Don Valley Stadium is to close this Sunday - and could soon be demolished - after campaigners were turned down in their bid to have it registered as an ‘asset of community value’.
A Save Don Valley Stadium group, led by former 400m runner Lewis Samuel and Don Valley’s head coach Rob Creasey, had hoped to be able to run the venue themselves.
But late last night Sheffield Council confirmed the bid had failed.
Council director Paul Billington said in a statement: “The Friends of Don Valley Stadium group’s application was assessed against the legislation as set out by the Government, and did not meet the criteria to warrant Don Valley Stadium being registered as an asset of community value.
“But what we would like to say is this does not mean we are not wanting to look at other ways we can work with this group and other interested parties and we have offered to meet the group again to talk about what is next for the stadium.
“We really appreciate what the Friends were trying to achieve.
“If anyone can show they can take on the stadium and have the cash to do it, clearly we will work with them.
“But what we can’t do is wait for this to happen when keeping the stadium open is costing around £5,000 a week.
“The council now has no budget to keep it open, no money to mothball it and no offer of money from anyone else.
“Therefore the next decision for council has to be to consider demolition.
“We can confirm Don Valley Stadium will close on Sunday - and that would have happened whatever the decision was on the application to have had this registered as an asset of community value.
“Woodbourn Road will open on October 6 to cater for club, community and schools athletics, including events.”
Yesterday afternoon the Save Don Valley group blasted council bosses for turning them away from Sheffield Town Hall without an answer at the 11th hour.
Instead they were told to await an email last night.
Mr Samuel said: “We didn’t get any news at all, just to wait for an email to drop into the inbox. We have just been kept in the dark.”