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The Stadium

Tulloch Caledonian Stadium Tulloch Caledonian Stadium is the jewel in Inverness's football crown and is now home to games at the top level on a fortnightly basis. It was not always so, and indeed its construction and continued existence have been in doubt at regular intervals over the years.

When Caledonian and Inverness Thistle proposed to merge and join the Scottish Football League one important ingredient in the bid was to build a new state-of-the-art stadium. This was a promise that was to prove difficult to keep. The financial and infrastructure goalposts moved many times between planning and construction but it finally opened for serious business on 9 November 1996 with a league match against Albion Rovers.

The first league match in the SFL was very close when East Longman was chosen in June 1994 as the preferred site and Inverness District Council approved in principle the lease of 9.03 acres for a stadium and car parking. Construction was to be completed by August 1995 but this proved unrealistic and dispensation had to be sought from the League for a delay. A one season extension was granted and this slipped a few months to November 1996. A major economic hurdle was the provision of road accesses from both the A9 and the Longman Industrial Estate. This was to allow segregation of travelling and home fans and this worked - but the financial legacy of the road was to remain a burden for years.

Caledonian Stadium ConstructionWork on the new stadium finally started on 3 October 1995 when Provost William Fraser cut the first ceremonial turf. Local firms shared the work - McGregor Construction (Highlands) built the stadium and Morrison Construction were awarded the infrastructure contract. The escalating costs were partly met by the sale of Caledonian's Telford Street Park (for a retail development) and Thistle's Kingsmills Park (for residential development and a home) and contributions were also received gratefully from Inverness and Nairn Enterprise, the Football Trust (grants and loans) Highland Council, the European Development Fund and Inverness Harbour Trust. There was still a shortfall of nearly £1 million pounds which was funded by bank loans. The total cost, including a section of road funded by the Harbour Trust, was £5.6 million.

When addressing the Council, before they decided whether or not to contribute to the project, chairman Dougie McGilvray stated that the main problem was the infrastructure, the access roads and car park? "We are opening up an area that has not been opened up before". He was to be proved right. In time, the road was to become a popular (and vital) route via the harbour area to the A9 and would eventually service prime development land. Work on the new stadium well under way by the spring of 1996 and pitch contractor Sports Grounds Ltd started turf-laying on April 24th. It was, however, clear that it could not be ready for the start of 1996-97. The Scottish League agreed that Telford Street Park could be used until completion.

Caledonian Stadium before the additional standsThe public's first real look at the new structure was on 27 July 1996 at an open day. The squad held a practice match and Richard Hastings claimed the honour of scoring the first goal on the new pitch. When all was in place, and the relevant safety and building certificates granted, it was time for a full scale test. This took the form of a challenge match on Wednesday 6 November 1996 between Inverness Caledonian Thistle and an Inverness & District Select. The hosts won 6-2 and Scott McLean scored four goals. The honour of scoring the first goal went to the Select's Norman Kellas. Caledonian Stadium was open for business. 'Tulloch' would be added to the name in January 2005 following a high-speed upgrade to SPL standards. Of that more later.

Saturday 9 November 1996 was one more red letter day in the story of Inverness football. A crowd of 3734 witnessed the first league match at the new ground and a 1-1 draw with Albion Rovers. The first competitive goal was scored by Rovers' Dave McKenzie. The excellent facilities, including a fine playing surface, were reflected in the team's performance over the rest of 1996-97 and the Third Division championship was won by early April. Teams began to fear the trip north and just two seasons later further promotion to the First Division was achieved. The First Division proved a much harder nut to crack, especially as there was just one promotion place available, but in May 2004 this was achieved amidst much drama and excitement. It was a fitting way to celebrate the end of the club's tenth season in the league.
The drama now switched from football to politics. Caledonian Stadium did not meet the SPL's criteria of 10,000 seats and it looked as if the club's hopes of playing in the top flight would be dashed. Falkirk had suffered from the same rule just 12 months earlier and been forced to remain in the First Division. Eventually a cunning plan emerged - one that at first seemed outrageous, uneconomic and just plain daft. This was a groundshare 100 miles away at Pittodrie, Aberdeen. Even if this was economically feasible - a marginal and brave call - would it be allowed by the SPL board? Despite protests and appeals by Partick Thistle (the team due to be relegated to the First Division) the club received the green light to spend a season on the A96 to Aberdeen. In the event the books were balanced and the board's faith was rewarded.

