Sheffield Eagles bid to play first two games away so they can get new ground ready

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Sheffield Eagles will seek permission fro the RFL to play the first two games of the 2018 season away, as they look to get their new home at the Olympic Legacy Park up to standard.

Eagles are coming back to Sheffield after several years in exile, but face a race against time to ensure that their new home meets RFL criteria in time for the opening rounds of next season.

They are set to install temporary seating, similar to the setup they had at Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park, to ensure they have a working facility, as they wait for the long-term development of the facility by Scarborough Group.

In order to complete the operation in time, the club have confirmed that they will seek extra breathing space by asking to start the 2018 campaign on the road.

“We are asking the RFL if we can play our opening two home fixtures away from home,” general manager Liam Claffey told The Star.

“They have given dispensation to other clubs in the past so we are hopeful that we will get the go-ahead for that. We need to make sure that we meet specific requirements with facilities – including for directors and hospitality guests – we are meeting the RFL regarding that. We are working hard behind the scenes and we are confident we will be ready for the start of the season.”

After being forced out of their former home at Don Valley Stadium, the club have been on the move since which has seen them turn out at Owlerton Stadium, the Keepmoat Stadium, the Sports Park at Bawtry Road and last season sharing Wakefield’s Belle Vue ground.

Getting the green light to move into their new home has saved the club, who were concerned another season out of the Steel City would prove unsustainable.

Eagles confirmed they are set to make extra revenue for the first time from matchday sales and car park facilities, whilst the club have also secured their regular Sunday 3pm slot for their home fixtures.