The proposed new stadium for Sheffield Eagles will help build rugby league in the steel city, according to director of rugby Mark Aston.
The Eagles are set to move into their new home at the Olympic Legacy Park, on the same site as their previous base of Don Valley Stadium, in 2017.
They will move into their new surroundings as a full-time outfit after the announcement they will make the step up in November this year, and Aston believes that the new home will provide the catalyst to grow their fan base, with the overall aim of once again becoming a Super League club.
“There is no doubting how exciting it will be to move into the new stadium,” Aston told The Star.
“We need to re-engage the public to what we are doing, and now we are full-time can we get out there a little bit more and promote the club. We will be getting the players going into schools and getting our name back into the public domain, and that is vital particularly with the new stadium coming very soon.”
The Eagles will be looking to boost attendances and claim back fans who have not chosen to follow them to their temporary home in Doncaster. Aston will be hoping that the feel good factor of a new stadium will help grow their support, and pointed to the example of football with Rotherham United trebling their average gate since returning to the town.
“I think if we can get it right, and the stadium is right then people will come back and re-engage with the club,” he added.
“Look at the great job that Rotherham United have done with their new stadium, why has that happened? Having a new stadium does have an impact on crowds and if you have success then people will stay with you.
“This season we are up there again and I am confident that if we can get the fans back then they will stick with us. We need to ensure that we get the match experience to what we are looking for.”
The Eagles are currently enjoying a break ahead of their Super 8 campaign following the end of the regular season. They are back in competitive action on August 9th when they face Bradford Bulls at Odsal Stadium in the first game of the Super 8 Qualifiers.