New ownership structure for Huddersfield stadium

Huddersfield Giants could become tenants of the town’s football club at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Huddersfield Town, with whom the Rugby League club have shared the venue since it opened in 1994, could secure “operational control” by the end of the year, says their Chairman Phil Hodgkinson.

It’s reported by Huddersfield Hub that there have been talks between Kirklees Council, Huddersfield Town and the Giants, with a new ownership structure coming close to fruition.

A community trust would take over the stadium, with a rolling 25-year lease awarded to Huddersfield Town, allowing the club to make money from all stadium activities from bar sales and food to pop concerts, conferences and events.

There are also plans to open a hotel across the river bridge from the venue on part of a car park and a playground.

It’s proposed the Giants would become tenants of the football club.

As part of the deal, more than £10 million would be loaned to Town by the trust to invest in repairs and maintenance work at the stadium.

Hodgkinson said in an interview with BBC Radio Leeds: “All parties anticipate the deal will be concluded before the end of this year.

“What that looks like is the football club will take over the running of the stadium. The stadium will be put into trust and the football club will be given a 25-year rolling lease. The Giants will become a tenant of the football club and pay rent.

“The Trust will provide an initial sum to the football club on favourable terms, I think we’re talking in the region of about £10 million to £12 million, which will be invested in the stadium.”

Hodgkinson added: “Rather than us paying rent, we’re being paid rent, and the rent that we’re paying is being invested back into the stadium to create something better for the football club and the rugby club, who will get the benefit of all this as well.”

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