Tyne and Wear HER(16972): Gateshead International Stadium - Details
Gateshead International Stadium
Opened in August 1955 by Jim Peters, marathon runner. Cost £30,000. The stadium had an asphalt cycle track and a cinder athletic's track. The grandstand had 400 seats. In 1956 the gateshead Harriers moved to the stadium. They were formed in 1904 at St. Mary's Church, Oakwellgate. The first tenant club was Gateshead FC who moved here from Redheugh Park in 1971. The club folded in 1973. In 1974 the newly formed Gateshead Town were the tenant. In 1974 the cinder track was replaced by an artificial track. Gateshead Town were replaced by South Shields FC and became Gateshead United. The club folded after 3 years. In 1977 a new Gateshead FC was formed. In 1979 Gateshead Council decided to transform the stadium into a venue for international meetings. The stand was taken down and sold for £3000 to Blaydon Rugby Football Club. It was replaced by a 3,300 seat cantilevered stand. There were 8,450 uncovered seats around the other three sides. Gateshead Senators, an American football team, have played at the stadium since 1988. Rock concerts have been staged here (Tina Turner and Bon Jovi in the 1990s). In August 1995 the stadium was full for a friendly match between Gateshead FC and Newcastle United. In 1998 Gateshead Thunder rugby league club formed. Primarily however, the stadium is the north east's leading athletics venue. It staged the European Cup in 1999 and 2000. It holds annual Grand Prix meetings for the IAAF's Diamond League. In May 2006 an indoor athletics centre was opened. It was designed by Faulkner Browns and cost £9.5 million. It houses a hub for the English Institute of Sport which offers training for athletes, and Gateshead College's Academy of Sport. There are also fitness suites, three football pitches and outdoor training areas. In 2009 Gateshead FC revealed plans to build their own stadium on the former North Durham cricket ground, but this never happened. In July 2010 a new 4000 seat East Stand was built. Designed by S&P Architects and built by Willmott Dixon. It has a 30m cantilevered roof designed by Fabric Architects, covered by a PVC coated polyester fabric held in tension across five barrel vaulted sections.
Lynn Pearson, 2010, Played in Tyne and Wear - Charting the heritage of people at play, p 126-127