Castleford Tigers to ditch new stadium plan and revamp Wheldon Road

Castleford Tigers intend to stay at a revamped Wheldon Road instead of moving to a proposed new stadium at Junction 32 of the M62.

The club have confirmed they are in discussions with Wakefield Council and the owners of the Junction 32 site about the possibility of remaining at their current home.

Last week, Wakefield Council announced a fund which would grant £2 million to each of the clubs in its district including Castleford.

The Tigers have now said that they intend to use this money for “a major redevelopment” of their existing ground.

“Subject to securing the investment necessary, key elements of the club’s proposals would be to demolish and rebuild a new Main Stand, and modernise the existing Princess Street Stand, Railway End, and Wheldon Road End,” the club said in a statement.

“A rich mix of new facilities, including food and drink outlets and hospitality suites would enhance the matchday experience for fans, while new conference facilities and meeting rooms would boost non-matchday income, and enable the club to further enhance its work within the community.”

This also coincides with the Axiom scheme at Junction 32 being refocused away from retail and leisure uses, something that Castleford managing director Mark Grattan said also contributed to the decision.

“We welcome the Council’s announcement on making a contribution towards our plans to improve our home stadium on Wheldon Road,” said Grattan. “There is already an urgent need to invest significant sums to keep Wheldon Road functioning as a Super League ground.

“Being realistic about the timeframes to deliver the retail and leisure development with the new stadium following the COVID-19 pandemic, from the club’s perspective we believe that the time is right to explore the option of staying at our historic home.

“We believe that, although major new investment is needed to improve the existing stadium, this would now be in the best long-term interests of Castleford Tigers.”

Steve McBurney, on behalf of the owners of the Junction 32 site, said: “We support Castleford Tigers’ intention to stay at an improved Wheldon Road stadium and the contribution the Council would make to this through the new Rugby League Resilience Fund.”