Work to get underway on £5 million stadium which will give Sheffield United Women and Sheffield Eagles a home

Sheffield will become one of just a handful of cities to have a specialist women's football ground with work expected to get underway on a £5 million stadium within months.

Thursday, 21st February 2019, 12:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st February 2019, 12:37 pm

Proposals to build the 3,900-capacity ground on the Olympic Legacy Park were approved by Sheffield Council in December, with work expected to get underway this spring.

Sheffield United Women will become the only female club in the country to have a stadium not used by their male counterparts or academy teams and the facility will also be used by Sheffield Eagles.

What the ground will look like. Picture: Whittam Cox Architects

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Other women's football teams share grounds with their male counterparts or academy teams but the OLP site would be exclusively for Sheffield United Women rather than the club's academy teams.

The team and Eagles currently play on a temporary ground on the site but the new stadium will see work carried out in stages and there will also be office space, fan zones and corporate lounges as part of the development

Richard Caborn, project lead for the Olympic Legacy Park, said: "The quicker we get it the better. It really will be an asset and something that we can be really proud of.

Veatriki Sarri of Sheffield United's Women during the The FA Women's Championship match against Manchester United at the Olympic Legacy Park, Sheffield. Picture: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

“It’s going to attract more national and international events and I think it’s put women’s football on its own stage.”

The grandstand facility will be built on the west side of the existing 3G pitch and will also include conference facilities and office space.

It is expected to take around a year to complete the development.

Richard Caborn at the Olympic Legacy Park.

Mr Caborn said: “I went down to Sheffield United Women’s game against Manchester United at the Olympic Legacy Park and the atmosphere was amazing.

“It’s totally different than going to a men’s game. It’s great to have kids running around and there were lots of young girls there too which was great to see.”

Eagles were forced to play out of the city for four years following the closure and demolition of Don Valley Stadium in 2013 and general manager Liam Claffey said having the stadium opened up a series of commercial opportunities for the club.

Sheffield Eagles in action at the Olympic Legacy Park.

He added: “When the facility is built it will be fantastic because at the minute we are still in a temporary facility and it’s not great at all.

“It’s very difficult at the moment. We use the facilities at the library and café for our corporate guests and sponsors at the minute but this will provide us with some fantastic facilities to offer them.”

Eagles have played at Owlerton Stadium, in Wakefield and at the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park since the demolition of the club's previous home.

Mr Claffey said: "To have the same ground for consecutive seasons is a massive benefit because we can put the work in off the field.”

He added that the club was expecting to continue to play on the OLP while the building works take place.