Written by Callum Walker
Despite its relatively old appearance, the New Craven Park has only been around since 1989 when the Hull KR club made the move from the Old Craven Park – and it still retains all the hostile aura of the original construction.
The match that kicked off the new era saw Rovers take on Trafford Borough as 8,500 spectators filled the stadium – it was a sign of things to come as the club eased through Division Two that year to be crowned champions.
In 2006, with KR’s promotion to the Super League, the ground and pitch underwent significant improvement to make it top-flight ready. And, whilst plans for Hull KR to move from Craven Park to a modern purpose-built stadium were broached in 2007, a new lease-term agreement was instead found with Hull City Council which helped Rovers secure their long-term future.
In doing so, the club were able to invest and develop the stadium in order to make it much more Super League-quality. The initial phase saw a temporary seated stand replacing the south terrace for away supporters before work began on the extension of the East Stand.
Now, the Hull KR South Stand boasts a superb seating facility, sprucing up what looked a tired end to the stadium. Of course, the North Stand is still too far away from the pitch and too exposed to the elements, but that could well be in the club’s sight in the future.
The record attendance, with all the increasing expansion, was set in Easter 2018, when bitter rivals Hull FC crossed the river. 12,090 fans almost filled the 12,225-capacity arena, enhancing the already incredible noise that the stadium can generate.
In terms of attractiveness, Craven Park – or more accurately Hull College Craven Park Stadium – isn’t exactly high up on the list, but in terms of entertainment and atmosphere, it certainly takes a lot to beat, particularly under the floodlights.