Wakefield Trinity Wildcats - new stadium deal on the table

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats could stay in the city after a bid to buy the club’s current home at Belle Vue was submitted.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 7th August 2015, 12:11 pm
Wakefield Wildcats ground Belle Vue
Wakefield Wildcats ground Belle Vue

Yorkcourt Properties has made an offer to the ground’s current owners Bank of Ireland to buy the ground with the aim of then renting it back to the club at a reduced cost.

If agreed, Wildcats could then continue to play home games at Belle Vue until Yorkcourt Properties has built a new community stadium at Newmarket, which is expected to be complete “within five years.”

Last month Wildcats chairman Michael Carter announced the club had served its six months notice to leave Belle Vue saying the rent the club is paying is “unsustainable”, though they would be willing to stay if it can be renegotiated.

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He also said he had met Dewsbury Rams chairman Mark Sawyer to discuss the possibility of a ground share and that the Cats could leave Wakefield by the end of 2015.

If the Cats did leave Wakefield it would leave the city without a professional sports team.

The Express contacted Wakefield Wildcats about the new proposal to buy Belle Vue but was told Mr Carter was unavailable for comment.

Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of Wakefield and District Community Stadium Trust, said: “I think the intention of this offer is help keep Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in the city.

“Given the fact that the club has played in the city for well over a century, it would be incredibly disappointing to everyone who has an affinity to the club if they were to move away.”

Colin Mackie, managing director of Yorkcourt Properties, submitted the offer following a meeting with Wakefield Council and Sir Rodney.

Sir Rodney said: “The objective behind the deal is to secure Belle Vue and charge the club an economical rent because the problem at the minute is the club pay a very high amount of rent which is unsustainable.

“I think this is the news that everybody has been waiting for.

“Obviously, it is still dependent on the deal being agreed though.

“If the club for whatever reason feel they have to leave the city on a temporary basis my objective has been and remains a commitment to build a new stadium in Wakefield.”

Coun Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s deputy leader, said: “I am pleased Mr Mackie has confirmed his commitment to securing the future of the Wildcats in Wakefield.

“The council don’t want the club to leave Wakefield and we know how much it means to the supporters for Wildcats to be based in the city as well.

“I hope the Bank of Ireland will now agree the offer so that we can keep Wildcats in the city - where they belong.”