Salford stadium could still host Sale Sharks

Salford City Reds have opened the doors to their new stadium which will become the club’s new home from 2012.

And club chairman John Wilkinson confirmed talks were ongoing between the company that owns the stadium and Sale Sharks for a possible ground share between the two clubs.

Wilkinson said: “I think there are talks ongoing. I think if I’m honest, do I want Sale Sharks here then selfishly, possibly not. I think common sense wise it will bring something other than for us just to play in the stadium 15 times a year. We are seeing a lot of stadiums being shared by sports clubs and I think we have to be sensible about it.”

It has taken the City Reds ten years to find a new home after the first two initial plans for a new stadium were scrapped. However chairman John Wilkinson was proud of what had been achieved after a long struggle to move out of The Willows.

Wilkinson said: “It’s great to have this wonderful new home and were all very proud of it. Ten years is a long time, and I think that most people in the room must have thought I was taking something while I kept saying we will build this stadium.

“I think any club that’s gone through it, looking down the road at St Helens, its not been quite as easy there as one or two people thought. But we all believed we would build this stadium.”

The name of the stadium will remain as the Salford City Stadium, but Wilkinson confirmed that the stadium company were in talks with a title sponsor that will change the name of the new 12,000 capacity stadium next to the M60. 

Wilkinson also admitted the stadium had been designed with expansion in mind to increase the capacity.

He said: “It can go very quickly up to 15,000, it’s been designed that way to take the long stand and put another tier on and fill the corners.

“The beauty of the stadium when you go round and look at what’s been achieved is you have great facilities in the main stand. We have concourses behind every stand and you have really terrific toilet facilities, which I think are needed in rugby league and in fact any sport. You have outlets for food and drink, and colour TV and satellite TV in that area as well. It’s quite advanced really.”

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