SPL entry reopened a debate that had been going for years. How could a 10,000 seat stadium be funded? Supermarket giant ASDA had expressed an interest in buying the Longman site and giving the club the chance to relocate. The situation was complicated by the no small fact that the site was owned by Inverness's Common Good Fund and no suitable alternative site could be identified. A revised plan saw ASDA express a desire to take over the site between the Caledonian Stadium and the A9. Cooperation with the club could have meant a new stand but the idea was dropped because of traffic problems. The answer came from an unexpected direction.

Tulloch Caledonian StadiumAfter the first few months of the exhausting SPL routine - effectively an away match every week - there was a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Whispers at SPL board level were that a return to Inverness was possible if Caledonian Stadium could be upgraded before late January 2005. The summer arguments about stadium criteria had resulted in a change to 6,000 seats rather than 10,000 - but this was to come into effect for 2005/06. The 6,000 seat level was brought forward to allow ICT the chance to upgrade by the time each club had played them once at Pittodrie. Enter Tulloch Construction and a remarkable feat. The ICT board took the decision to go for it in partnership with Tulloch. Foundation work for the two new stands had already taken place but full construction work began on 29 November. The target date was 29 January 2005 and, despite snow, frost, rain and a hurricane, the stands were completed in a remarkable 47 days. This included the installation of undersoil heating - another SPL requirement.

The final stage in the stadium upgrading exercise was the formal granting of the appropriate certificates effective from Wednesday 26 January. A Completion Certificate for the building work was granted by the Planning Department of Highland Council followed swiftly by the issue of the all-important Safety Certificate by Environmental Health. The next day Tulloch chairman David Sutherland formally handed back the upgraded stadium to the club and it was all systems go.

Saturday 29 January 2005 was another historic day in the short history of the club. With Thin Lizzy's 'The Boys Are Back In Town' booming from the tannoy, the team ran out to play Dunfermline - the first ever SPL match in the Highlands. Just before 3 pm the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium was officially opened by Highland Council convener Alison Magee with David Sutherland and SPL chairman Lex Gold in attendance. The new name reflected Tulloch's economic backing for the club and the remarkable achievement of building the two new stands in record time. Then it was on with the show. Any worries about a let-down disappeared as Caley Thistle won 2-0.

Records were soon being broken as the Old Firm brought their legions of fans north. Celtic were the first to call and the match on 16 March 2005 drew a crowd of 7045. This was surpassed on 6 August 2005 with the visit of Rangers. The attendance of 7512 still stands as a stadium record.

Tulloch Caledonian Stadium was chosen as the venue for a Scotland Futures international against Turkey on 15 March. ICT players Mark Brown, Craig Dargo and Ian Black featured for Scotland but they lost narrowly 3-2. Despite the score the event was a major success for the club and the stadium. The influx of a large local support (and a fair few vocal Turks) resulted in a 15 minute kick-off delay but otherwise all went well. The SFA delegation was impressed by the whole operation and support. Further international matches in Inverness are a distinct possibility and the future of the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium is most certainly a rosy one.

For those visiting the stadium on a matchday, or for conferencing or other events, directions can be found: HERE

Football Management

Football Management & Personnel at ICTFC

Manager - Richie Foran

Assistant Manager - Brian Rice

Club Captain - Gary Warren

First Team Coach - Scott Kellacher

Under 20s Coach - Duncan Shearer

Physios - David MacFadyen

Club Doctor - Dr Derick Macleod

Kitman - Jack Davis

Club Secretary - Jim Falconer

New Fan Guide

Fan Guide

In this guide we will attempt to provide an easy one-stop location that tries to answer some of the questions many new fans of the club who may be coming to a game for the first time always seem to have ... it may also answer some questions that even the most fervent ICTFC fans may not know the answer to as well !


General Questions

Inverness Caledonian Thistle - great name, but how did it come about?

Inverness Caledonian Thistle was formed in 1994 as the result of a merger between Caledonian FC and Inverness Thistle FC who between them had more than 200 years of combined history in the Highland League.

The team first played as Caledonian Thistle but added Inverness to the name at the end of the 1995-96 season. Full season-by-season reviews can be viewed in our history section: HERE  The club's official name is Inverness Caledonian Thistle and we are very proud of that name. However it is a bit of a mouthful for most commentators and fans so the official name is frequently shortened.

Given the club's history some fans will call the team "Caley" some will call us "Thistle" or "The Jags" and others will call us Caley Thistle or the "CaleyJags". No-one is wrong, they are all acceptable as is "ICTFC", Inverness CT, or just Inverness ... It is your team as much as ours so call it by the name you are most comfortable with.

