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New faces and places for Wanderers in 2016/17

24 June 2016

bwfc.co.uk runs the rule over the new teams and grounds Wanderers will be encountering this coming season

Following on from the release of the club’s fixtures for the upcoming 2016/17 campaign, the Whites now also know when they will be pitting their wits against two new opponents and making trips to eight new grounds.

The new season will see Wanderers come up against AFC Wimbledon in their current form with them having to wait only a week after their opening game to visit Kingsmeadow on Saturday 13 August.

A team only officially formed in 2002, the Dons’ home ground has a capacity of 4,850 and is shared with local side Kingstonian F.C who have played their own games there since it opened in 1989.

Another new face for the Trotters this term will be Fleetwood Town, a fixture which will no doubt bring a new ground for many of the club’s fans too.

Wanderers have previously travelled to Highbury for friendly fixtures, but this season will see them make their first competitive trip to the Fylde Coast on Saturday 11 March.

The home of the Cod Army since 1934 alongside ground shares with both Fleetwood Flyers and Blackpool’s reserve sides throughout its existence, Highbury itself began to undergo renovations in 2007 with them continuing to this day on the 5,311 capacity stadium.

Alongside these two new competitive faces and grounds for Phil Parkinson’s side meanwhile, there are also six stadiums which either did not exist or did not host the game the last time Bolton played their occupants…


Proact Stadium (Chesterfield) – Saturday 17 December 2016

Only opening six years ago this summer, Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium was built on the site of the former Dema Glassworks.

Boasting a capacity of 10,400, the opening of the ground in 2010 certainly brought luck to the Spireites with them winning promotion the following May as champions of the fourth tier.

Prior to their move to the Proact, Chesterfield had played their games at the Recreation Ground, often referred to as Saltergate, since 1871 with Bolton’s last visit being a 4-3 FA Cup victory in December 1990.


Ricoh Arena (Coventry City) – Monday 2 January 2017

Built in 2005 to replace their Highfield Road ground – where Wanderers drew 2-2 on their last visit there in August 1997 - Coventry City also share their home with Wasps RFC while football matches at the 2012 Summer Olympics were staged there too.

A stadium which has a capacity of 32,500, the Sky Blues have experienced a number of problems in regards to rent during their time there with them eventually being forced to play their games at Northampton’s Sixfields Stadium for over a year three seasons ago.

Returning to the Ricoh in the summer of 2014, Wanderers supporters will no doubt have glimpsed a sight of the stadium itself from the M6 motorway en route to fixtures in the south of the country.


Glanford Park (Scunthorpe United) – Saturday 8 April 2017

Although a handful of Whites fans may have visited this stadium during the club’s pre-season schedule of 2015/16, the coming campaign sees Bolton make their first competitive trip to Glanford Park.

Initially playing their home games at the Old Showground from their inception onwards, United and Wanderers last locked horns on Scunthorpe soil just months before they moved to their current home with the encounter finishing in a 1-1 draw in April 1988.

Now nearing their 30th anniversary at Glanford Park, the 9,183 capacity stadium has seen everything from Championship football right down to the fourth division.


Sixfields (Northampton Town) – Saturday 26 November 2016

The home of Northampton Town for over two decades with the Cobblers having moved there in 1994, Sixfields recently underwent an expansion to increase their capacity to 7,724.

Ahead of their move to their current home, Town played their games at the County Cricket Ground from 1897 onwards which they shared with Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, while they allowed Coventry City to share their stadium in 2013/14. 

Wanderers’ last visit to Northamptonshire meanwhile was back in February 1990 when they ran out 2-0 winners.


Kassam Stadium (Oxford United) – Saturday 7 January 2017

Built from 1997 onwards, the Kassam Stadium – named after former club chairman Firoz Kassam – did not stage its first football match until four years later in 2001 when United hosted Crystal Palace in a friendly match.

Created to replace the U’s outdated Manor Ground – which Wanderers last visited in April 1999 for a goalless draw – the stadium has staged both Conference National and fourth tier football in its 15 year existence.

Following Oxford’s promotion as runners-up behind Northampton Town back in May however, the 12,500 ground will host League One football for the first time this coming season.


Memorial Stadium (Bristol Rovers) – Tuesday 16 August 2016

While the Memorial Stadium itself is fast approaching its 100th anniversary having been opened in September 1921, it wasn’t until 1996 that Bristol Rovers made the move over from Twerton Park, where Bolton last visited for a 1-1 draw in January 1990.

Despite spending the majority of their existence to date plying their trade at the Eastville Stadium, it was decided in 1986 that due to financial problems, they would have to move onto pastures new with their temporary stint in Bath lasting a decade.

Also home to Bristol Rugby from its opening to 2014, the 12,011 capacity Memorial Stadium has staged League One, League Two and Conference football with the Pirates.

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