Tier (the away end) looking towards the Trent End.

See also

Notes and references

External links



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