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Nene Park
Nene Park.jpg
Location Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire
Opened 1969
Owner Rushden & Diamonds
Operator Rushden & Diamonds
Surface Grass
Construction cost £30 million
Architect Rex Bryan Son & Pennock [1]
Capacity 6441 (4641 seated)
Tenants
Rushden & Diamonds

Nene Park is the home ground of Rushden & Diamonds football club. The stadium is situated in Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire, England, along the bank of the River Nene, and holds 6441, with 4641 seated and 1800 standing. It is renowned for its high-quality facilities and comfort. The carpark can hold 800 vehicles[2].

Contents

History

The stadium was built in 1969 as the home of Irthlingborough Diamonds, after the land was bought from the water board. In 1978, Nene Park became the first United Counties League stadium to have floodlights, which were turned on by Bobby Robson. He was watched by future Rushden & Diamonds manager Brian Talbot, who was still in his playing career at the time.

In 1992, when Irthlingborough Diamonds merged with Rushden Town to form Rushden & Diamonds, Nene Park was extensively redeveloped. The stadium was torn down and rebuilt under the financial guidance of Max Griggs. The new stadium has conference facilities in the Diamond Centre, which features three hospitality rooms and was opened by Prince Charles in 1995.

In recent years the stadium's biggest stand, the Airwair Stand (see below) was closed. This was in response to the falling attendances, which meant that the cost of keeping the stand open had become uneconomic. It was the stand for to home fans, who now watch from the North Stand, South Stand or Peter DeBanke Terrace. The Airwair is occasionally opened when large numbers of travelling fans are expected.

An unusual feature of the stadium is the model owls in each corner, to deter birds from nesting in the roof.

Future plans

Hotel

Nene Park has permission to build a three-star, 150-bed hotel on its grounds. Strategic Director at Rushden & Diamonds, Helen Thompson said,

This is of huge significance to the Club to assist in working towards a sustainable future for the whole of the Nene Park Sports Complex and perpetuate the special gift that Max Griggs gave to the local community. Our personal thanks go to all those involved in supporting this application. In recent years Irthlingborough has unfortunately witnessed the redevelopment of many employment sites, we have a serious lack of local jobs. The range of full and part time positions this scheme will bring will provide an economic boost at a critical time, both during construction and once opened.[3]

2012 Olympics training camp

Nene Park is to be used as a training camp for athletes ahead of the 2012 London Olympics[4] The sports to be hosted are archery, fencing, football, judo, table tennis and wrestling.

Gallery

Average crowd sizes

Season Ave. Attendance +/- ave. on prev. season Competition
2003–04 4,457[5] unknown Second Division
2004–05 3,321[5] -1,136 League Two
2005–06 3,162[6] -159 League Two
2006–07 2,045[7] -1,136 Conference National
2007–08 1,586[8] -459 Conference National
2008–09 1,609[9] +23 Conference National

Stands

The South Stand includes the Diamond Centre and hospitality suites. Away fans, if travelling in small numbers, are situated in a block of this stand. There are 1224 seats.

The North Stand is home to the press box and more hospitality suites. It holds 976 people (all seated).

The Airwair Stand is the biggest stand in the stadium, holding over 2000 fans, it is situated behind one of the goals. Originally home to home fans it has since been closed, only being used when a large number of away fans travel.

The Peter De Banke terrace, or PDB, is named after the late popular club stalwart, Peter De Banke, and was opened in late-1994. Holding 1800 fans, it is an all-standing covered terrace.[10][11] It houses Rushden's singing fans. Within two years of Max Griggs taking control of the club, the PDB was constructed, replacing temporary dressing rooms and offices.

References

External links

  • Nene Park on Rushden & Diamonds official website

Coordinates: 52°19′40.92″N 0°35′59.97″W / 52.3280333°N 0.5999917°W / 52.3280333; -0.5999917

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