Cas target 2013 move after stadium sale

Castleford are expecting to move to a new stadium for the start of the 2013 season after securing the £50m sale of their existing Wheldon Road ground.

The Tigers had previously anticipated the sale of the land to Ben Bailey Homes, but has now entered in to an agreement to transform its current home into a large format food store, in partnership with Opus Land (North) Ltd and Palmer Capital.

Discussions have been held with both Wakefield Council and major retailers to agree proposals that will both trigger the regeneration of Wheldon Road and help promote the Town Centre of Castleford.

The club must now await results of its detailed planning application for their proposed new stadium at Glasshoughton, with a decision expected on April 7.

Richard Wright, Castleford Tigers Chief executive said: “We are in a very fortunate position to own the land at our current facility. The PROBIZ Coliseum is the club’s largest single financial asset and our business plan has always been to identify the sale and future usage that would provide the greatest financial return to fund the new stadium development.

“In extremely challenging economic conditions with land values at an all time low, the sale of Wheldon Road and construction of a new stadium is challenging. It makes no sense to rush through the sale of our biggest asset at a vastly reduced price.

“However the revised agreement announced today would enable the club to acquire all the necessary funding to deliver a new stadium the fans deserve, and to build it in a single phase.”

“This is therefore a much better deal for Castleford Tigers and the public of Castleford and is an arrangement that has well suited the likes of Warrington Wolves and St Helens, where similar deals have led to the development of first class modern stadia.”

Castleford Tigers is finalising its 2012 Super League licence application with a view to securing its future in the top flight of rugby league for the next three years and beyond.

Commenting on the licence application, Richard Wright added: “I fully appreciate the fans will be disappointed that our move to Glasshoughton will be delayed. However we anticipate our current facilities at the PROBIZ Stadium will be reviewed favourably, and will be complemented by our advanced plans to move to a new stadium within the next licensing period.

“Facilities are just one area of criteria that the RFL will assess to make their decision and we are diligently putting the final touches to our licence application that we strongly believe will ensure Castleford Tigers remains a dominant force in Super League for many years to come.”

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