Getting to a Game

What game can I go to?

The traditional Scottish football season runs from late July or Early August to mid May and each club will normally play 36 or more league games. Half of these league games will take place at each team's home ground. There are also three national cup competitions, The William Hill Scottish Cup, The Betfred League Cup and the Irn Bru Challenge Cup. Cup games are very much "luck of the draw" in terms of location so may be at home or away.

The traditional time for a game is 3:00PM on a Saturday. However, with live TV commitments, a packed schedule, and the possibility of cup replays, games also take place at earlier times, on Sundays or even on weeknights. Our full fixture list, which is kept up to date as the season progresses and which has dates and times of all games is located: HERE

Do I need a ticket?

Yes and No!!  For most games at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium you can simply walk up to the ground and pay at the Club Shop on arrival. However for certain games tickets are sold in advance and entry will not be allowed without a pre-purchased ticket. These games will normally just be Celtic & Rangers but may also extend to other games with a high ticket demand such as Aberdeen or Hearts.  This website will highlight ticketing information when an all-ticket match takes place and you can usually pre-purchase tickets for matches via our ticketing partners: HERE.

How much does it cost?

The cost for each game can vary depending on the opposition and where you sit in the ground. For an up to date list of prices, please see this page: HERE 

How do I get there?

Tulloch Caledonian Stadium is conveniently located just off the A9 near the Kessock Bridge. It's a 20 minute walk from the City Centre using the signposted, recommended walking route. For safety reasons, we ask you not to continue all the way down Longman Road and cross the A9 dual carriageway.  There is chargeable car parking on-site for those who choose to travel by car. A number of local pubs/clubs, including the Caley Thistle Social Club on Greig Street run regular buses to the game. A service bus also leaves from Farraline Park bus station in the city centre 45mins before a game and returns there afterwards.  If you are coming from further afield, our map pages should help you figure out the best route for you. These can be located HERE

Whats the weather going to be like?

That's a hard question to answer !!! We have seen it all at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium .... from frozen snowy weather to heat and glorious sunshine and everything in between, and sometimes a mixture of it all on a single day.  We recommend that you check a local weather site such as the BBC or MSN and come dressed for the expected conditions. Should the forecasters get it wrong, you can always pop by the club shop at the front of the stadium which is open before and after each game and perhaps purchase a more appropriate piece of attire.

At the Game

Where can I sit?

All tickets have section, row and seat numbers on them and you should sit in your specified seat. Our club shop and ticket office staff will be happy to help you select the right seat for you

Home fans can be accomodated in the Main Stand or the North Stand. The South Stand is reserved for Away fans. Within the North Stand we also have a family section which can be accessed if you are bringing a child/children with you, or, if you are a younger fan, if you are bringing an adult with you. Ticket Prices and conditions can be found HERE

Can I stand?

Currently, the ground regulations stipulate that standing in seated areas is forbidden. All of the "codes of practice" which the club operates under, including ground regulations, supporters charter, racism policy and others can be found in the "CLUB" menu at the top of the page.

What about food?

There are serveries within the Main Stand concourse and Sports Bar and also in other parts of the ground. Hot food, snacks, crisps etc are all available as is Juice, Carbonated drinks and Coffee, Tea, and of course the traditional "Bovril".

Match Programme?

Yes we publish a matchday programme for each game and these are available from the programme sellers outside the ground, or from the Club Shop. If you missed one, our club shop will usually have any excess copies from the game available at a later date - just send them an email to [email protected] and they will try to help you out.

Half Time Draw?

The Half time draw is a matchday raffle. You can buy tickets for the draw from ticket sellers (usually in the same places as you would find programmes) and hope that your ticket number is one  of the two announced during the game.  First prize is £250 and the runner-up gets a signed football.  Should the ticket remain unclaimed at the game, simply phone the Club during office hours on 01463 222880 and we will confirm the good or bad news!

Hospitality Packages?

If you fancy watching the game in style or celebrating an event with friends, we have a full range of matchday hospitality offerings available. Whether you want to sample basic hospitality, or you want to go the whole hog and take one of our matchday sponsorship packages we have the deal to suit you.  Full information as well as details of any special deals that may be available during the season is featured on our commercial pages.

After the Game

Where can I give Feedback?

