Sheffield Eagles will return to the site of the old Don Valley Stadium in 2016, when they move in to a new state-of-the-art stadium in the Olympic Legacy Park.
The Championship side have secured a significant investment to help fund the building of the stadium, which will feature a high quality synthetic pitch, an impressive main stand, a 50-bed hotel, catering and hospitality areas, and facilities developed in partnership with Sheffield’s second University Technical College.
Ian Anniss, Sheffield Eagles’ Director of Community, Development and Education, said: “When we heard that Don Valley was to close we realised that this could be a terminal blow to Sheffield Eagles as a club, but we have always had to work hard against the odds to survive, so we rolled up our sleeves, thought creatively and formed partnerships with others who have shared a common vision of securing a long term legacy in sport, health and well-being for the site.
“At first many said that it was just a pipe dream that would never happen, but we had to make it happen if Eagles were to survive and thrive in Sheffield and the game of Rugby League not be lost to this great city. We have worked with some remarkably talented and visionary people on this project and it is an outstanding testament to what can be achieved by genuine partnership working.
“The new stadium will be like no other in this country, in that it will be designed and managed to have multiple uses that reflect the needs of the broader community as well as being a top class facility for performance rugby of both codes. Unlike many sports stadia that has limited uses this one will be constantly in use – for educational and research purposes, community activities, sports development and health and well being support, as well as a venue for professional rugby – and Sheffield Eagles are proud to be part of that as a true community club.”
Eagles coach Mark Aston added: “The new ground gives us the impetus to challenge for and achieve Super League status, something we have never given up on. When we nearly lost the club back into 1999 and reformed with a new direction, the directors and I have always kept as a key goal that of returning to the highest level. We have had to be patient and work within our means, but now we will be ready to take the next step. Having the best facilities at the new stadium will allow us to continue the development of our own local talent, retain and attract quality players and be very competitive as a club”.