York Stadium update: Fresh delays, but ‘no structural issues’

The LNER Community Stadium. Photograph: Richard Hayden / Hayden Turfcare
5 Mar 2020 @ 7.20 am
| News

With more rumours swirling around about the York Community Stadium, we have an update on progress.

It was hoped that a televised Super League & Championship rugby league double header would take place at the new stadium on 22 March.

Featuring York City Knights v Featherstone Rovers and Toronto Wolfpack v Wakefield Trinity, the games – screened on Sky Sports – will now be played at Bootham Crescent.

That is because community stadium operators GLL and builders Buckingham have not yet scheduled the test events required to allow it to open to the public.

In a message to fans, York City Knights said: “We share your disappointment and frustration at this outcome, but rest assured that we will work as hard as possible to make this event a success, and showcase our fantastic city to the world.”

Finishing touches

The stadium and car park. Photograph: YorkMix

The good news is there are no major problems with the infrastructure. A spokesperson for GLL told YorkMix:

  • GLL understands the frustrations felt and are keen to get the York Community Stadium and Leisure Complex open as soon as possible.

    The final stages are always the most frustrating days of any complex construction project.

    There are no structural issues with the scheme – the completed work will be of the required high standard and we’re working hard to put in the finishing touches and get all the right certification before a game can be played.

    Despite poor weather, progress continues to be made towards completion and we shall be providing further details on the timing of the test events and the stadium opening date once confirmed.

He said the completed stadium and leisure centre will be a beacon for York and the city’s football and rugby clubs “and GLL are totally committed to delivering and operating these first class facilities for York”.

City of York Council is also frustrated.

Ian Floyd, interim head of paid service, said:  “We share everyone’s frustrations at this news, and are disappointed that GLL and Buckingham have not made sufficient progress to hold the required test events to enable the planned matches on 22 March. 

“We have stressed to GLL the need for this matter to be concluded as quickly as possible. 

“In the meantime, we continue to work with all our partners to make a success of what will be a fantastic place to support our clubs and a real asset for the community.”  

Questions and answers

Photograph: Cllr Nigel Ayre

We asked a series of questions based on reports that have been circulating about problems at the stadium. Our thanks to GLL for answering them in full.

Is the CCTV system at the stadium fit for purpose?
Yes. 180+ state of the art cameras are being commissioned.

Are all the concrete steps in the stadium up to standard? If not, what remedial work is required?
The steps are of the required standard. As with any concrete moulding, we’ve tested every step and there are a small handful which need minor adjustments to level off. This is entirely normal for large-scale concrete work.

Are any of the exit routes at the stadium considered to be too narrow or unfit for purpose?
No, all comply with building regulations to meet certification

Are the floodlights at the stadium fit for purpose?
Floodlights are of the required design specification to meet certification and are being tested. Again, this is the usual process for floodlights.

Have any test events taken place?
Not yet but they will happen to meet certification requirements

Are any test events scheduled to take place?
The dates of these are to be agreed with the clubs and the Stadium Management Company in due course.

Is it true the stadium opening might be delayed until November? If not, what is the latest timetable for it to open
This is purely speculative. The timetable is being worked on and currently tbc.