Sheffield United chief explains delay over reopening of Bramall Lane hotel

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Stephen Bettis, Sheffield United’s chief executive, insists he shares fans’ frustrations around the Bramall Lane hotel that has lain empty since the summer of 2020.

The hotel, which was built between the South Stand and Bramall Lane end in 2008, was previously operated by Copthorne before being reunified with the club after the high-profile High Court battle for control of the Blades.

Around two years on, it remains empty – despite an agreement being signed with DoubleTree Hilton, who were supposed to take control last year.

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Many supporters are frustrated with the delay, believing the empty hotel – which has been targeted by vandals who have smashed some windows – is something of an eyesore on the corner of Bramall Lane and Cherry Street.

And Bettis, who met members of the local media this afternoon, admitted: “I share their frustrations. It doesn't look nice at the moment, I drive past it every morning and see it every day and it infuriates me.

“It's been a frustration, it's taken a lot longer than we would have liked. Covid initially played a huge part because we couldn't open it. Hopefully we're through it at this point but there's still a couple of issues around the cladding that need to be resolved before we can get the works done to put the new hotelier in.”

“I wouldn't want to put an exact time scale on it but it's not open ended either, it needs to be done,” Bettis added.

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“It's an income generator for us, we need to get it done but it's a case of also utilising the monies where it's most important at times.

The former Copthorne Hotel at Bramall Lane, Sheffield.The former Copthorne Hotel at Bramall Lane, Sheffield.
The former Copthorne Hotel at Bramall Lane, Sheffield.

“At the moment we're focusing on the first team and the training facilities and once we've got past that one we'll move on to the next one, which will probably be the hotel.”

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