STAR readers have called overwhelmingly on Sheffield Council to save the Don Valley Stadium from closure.
The authority is considering shutting the venue, built for the 1991 World Student Games, because it costs £700,000 a year in subsidy and needs £1.6 million of repairs.
But leading figures, including Tony Minichiello, coach of Sheffield’s Olympic gold medal-winning heptathlete Jess Ennis, and Deputy PM Nick Clegg say the council would be wrong to close the stadium.
Now an online poll of Star readers has attracted more than 300 votes.
Last night, figures stood at 236 people – or 78 per cent – wanting the stadium to be kept open, and only 67 votes, or 22 per cent, supporting closure.
Dozens of people have also posted comments at www.thestar.co.uk.
Harthillowl said: “What happened to the Olympics being great for the UK? Oh yes, that’s for down in London. Who cares about the north.”
Wembley91 said: “After spending such a huge amount of our money creating these fantastic facilities, if anyone should knock them down they should be locked up – especially in the wake of the Olympics and all the talk of legacy.”
But others were cautious. Poster 1graybags said: “It would be a damn shame – but, in these difficult times, we can’t throw good money after bad.”
And Kayte said: “It’s a pity it’s not cost effective, but there are more important things to spend our money on. Perhaps Ms Ennis would give a donation to help save it.”
Coun Peter Price, Labour councillor for Shiregreen and Brightside, who helped to bring the World Student Games to Sheffield, said: “I find it all very sad. It’s a tragedy that the city is being forced into putting forward proposals such as closing Don Valley Stadium.”
But David Slater, of property company Spaces Sheffield, which is a major landlord in the Attercliffe area, said: “The stadium’s had its day and I think the land should be turned into a mixed-use development.
“The emphasis should now be on ensuring we have Woodbourn Road as a first-class alternative facility and focusing on allowing people to participate – rather than accommodating spectators at venues like Don Valley.”
Coun Isobel Bowler, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for culture, sport and tourism, said: “With the level of cuts we are facing we simply can no longer afford to provide a subsidy to Don Valley. However, if an option for retaining the stadium at no cost to the council is brought forward we would of course consider this very seriously.”
Don Valley in numbers:
Annual subsidy paid by Sheffield Council to keep Don Valley Stadium open - £700k
Of Star readers who said they want the stadium to be saved from closure - 78%
Readers who agree with the council’s plans to close Don Valley Stadium - 22%
Should Sheffield’s Don Valley stadium be saved?