The announcement earlier in the year, that the opening of the City’s new Community Stadium would be delayed until the autumn, surprised few people.
York City Football Club first learned in 2004 that it could face a move away from Bootham Crescent.
The future of the Knights Rugby team subsequently become inextricably intertwined with the stadiums future.
All seemed well in 2010 when a source of funding (S106 planning contributions) for a new stadium was obtained. Planning permission for the Vanguard development was subsequently granted.
Further delays occurred as the Council agonised about procurement polices and management arrangements.
After many false dawns, the stadium should have been opening this month.
The announcement of another 6 month delay came as a disappointment.
Such information as leaked out about the cause of the delay was neither confirmed nor denied by a Council embroiled in a local election process. The “purdah” period prevented any statements that might have influenced the election result.
It is now over 5 weeks after the election concluded – with another “no overall majority” result. The Green Party, which opposed the stadium development together with some Tories – now shares power with the LibDems who themselves have a long commitment to the stadium.
There is no suggestion that political interference is behind the reason for the delayed announcements.
The “purdah” period is long over yet no explanation for the delay or, more importantly, a new opening date have been confirmed. The last official statement talked about an October opening date.
More realistically, the clubs may now be hoping that the stadium will be available for the lucrative Christmas /New Year fixture programme.
NB. York City’s National League North fixture list is due to be announced on 3rd July. The season will kick off on Saturday, August 3rd. The Football Club has already announced its season ticket prices.