THERE WE WERE, NOW HERE WE ARE : SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER 2016

September 2016 would prove to be the last full month of construction work.

The month began with Rangers visiting Windsor Park to take on Linfield in Jamie Mulgrew’s Testimonial, winning 7-0.

September 2016 - Turnstiles at far end of North Stand.

September 2016 – Turnstiles at far end of North Stand.

September 2016 - The Kop.

September 2016 – The Kop.

September 2016 - North Stand/The Kop junction.

September 2016 – North Stand/The Kop junction.

A delay in getting an alcohol licence meant that there were no bar facilities available when Linfield played Portadown on 10th September, with the club hoping to have them available when they faced Ards two weeks later.

September 2016 - Arm Railing added to The Kop.

September 2016 – Arm Railing added to The Kop.

September saw the announcement that Windsor Park would host two games later in October 2016 in a Women’s Under 19 tournament featuring France, England and USA as preparation for the Under 19 European Championship in 2017.

September 2016 - The Kop/North Stand junction

September 2016 – The Kop/North Stand junction

September 2016 - Far entrance of North Stand.

September 2016 – Far entrance of North Stand.

September 2016 - Street Lighting being erected at North Stand/Kop junction.

September 2016 – Street Lighting being erected at North Stand/Kop junction.

Premier Seat holders got the news they were waiting for on the day of the County Antrim Shield tie against Donegal Celtic, when it was announced that both corporate lounges were open, and they could avail of teas and biscuits if they wished.

The end of the month would be busy for Windsor Park, with Visit Belfast holding their AGM at the stadium.

Fans of Women’s Football would see their Irish Cup Final between Linfield and Cliftonville held at Windsor Park, which Linfield won 2-1.

The following day, Linfield’s match against Ards allowed fans to experience bar facilities at the rebuilt stadium for the first time.

September 2016 - More lighting added to North Stand/The Kop junction.

September 2016 – More lighting added to North Stand/The Kop junction.

September 2016 - Supporter's Bar at Windsor Park, location at junction of South Stand and Kop.

September 2016 – Supporter’s Bar at Windsor Park, location at junction of South Stand and Kop.

As preparation for the Northern Ireland v San Marino game continued, Sunday Life reported that FIFA President Gianni Infantino would be a special guest at that game.

With the stadium redevelopment nearing completion, supporters who require accessible access and seating were offered the opportunity to get a tour of the accessible facilities.

Another milestone was announced in late September 2016, when it was confirmed that Croatia would be the first team to play a friendly since the redevelopment was completed, in November 2016.

September 2016 - Barriers erected at far North Stand entrance.

September 2016 – Barriers erected at far North Stand entrance.

September 2016 - The Kop.

September 2016 – The Kop.

October 2016 - Adding the finishing touches

October 2016 – Adding the finishing touches

October 2016 - Adding some final touches.

October 2016 – Adding some final touches.

As the big day approached, the IFA announced a Lap Of Legends with celebrities such as Carl Frampton, James Nesbitt and Bethany Firth, before the match against San Marino.

October 2016 - Surface work.

October 2016 – Surface work.

October 2016 - Surface work.

October 2016 – Surface work.

October 2016 - Surface work continuing.

October 2016 – Surface work continuing.

Naturally, there would be a lot of media coverage surrounding the completion of the redevelopment, such as this article by Ivan Little on his memories of the stadium.

Not everybody was enthused by the redevelopment work, with local residents claiming the redevelopment has inconvenienced them and they have not seen any of the economic benefits they were promised.

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