With a budget
of £1,750 tenders were invited for a new stand to seat 2,000
spectators and the directors approached Glasgow architect
Archibald Leitch to design a new stand.
produced a design that was within budget and its impressive
features were just what the Boro directors were looking for.
They gave Leitch the go-ahead and work began on the 274ft long
stand on the north side of Ayresome Park.
Keen to have a
ground befitting of their league status the directors decided
that the old main stand from the Linthorpe Road Ground should be
moved to Ayresome Park, so work began to dismantle the stand and
re-erect it on the south side of Ayresome Park.
Tons of earth
was moved by horse-drawn wagons to build embankments at the east
and west ends of Ayresome Park, providing terracing for
thousands. The ends were initially known as the Linthorpe Road
End and the Workhouse End.
throughout the summer of 1903 with the ground being enclosed by
a wooden fence, bringing the total cost of the build to £11,957,
a sum that was largely financed by loans.
100% complete, the first paying customers were admitted to
Ayresome Park for a friendly game against Glasgow Celtic on
Tuesday 1st September. The match attracted a crowd of
around 7,000 spectators.
later, on Saturday 12th September, Boro played their
first league game at Ayresome Park against local rivals
Sunderland, in front of approximately 30,000 spectators. With
general admission set a 6d and transfers to the stands an extra
9d Boro took record receipts of around £1,000.
Boro’s Joe Cassidy scored the
first goal at Ayresome Park, but Sunderland spoilt the party by
running-out 3-2 winners on the day.