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Darlington Arena

The Darlington Arena is a stadium in Darlington, County Durham. Since 2012, it has been home to Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Football Club. Between 2003 and 2012, it hosted Darlington F.C.'s home fixtures.


Prior to moving to the ground in 2003, Darlington F.C. had been playing at Feethams, located near to the town centre. The current stadium was built on a greenfield site next to Darlington's A66 bypass. Upon completion the arena was originally called the Reynolds Arena, after the club's then owner, George Reynolds. After Reynolds' bankruptcy and arrest on charges of money laundering, the name was changed to the New Stadium in April 2004. Since then the club sold the naming rights for the stadium to various sponsors: Williamson Motors, 96.6 TFM, Balfour Webnet, and in 2009 The Northern Echo. The Arena consists of four equally sided stands. The West Stand, located behind the goal, was generally the more vocal of the two sides used by home supporters.

It was the largest Conference National venue with a capacity of 25,000. Attendances for football matches were restricted to 10,000 by local planning regulations, because of poor access roads around the stadium, although the club was allowed to apply for an exception for special occasions.

A crowd of 11,600 watched the first game in the new stadium for a 2–0 defeat to Kidderminster Harriers. Since then, the ground averaged a gate of around 1,500 to 2,000 supporters, although certain fixtures such as derby match against local rivals Hartlepool United in March 2007 (10,121 spectators), pulled in a significantly larger turnout.

It was announced in May 2012 that Darlington would no longer play at the Darlington Arena. The club initially agreed a ground share deal with Shildon A.F.C., before deciding to share with Bishop Auckland F.C. instead.

In December 2012, Darlington Mowden Park R.F.C. bought the arena and of adjoining land, with the intention of developing a multi-sports facility.

Other uses

Darlington planned to use the stadium for musical concerts to increase club revenue. Elton John was the first act to play at the stadium, on 5 July 2008, attracting a crowd of 17,000, but no further concerts took place. The Arena also played host to the first professional rugby league match to be played in County Durham, when Gateshead Thunder used the ground for their fifth round 2009 Challenge Cup game against Oldham due to a fixture clash.

Text from Wikipedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (accessed: 09/10/2016).
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Darlington Football Club
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The 96.6 TFM Darlington Arena, Darlington FC

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Williamson Motors Stadium

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New home of Darlington FC (2006)

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