Sheffield Tigers thrilled at possible return of crowds to Owlerton

Sheffield Speedway. Photo: Andy GarnerSheffield Speedway. Photo: Andy Garner
Sheffield Speedway. Photo: Andy Garner
Sheffield Tigers bosses have welcomed the prospect of crowds returning to sporting venues from May 17.

With only six Premiership teams this year meaning 10 home league meetings, it allows plenty of time for Tigers to race a full league season.

The fixture list for both professional leagues was put together with the possibility of a later start than May 3 and the fortnight delay makes little difference.

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Club co-promoter Damien Bates said: “This news is what everyone has been hoping for and it looks like we are going to see the return of racing to Owlerton Stadium.

“It’s always been of paramount importance for speedway tracks to reopen this summer and we have been hopeful because of the general improvement in the situation around the country.

“The success of the vaccine rollout has been good to see and I know how important it will be for all our supporters to get back to seeing their team in action.

Sport is so important for people’s mental health. January and February were always going to be tough for people with freezing weather and lockdown and there’s still some more patience needed throughout March, but we are heading in the right direction.

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“There’s so much to look forward to for our supporters now. Personally I can’t wait for warm, sunny evenings watching our team race against the likes of Belle Vue, it will be so good to renew that rivalry.

“We’ll start casting an eye towards press and practice arrangements and perhaps a pre-season meet the riders night, but for now we just have to sit tight throughout March and ensure things keep heading in the right direction.

“We’ve still got work to do on the team building front and we are still talking to riders as we look to finalise the side.”

Tigers have so far named Troy Batchelor, Jack Holder, Kyle Howarth and Josh Bates in their side with three more to be confirmed.