Sheffield could return to Owlerton Stadium

Sheffield could return to their old Owlerton Stadium as they continue their battle to remain in the city.

The Don Valley Stadium closes at the end of the year, and they had hoped to move to the newly developed Sheffield Hallam University sports complex on Bawtry Road, but that option is no longer available.

Owlerton Stadium, where the club started out life almost 30 years ago, has now been raised as an option, although it requires a substantial amount of work to bring it up to RFL requirements.

The stadium lost its safety licence for playing rugby league games back in 1989.

Eagles chairman Ian Swire said: “Following recent unexpected events the board of directors of Sheffield Eagles held an emergency board meeting last night to discuss the options for a playing venue in the city of Sheffield for 2014.

“Press and media announcements by Mark Aston, the Head Coach and Chief Executive, over the weekend have led to reassuring statements from Sheffield City Council that it will ‘do everything to ensure that the club continues to play games in the city next season’.

“Without a professional rugby league club in Sheffield then all the community work that the club has been carrying out over those 30 years will cease, to the great detriment of thousands of youngsters in the city. 

Sheffield Eagles are the current rugby league champions but the sport of rugby league may be lost to the city of Sheffield unless assistance is forthcoming.”

Owlerton Stadium was built back in 1929, and has a capacity of around 4000, but is mainly used now for greyhound racing.

The club is hoping for assistance from the council if a feasibility study is positive.

Sheffield are back at the Don Valley Stadium once again on Sunday for their play-off clash with Dewsbury, which kicks-off at 6.30pm.

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