Wakefield’s plans to start redeveloping the Mobile Rocket Stadium, or as we traditionalists prefer to call it, Belle Vue, will be encouraging for those long-suffering supporters who have had to watch the place crumble around them.
We all know that the future direction of the club depends not just on what happens on the pitch, but also on being able to deliver a stadium fit for the 21st century.
Of course, the big question is will it actually happen?
There seem to have been so many plans to build a new ground over the years, whether at Durkar, Thornes Park, Newmarket or wherever, none of which have come to fruition.
Now Trinity are talking about redeveloping their existing home, which clubs like Leeds, Widnes, Halifax and Featherstone have done successfully.
It’s ironic that of the three Calder clubs, Trinity, Castleford and Fev, the club not in Super League has the best ground.
Wakefield’s current home, while dilapidated, has a hell of a lot of history, and the other advantage is its location within walking distance of the city centre, so bringing it up to speed is an attractive option.
I have some good memories of playing there, and of all the various grounds, I always thought Belle Vue and The Willows at Salford had the best pitches – grassy, flat and wide, just right for players and teams who like to play an open, fluent, expansive game.
Part of Trinity’s plan is a 4G pitch, and while I get the attraction, because it enables seven-days-a-week use and can help attract initial investment and then generate income, I don’t think Rugby League is ever quite the same on an artificial surface.
However, if it’s a choice between Super League on 4G or Championship on natural grass, I know which supporters would most likely choose.
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