Community Stadium opening date announcement needed.

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 Council, Football and Rugby Clubs – together with the builders (Buckingham) and stadium complex managers (Better), have been strangely quiet over the last few weeks.

 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.

Planning Committee to consider changes to Huntington Stadium

Derwenthorpe and Designer Outlet ice rink also on agenda

A planning committee meeting taking place on 8th June will consider some significant changes to major projects in the City

Huntington Stadium

Stadium site

Stadium site

Amendments to the approved drawings including an increase in the height and length of the commercial development building with alterations to internal layout and an increase in cinema a (400 extra seats) and restaurant floor space; alterations to the internal layout of the East Stand and variations of permitted uses; alterations to the internal layout and permitted uses within the Leisure Centre.

“Be Independent” and York St John University would no longer occupy space and therefore a greater amount of floor space would be occupied by York NHS Trust.

The main objections to the changes have come from the owners of two of the other cinemas in the area. There is a strong implication that the future of these facilities may be in doubt if the new “super” screen gets the go ahead.

The changes will have to be referred to the Secretary of State for approval.

Unfortunately, this means more delays for a project that was “ready to go” as long ago as 2011.

Whether the new 2018 opening date for the Stadium will now be achieved remains to be seen.