Sheffield Eagles to finally have a 'home' in the city after four years on the road
After fourÂ years on the road, Sheffield Eagles rugby league club are hoping to finally have a stadium they can call home as part of plans for a Â£5 million ground on the site of the Olympic Legacy Park.
Mark Hannigan, Eagles commercial director, said the fact that developer Scarborough Group International had submitted the plans to Sheffield Council earlier this week, was 'fantastic news' for the club.
Eagles were forced to play out of the city for four years following the closure and demolition of Don Valley Stadium in 2013 and last month reported that the annual cost of using the existing facilities on the OLP in Attercliffe had nearly quadrupled from an initial estimate of £30,000 - already significantly more than it had paid in previous seasons - to more than £115,000.
Mr Hannigan said: "We have been working with Scarborough Group on the stadium but it's fantastic news that it's going to happen.
"The stadium is going to be fantastic and it's going to be a home for the Eagles. It's going to have our logo on it and will look and be our home."
The 3,900-capacity ground would also be home to Sheffield United Women, who would become the only female club in the country to have a stadium not used by their male counterparts or academy teams.
Developer Scarborough Group International said it hoped to start work on the grandstand facility, which will be built on the west side of the existing 3G pitch and will also include conference facilities and office space, 'as soon as possible'.
Mr Hannigan said: "We are still in the process of sorting out finances following the statement we put out last month but having a home in the city which we have not had for five years is massive for us.
"We have had to rebuild rugby league in the city and it's great that there is going to be a stadium and a permanent base for us in Sheffield."
Mark Jackson, of Scarborough Group International, said work would be carried out in stages and between 500 to 750 would be built in the first phase with standing terraces around the rest of the stadium.
He said: "This will be the start of an important phase in realising the vision of the park, bringing forward significant private sector investment. We plan to start on site as soon as possible, once we have finalised the necessary documentation with Sheffield Council.
"The Olympic Legacy Park is a great facility that the schools and the council have invested in and it's just for us to come along and put the finishing touches to in terms of building a stadium."
Mr Jackson said, subject to being granted planning permission, the firm hoped to start work on site by February and the development would take around a year to complete.