CHAIRMAN Tony Stewart hopes talk over Rotherham United’s new £20 million state-of-the-art stadium could tempt star striker Adam Le Fondre into extending his stay at the club.
Le Fondre, who has plundered 20 goals this season, has stressed he will not be signing a new contract when his present deal runs out in the summer of 2012.
But Stewart has confirmed the Millers plan on holding discussions with Le Fondre’s representatives at the end of this season.
He told The Star: “We will renew talks with Alf (Le Fondre) in the summer; we want good players to stay at Rotherham who can help take us to the next level.
“I think it (the stadium) says to footballers the directors are serious about what we are trying to achieve here.”
Rotherham’s new ground, which will be built on the old Guest and Chrimes foundry site in the centre of the town, will be created by the start of the 2012/13 season. The 12,000-seater stadium will include offices and dining facilities as well as the latest hi-tech lighting.
The multi-million-pound project will be financed by private and business funding as well as public grants.
Stewart, who has also confirmed the club are speaking to potential sponsors over the name of the arena, admitted: “It will be one of the proudest days of my life when I get to walk around the new stadium for the first time.
“I think this stadium will be as good as anything I have seen in a long while.”
Stewart expects Rotherham’s average attendances to rise to 7,000 when they move into their home in 18 months time. He also believes it will create a hostile, intimidating atmosphere.
Asked whether it will up and running on time, he said: “Subject to (full) planning consent, we’re hoping to start the flood alleviation work in May and major construction of the stadium itself in June.
“The build time is 12 months, factoring in a bit of time for bad weather, and we’re aiming to be open and ready for August 2012.”
It was 48 hours ago Rotherham unveiled new designs for the eagerly-anticipated ground and announced building surveyors Gleeds will be responsible for the project management of the community arena.
Associate director and project manager of Gleeds, Simon Morris added: “Gleeds have a strong track record in delivering stadiums in the UK and abroad.”