Turning into a pantomime?

It is understandable that residents want to know when the £42 million community stadium complex will be fully open for business.
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Taxpayers will point out that around £10 million of the costs have come out of their pockets.

Originally scheduled for a 2012 opening, delays dogged the project. Even after contracts had been signed for a June 2019 opening “labour shortages” meant that the actual stadium opening was put back to the autumn 2019 and then to the Spring 2020.

It seemed that the dates were firming up as the IMAX cinema admitted its first paying customers before Christmas while an excitable gaggle of Councillors started tweeted pictures of the “finished” stadium.

The Knights Rugby Club said that their first home fixture of the new season would take place at the stadium on 9th February. The stadium was also set to host a big “double header” with Super League clubs Toronto and Wakefield facing off on the 22nd March.

Questions at a York City supporters forum led to a statement from an executive councillor last week who confirmed that a transport plan was in place. It would get large crowds to the out of town, 8000 capacity, stadium site. (Currently, York City matches attract around 2500 spectators)

However, it remained unclear whether joint entry/transport tickets would be sold and information about public transport capacity was scarce, given that the opening (rugby) fixture was less than a month away.

A “trial” dinner event was then cancelled, and the Knights said that their 9th February fixture might have to be moved to Bootham Crescent.

We think that the stadium will be an asset for the City. When the interest level stabilises, after the first couple of games, transport arrangements should also be adequate.

We are less convinced about the viability of some of the other elements of the development not least the additional swimming pool.

But we are, where we are.

The Council and its contractors should now be able to give a clear programme of actions leading up to firm commissioning and hand-over dates.

NB. Local side York Acorn Rugby got off to a winning start on Saturday in their cup match against Hammersmith Hills Hoist. The score line was 36 points to 14. There were no problems accommodating the crowd at the Thanet Road Stadium (!)

Details of York Council football club loan published

A response to a Freedom of Information request has finally forced the Council to reveal the terms of its £350,000 loan to York City FC agreed in 2014. 

The loan was secured by a legal charge on the Bootham Crescent ground.

The loan involved annual repayments of £35,000.  

The balance of the loan is payable immediately if the Club sell Bootham Crescent. It is understood that a house builder still has an option to purchase the site when the football and rugby clubs move to the new LNER stadium in 2020.

In addition the Football Club has agreed to pay £2 million towards the cost of building the new stadium.

There is a legal charge on the club’s assets to cover this liability.

The Council continue to refuse to publish the valuations that they have undertaken on Bootham Crescent.

They also refuse to say how much rent they expect to receive from the football club at Monks Cross (the stadium part of the development is expected to cost around £16 million of the total £47 million cost of the whole development).

The council has confirmed that, once all processes have been complete, it intends to release the lease agreement with York City into the public domain.

Liberal Democrat Councillors launch petition to reduce proposed Community Stadium parking charges

Liberal Democrat Councillors have launched a petition calling on the Council to reverse the proposed increase to parking charges at the York Community Stadium.

The new £10 charge was agreed by Tory Executive member Peter Dew at a meeting which took place 3 weeks ago.

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Under current proposals, fans travelling to park at the Park & Ride facilities to reach the Stadium may be charged £10 to park, increasing from the current £5 price.

This will be in addition to some spaces reserved for the sports clubs, continuing Park & Ride services and free parking at the Vangarde Shopping Centre, which will be limited to two hours on all match days.

If approved, local councillors are concerned that fans travelling to the Community Stadium will seek alternative or cheaper parking in nearby Huntington, increasing local traffic in the community and on-street parking on matchdays.

Local Liberal Democrat Councillors for Huntington and New Earswick have voiced their concerns at the proposals and have now launched a petition calling for a reduction to the proposed fare increase.
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York Knights Rugby say they will open the new Community Stadium with a fixture on 20th July

The Knights official home opener in the brand new Community Stadium in Huntington is set to take place on 20th July 2019.

They will welcome close rivals Bradford Bulls.

It will be a Saturday evening kick off at 6:00 pm

There is still a lot of work to be done at the stadium and sometimes commissioning takes longer than expected (ask any Spurs fan)

York City will no doubt be hoping to stage a landmark fixture in early July against a “big name” opponent.

National League football fixtures don’t commence until August.

Fostered young people’s and carers’ match day with York City FC

Fostered young people and carers in York have been invited to a match, a behind-the-scenes tour and training at York City Football Club’s home ground.

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L-R Phil Smith YCF inclusion officer, foster carers Kevin Lumley and Julie Arthur, Joe Scargill, YCF coach.

The carers and young people in care watched the Minstermen beat Braintree United at Bootham Crescent, before being invited for an after-hours visit to the grounds and a kickabout with York City Foundation coaches last week.

Foster carer Julie Arthur has looked after 78 children and young people over 21 years in York. She watched the match against Braintree United which the Minstermen won 3-0. “I took six lads along to the match and we really enjoyed it before eight of them went along for the tour and the training on 20 April. They did a warm up, passing skills and had a game. That’s a privilege not many get.

“The visits mean they meet others in care so they know they’re not the only ones, and I get to catch up with other carers.

“This fun is in addition to the more serious training and support we get to help the young people we care for.”

Foster carer Kevin Lumley said: “Treats like this give the carers and young people a real boost – we really looked forward to it and enjoyed the experience. Thank you, York City.”
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