York & North Yorkshire

Scarborough Athletic FC plays first match at home ground in decade

Flamingo Land Stadium Image copyright Will Palmer
Image caption A crowd of 2,000 people turned out to watch Scarborough Athletic FC play their first home match in 10 years

A football team has played its first home game in more than 10 years after moving into a new stadium.

Scarborough Athletic FC played in its home town for the first time since the club was founded in 2007.

The team, formed after the collapse of Scarborough FC, has been playing home fixtures nearly 20 miles away in Bridlington.

The Sea Dogs lost 4-1 against a Sheffield United XI in front of a sell-out crowd at Flamingo Land Stadium.

Chairman Trevor Bull said: "Today is not only a great day for our club, it is also a massive day for our town."

Image copyright Will Palmer
Image caption Scarborough Athletic FC faced a Sheffield United XI in their first match at the Flamingo Land Stadium
Image copyright Ceri Oakes/Scarborough Borough Council
Image caption The stadium forms part of a £50m development built on a former park and ride site

The club was formed after Scarborough FC went out of business with debts of £2.5m. It is jointly owned by about 350 supporters.

Fan and club communications officer Will Baines said: "A lot of people have put a lot of work in to the club while we've been in exile, but now we're coming home."

Mr Baines said the move back to Scarborough was key to the future success of the side.

"We're fan-owned which means we've got our destiny in our own hands," he said.

"We've not got a big investor backing us, so that's why it's important that we're back in town as it's the money that we get through the turnstiles every week that will pay for the club."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Scarborough FC played at the McCain Stadium until the club went out of business in 2007

The homecoming fixture generated such interest the council and club warned people not to congregate on the hill overlooking the ground as it has no public right of way.

The stadium forms part of a £50m development built on the town's former Weaponness Park and Ride site, which includes a swimming pool, new University Technical College and Coventry University's Scarborough campus.

Scarborough FC's former ground - the McCain Stadium - was demolished in 2011.

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