Sheffield FC new stadium: World's oldest football club ready to submit plans for new 5,000-seater stadium
The historic club has teamed up with Sheffield Eagles to make a long-awaited return to its native city
and live on Freeview channel 276
The World's oldest football club, Sheffield FC, is preparing to submit plans for a new 5,000-seater stadium in the city where it began life in 1857.
It has teamed up with Sheffield Eagles rugby league club to draw up plans for a combined home at the Sheffield Transport Sports Club site, just off Meadowhead Roundabout, which they hope will become an international visitor attraction for football and rugby fans alike.
As well as hosting professional football and rugby league matches, the new stadium would include a football museum, a cricket pitch and pavilion, and an indoor community sports hall.
Sheffield FC, which currently plays its home games just outside Sheffield, in Dronfield, North Derbyshire, says it is ready for its long-awaited homecoming and has called on football lovers across the city and beyond to get behind the project.
New stadium could be ready in time for 2025/26 season
The club has already submitted a planning pre-application to Sheffield City Council, with a full application set to be submitted in January, and it hopes the stadium will be ready in time for the 2025/26 season.
Sheffield FC chairman Richard Tims described it as the beginning of a 'new era' for the club and said the 'world-class facility' would benefit the whole community.
He added: "Following years of discussions, we are finally starting to see our plans really gathering pace and have a fantastic project team who are totally committed to making our supporters' dreams turn into reality.
"This will be somewhere to which football’s three billion fans can make a pilgrimage and pay homage to the city which gave the world the beautiful game as well as a venue for the local community to utilise and enjoy a variety of sports.
"It doesn’t matter whether you support Sheffield United or Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield FC or Sheffield Eagles this is about being proud of the region’s sporting heritage and making it a hub for sporting excellence and community engagement in Sheffield and the South Yorkshire region.
New stadium would 'put Sheffield sport well and truly on the map'
"Our target is for the project to be ready for the start of the 2025-26 season. We need everyone to get behind this and once and for all put Sheffield sport well and truly on the map."
The Star first reported on Sheffield FC's plans for a new home at the Meadowhead site back in 2021, when a slightly smaller 4,000-seater stadium was envisaged and the club had yet to team up with Sheffield Eagles, who currently play at the Olympic Legacy Park in Attercliffe.
The new site was chosen after previous proposals for a stadium at the Olive Grove sports ground in Heeley, near where the club began life at East Bank, fell through.
If the new stadium does get the go-ahead it would provide a huge boost for the campaign to get wider recognition for Sheffield's status as the birthplace of the beautiful game, something the Sheffield Home of Football charity was recently launched to achieve.
A new artist's impression video and images have been released to show how the new stadium will look.
Mark Aston, Sheffield Eagles' director of rugby, said: "Sheffield Eagles are very excited to be part of this joint venture with Sheffield FC and to be at the heart of this world-class development, which at the heart will have a stadium that meets the Super League criteria to assist us in our aim to return to the top flight.
"Sheffield Eagles have grown immensely in the last three years thanks to the work of the Eagles Foundation and the planned facilities will also be a home for our Women’s, Wheelchair, Learning Disability and Physical Disability teams. It will also allow us to further develop homegrown talent and provide a base for our already large community programme.
"The development will bring very valuable sporting facilities to the Sheffield sports scene and open up several opportunities for sports outside of football and rugby league to be involved and provide enjoyment as both spectators and participants.
"With Sheffield FC being the world’s first football club and Sheffield Eagles about to celebrate its 40th anniversary, both clubs have an enormous amount of heritage to bring together and I am pleased that the plans will see that history captured under one roof.
"With league positions making up only 20 per cent of the RFL’s Club Grading Scoring matrix, the development of facilities and the ability to improve our commercial footing and build a solid base for the community aspects of our operation are an absolute priority for us. This development gives us an opportunity to drastically improve our grading and we hope that the entire city can get behind and share in the initiative!"