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LNER Stadium’s opening match shelved

The opening match at the new LNER Community Stadium in York, UK, has been moved because the venue will not be ready on time.

Rugby league side York City Knights had been due to kick-off their 2020 Betfred Championship season at the stadium vs Bradford Bulls on 9 February.

But this match has now been moved to the club’s current stadium at Bootham Crescent, because the three test events needed before opening of the LNER Community Stadium will not have taken place.

Jon Flatman, Knights chairman, commented:

The latest information we have been provided is unable to guarantee that we will be able to play at the new stadium on that date. In simple terms, we require – and fans rightly expect – a degree of notice in order to purchase tickets, arrange travel and deliver marketing for what will be a brilliant home league opener. To remove that uncertainty we have taken the decision to play the fixture at Bootham Crescent.

We fully expect to be in the new LNER Community Stadium for our second home league game in 2020.

Construction work on the new 8,000 seater community stadium has been repeatedly delayed.

The all-seater stadium will be home to both York City Football Club and York City Knights Rugby League Club – supporting their long-term viability. It had been due to open in July 2019.

The £41 million community stadium project features a cinema complex, including an IMAX screen, five restaurants, and three retail units which will be run by Cineworld.

Leisure facilities will incorporate a swimming pool, gym, dance studio, and a sports hall with spectator seating.