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scotchy1

Should the RFL/SL buy the University of Bolton Stadium?

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Bolton Wanderers are about to face a winding up petition. The stadium has been used plenty by the RFL in recent times. Should the RFL be investigating buying the stadium and renting it back to the club and creating a national stadium for RL? It is big enough to host most RL events and if it is essentially free to use then it becomes much cheaper for the RFL to create more events.

Largely the running costs could be met by the football clubs rent and the RFL instead of shelling out money to rent stadia everytime they want to do something would have a home and money coming in when it is rented out.

I can imagine Bolton Borough being delighted to become the home of England RL and perhaps a deal like that Leeds have created with Leeds City Council could be worked out which may bring new events to Bolton as well as going someway to helping the club survive.

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I think if the price is right it does make a lot of sense. Internationals can be played there, semi finals, Championship magic etc. Bolton Wanderers can be Tennant's which will provide income streams and keep the thing to ticking over too. I have long advocated doing similar in Leeds, but on a much bigger scale, but Bolton is perhaps much more affordable and manageable. 

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There's no harm in having an asset that they can get a fairly well supported football team playing in. If they can make the financials work I don't see why not? Although I wouldn't think they'd be putting on too many events in Bolton. CC SFs work there I think, 1 England game a year maybe, but nothing more. A big worry would be that we don't want to do a Wasps with the Ricoh. 

They should have bought into the Olympic Stadium, which, as West Ham's Rent suggests, wouldn't have been too extortionate. 

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Great idea, having our own ground makes sense for the big games. it could also become our St George’s Park aka the FA and look how effective that’s been improving our national football teams.

I bet Wayne Bennet would approve.

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I actually thought about this the other week, for Rugby League we are realistically looking at using it for the Challenge Cup S/F (either separately or as a double header) the championship play off final, the summer bash and an England game. It's too small for Magic unless it became 3 double headers in 3 locations and you wouldn't use it for the Challenge Cup or Grand Final. So the key I believe would be having an anchor tenant to ensure the facility is used plenty, other events such as concerts could probably be investigated.

One thing that worries me is that Bolton used it 20+ times per year and the financials never stacked up - I know the wages at even Championship level are eye watering, but its got to be worth some investigating

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1 hour ago, scotchy1 said:

Bolton Wanderers are about to face a winding up petition. The stadium has been used plenty by the RFL in recent times. Should the RFL be investigating buying the stadium and renting it back to the club and creating a national stadium for RL? It is big enough to host most RL events and if it is essentially free to use then it becomes much cheaper for the RFL to create more events.

Largely the running costs could be met by the football clubs rent and the RFL instead of shelling out money to rent stadia everytime they want to do something would have a home and money coming in when it is rented out.

I can imagine Bolton Borough being delighted to become the home of England RL and perhaps a deal like that Leeds have created with Leeds City Council could be worked out which may bring new events to Bolton as well as going someway to helping the club survive.

What price is it for sale at?

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3 minutes ago, Lowdesert said:

Great plan Scotchy. 

Will that line go in the Tender?

An administrator would sell it for what they can get for it.

They would consider the football clubs future.

If the future of wanderers was guaranteed and there were no more bidders the price could be a bargain!

An actual Lancashire club which we don't have would also be beneficial but would be stepping on Wigans toes from a catchment area perspective!

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3 minutes ago, yipyee said:

An administrator would sell it for what they can get for it.

They would consider the football clubs future.

If the future of wanderers was guaranteed and there were no more bidders the price could be a bargain!

An actual Lancashire club which we don't have would also be beneficial but would be stepping on Wigans toes from a catchment area perspective!

How's Bolton any more Lancashire than Wigan?

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Just now, Damien said:

How's Bolton any more Lancashire than Wigan?

Good point, it isn't but would still step on Wigans toes

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5 minutes ago, yipyee said:

An administrator would sell it for what they can get for it.

They would consider the football clubs future.

If the future of wanderers was guaranteed and there were no more bidders the price could be a bargain!

An actual Lancashire club which we don't have would also be beneficial but would be stepping on Wigans toes from a catchment area perspective!

If it's going cheap, maybe Wigan should buy it and play out of there, meaning they could once again be the primary owner/operator of their own stadium... 

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8 minutes ago, yipyee said:

An administrator would sell it for what they can get for it.

They would consider the football clubs future.

If the future of wanderers was guaranteed and there were no more bidders the price could be a bargain!

An actual Lancashire club which we don't have would also be beneficial but would be stepping on Wigans toes from a catchment area perspective!

I'm sure they would, but how do we know the RFL could afford it?  We don't even know the price!

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3 minutes ago, yipyee said:

Good point, it isn't but would still step on Wigans toes

It wouldn't be. It would be doomed to failure as Springfield Borough were. That's not to say a Bolton team in Bolton proper wouldn't work but it certainly wouldn't in that location being in no man's land, well out of Bolton proper, no history and as close to Wigan as you can get.

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I'm not sure it would be considered Rugby League's national stadium as the major finals would still be played elsewhere and I don't think anyone would see playing at Bolton anywhere near on par with playing at Wembley or Old Trafford so if it were to be bought it would have to be because it makes financial sense.

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3 minutes ago, fevtom said:

I'm not sure it would be considered Rugby League's national stadium as the major finals would still be played elsewhere and I don't think anyone would see playing at Bolton anywhere near on par with playing at Wembley or Old Trafford so if it were to be bought it would have to be because it makes financial sense.

You'd never move the CC final or the GF there. Keep them where they are.

But you have two CC semi-finals, you could possibly go for the play-off semi's, the WCC, the lower leagues finals day, The Summer Bash, are all existing events, then you can start to look at newer events, a 9s weekend, two or three internationals, maybe a couple of double headers and big matches and you are knocking on for 10 events the RFL could put on there each year.

Then you have the other stuff that currently happens, concerts, renting out the premier suite etc.

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Well I imagine it would certainly work out cheaper than developing Odsal.

Question is, what potential is there for non rugby commercial revenue generation? On the rugby side, I suppose it is close enough to Wigan for the club to relocate there when the Latics owners start getting funny about rugby being played at the DW.

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Pointless purchasing a stadium that would only be used a couple of times a year by the RFL. I’m not sure it’s in the best location either.

A national stadium is a pipe dream these days. The RFL needed the foresight decades ago to make it happen. 

The only option in my opinion would be redeveloping Odsal, but still would they be able to develop it into the kind of world class venue we’d need to make money all year round? Probably not. 

If Leeds United were ever building a new ground it might be worth us being a part of the process so it could be the home for semi finals, magic weekend, double headers and internationals. But I can’t see them moving from Elland Road any time soon.

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1 minute ago, foozler said:

Well I imagine it would certainly work out cheaper than developing Odsal.

Question is, what potential is there for non rugby commercial revenue generation? On the rugby side, I suppose it is close enough to Wigan for the club to relocate there when the Latics owners start getting funny about rugby being played at the DW.

There's a football club and obviously potential for concerts etc and all the normal income that stadium owners can get through food, drink etc.

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