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Sheffield Eagles steps up search for new stadium home

The board of directors of Sheffield Eagles RLFC held an emergency board meeting this week to discuss the options for a playing venue in the city of Sheffield for 2014. Chairman Ian Swire, said:

For several months since the announcement of the closure of Don Valley Stadium the club has been in detailed discussions regarding the newly developed Sheffield Hallam University sports complex on Bawtry Road. Following a meeting last Wednesday it now appears that option is no longer available for first team fixtures. This has led to an emergency situation where the very future of the Eagles has been thrown into doubt.

Sheffield City Council is quoted as saying that it will “do everything to ensure that the club continues to play games in the city next season.” Sheffield Eagles has identified the only possible remaining venue within Sheffield that could potentially accommodate the team as Owlerton Stadium where the Eagles started out life almost 30 years ago. However there is likely to be a substantial amount of work required to bring the stadium up to RFL requirements. Swire explained:

The stadium lost its safety licence for playing rugby league games in 1989 and a feasibility study will need to be carried out to see how practicable it will be to return rugby league to the stadium. Sheffield City Council is providing capital sums to relocate athletics to Woodbourn Road and it is to be hoped that they can also assist rugby league to relocate to Owlerton if the feasibility study is positive.