Rugby League: Eagles target 2016 Don Valley return

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Sheffield Eagles hope to return to playing at Don Valley in time for the 2016 season.

Planning is advanced on a new up to 10,000 capacity stadium on the site of their former home.

Outline plans have been drawn up and it’s hoped architects will be appointed next month with building work starting in the first half of next year.

“We have to get a design and the planning permission and be within the budget so we can’t take anything for granted but there is a ground swell of support for the scheme,” said a club source.

“There are hurdles to overcome but the major one we believe we have overcome with the funding.

“There’s time to refine the design and get planning permission and hopefully start building in the first half of next year with completion ready for the 2016 season.”

The proposed stadium would have a main stand with around 2,500 seats which would be linked to a hotel which forms part of the complex. The other three sides would have standing terraces.

Demolition work on the old Don Valley Stadium, which was built as the centrepiece of the ill-fated World Student games is almost complete.

The stadium was the home of the Eagles for more than 20 years before it was closed in 2013 and the bulldozers moved in.

The team has moved to Owlerton Greyhound Stadium but has struggled in the league this year and hopes of a return to Don Valley would be a major boost.

The new stadium would would also be a major community resource with a proposal to build a £17 million, 1,200 pupil super school already given planning permission by the city council.

It is also anticipated that the new stadium could be used by one of the area’s rugby union clubs.

A new venue would add another major sporting resource in an area that already boasts English Institute of Sports and Ice Sheffield.