We welcome feedback from our customers.  We hope that your experience was a positive one and the feedback is equally positive. However we do appreciate that there are times where everything may not be as it should be and we encourage you to also contact us should you have had any problems or concerns during your visit to the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium. Initially contact our Supporter Liaison Officer (Kristine Fraser) via [email protected]

Who will respond to my feedback?
Our Supporter Liaison Officer will pass your feedback to the appropriate Section Manager and if relevant, the Executive Chairman. If you require a response, we will endeavour to reply within 3 working days. In some cases it may take longer to resolve issues if the matter involves external contractors.

Where can I discuss the team or match?

We do not provide a forum for discussion on this site but we can suggest our supporters discuss our games or other Caley Thistle related issues on the recommended fansite at "CaleyThistleOnline.com". This site has been in existence since the club was formed back in 1994 and always seems to have a healthy debate going on.

What about pictures?

Unless you are a licensed/accredited photographer, taking pictures of the matchday action is prohibited at SPFL games due to copyright rules. However, CaleyJags.com is the place to go if you wish to relive some of the matchday action or perhaps see yourself in a crowd shot. Peter Paul is an official photographer, accredited with the club and he features photos from virtually all games as well as behind the scenes photos from our hospitality and other areas of the ground. Many of the photos featured on this site come from Peter and this site is well worth a look for all ICTFC fans.

Please Note www.caleythistleonline.com & CaleyJags.com are external websites which are not under the control of Inverness Caledonian Thistle and the Club are neither responsible for, nor accept liability for, any content contained within it. We also cannot confirm the accuracy or otherwise of any statements made on that site unless the article quoted is a press release or other official document that originated from ICTFC. Please contact the site owners directly should you have any questions or concerns.


At ICTFC we always value our customers and we want your experience at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium to be everything it can be. If you have additional questions that are not addressed here, please send us an email to [email protected]  we will do our best to answer you personally and/or to add it to this page.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Season tickets can be purchased in person at the Club Shop, by contacting the club on 01463 227451 or online via our ticket partners HERE

Season Ticket prices can be found HERE
Match tickets can be purchased in person at the Club Shop, by contacting the club on 01463 227451 or online via our ticket partners HERE

Matchday Ticket prices can be found HERE
Our hospitality packages are listed under the commercial section of the website and can be booked by contacting one of our commercial team. Our contact link at the top of the page has separate headings for each commercial opportunity including hospitality and you may email them directly from there.

Alternatively, you can contact the club on 01463 222880 and discuss it with the relevant member of the commercial team.
All of our first team squad players and the management team are available for sponsorship. You can choose to sponsor a Home Shirt, Away Shirt, Training Kit, Boots, or goalkeeper gloves. Prices start from as low as £110+vat for the entire season.

More information on player sponsorship is available HERE
There are many ways of advertising with the club. Options exist for stadium advertising, website advertising, programme advertising and teamline advertising.

Please see the advertising section in the commercial menu at the top of the page for more information
Mascot packages are available for all home games on a first come first served basis. For more information please see the Mascot page HERE
The centenary club is the North's top prize draw lottery with more than 300 local winners each year. Each week someone will win £1000 and smaller amounts can be won throughout the rest of the week.

For more information, and details of how to join, please see HERE.
For a list of recent winners, please see HERE
Yes, we do make various parts of the stadium available on non-matchdays for various purposes.

Whether you require a room for conferencing, seminars, a private function or party, or even a wedding, we can do this for you. You will find a page dedicated to each of those options under the commercial menu at the top of the page.
The club shop is open during the week from 9:00am to 5:00pm and on Matchdays from 9:00am till kickoff.

The shop may also have extended hours from time to time to accomodate certain events such as ticket sales for all-ticket matches or for pre-Christmas shopping. These extra hours will be posted on the website
Please contact the club on 01463 222880 in advance (at least one day before the game) and we can discuss your request
Please contact the club on 01463 222880 well in advance and we can discuss your request
The Tulloch Caledonian Stadium is conveniently located just off the A9 near the Kessock Bridge. There is car parking on-site for those who choose to take a vehicle with them and a number of local pubs/clubs, including the Caley Thistle Social Club on Greig Street run regular buses to the game. A bus also leaves from Farraline Park bus station in the city centre before a game and returns there afterwards.

If you are coming from further afield, our map pages should help you figure out the best route for you. These can be located HERE
Yes. The club has disabled parking areas which are accessible for ICT fans accessing the Main and North Stands and for away supporters accessing the South Stand. Disabled Parking is free of any charges but there are only limited spaces.

To view the club's disability policy, please click HERE
Please contact the club on 01463 222880 and provide details of the item and we will do our best to locate it for you.
Please click HERE to see more information about the Club's support for charities.
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