Skolars set for New River development

Kingstone Press Championship One club London Skolars are to become the second professional rugby league club in the country to play on an artificial pitch.

The company that own the site of their New River Stadium venue in North London will begin a new 50 year lease in April, and their first priority is to install an artificial playing surface.

“The plan is to dig up the in-field and lay a state-of-the-art 4G pitch, which will be ready before the end of the season,” says Skolars general manager Howard Kramer.

“We’ll also have new floodlights and a great facility for supporters to come and watch rugby league in London.”

The developments at the New River Stadium will mean Skolars will have to find an alternative, temporary playing venue for the duration of the work, expected to take around 16 weeks.

Possible options include using one of the facilities currently being used by London Broncos, who share The Hive with Barnet FC and train at the Conference club’s former ground Underhill.

With the Broncos having moved nearby, Skolars say they have held discussions about using one of the facilities that Broncos use, in their partnership with Barnet.

“It’s certainly one of the options we’re looking at. It’s a natural one. We’re delighted the Broncos aren’t too far away.

“We’re speaking to them and also a few other people who are really interested in hosting some Skolars games.

“I can’t say too much at the moment but we’ve spoken to three or four places where we might move three or four of our home games.

The club expect the new pitch to be in place for them to be able to host their Friday Night Light’s fixture at the New River Stadium on the Challenge Cup weekend.

Widnes became the first rugby league club in the country to use a “new generation” pitch, when they installed one ahead of their 2012 season.

 

You can hear the full interview on the Rugby League Down South podcast: http://www.spreaker.com/user/ianramsdale/rlds-skolars-artificial-pitch-21jan14

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