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Bradford Bulls reveal expected completion date for Odsal lease

Bradford Bulls Odsal Stadium

Odsal Stadium is synonymous with Rugby League and the Bradford Bulls. The Bulls have played at the “Wembley of the North” since 1934, however in recent years the ground has become more run-down and embroiled in a series of ownership disputes. 

The RFL are the current leaseholders of the ground, however, they have listed the lease for sale with Knight Frank. A deadline for declarations of interest was set on January 31st 2024, with Knight Frank declaring significant interest in the site.

Bradford have previously discussed the impact the ground is having on the club, stating that it is a significant factor in reducing their IMG grading. Responding to the IMG grading, the club stated that the ground was the “single biggest impediment to getting our club back to the Super League is the absence of an appropriate 21st-century facility.”

The club were forced to play away from Odsal between 2019 and 2021, when they moved to ground share with Dewsbury, due the the cost of rent at Odsal. However, they returned to their spiritual home for the 2021 season. Now, the club have issued a statement providing an update on the situation regarding the Odsal lease.

Bradford Bulls CEO provides Odsal update

Bradford Bulls

Credit: Imago Images

In the statement, Bradford’s CEO, Jason Hirst, stated that the club would only comment on facts once they are established. He recognised that fans may be frustrated with the length of the process but reiterated that the club would not make a statement without a significant update.

“As part of its open and transparent approach, we the club, have, as promised, kept fans and followers fully up to date with regard to developments on its bid to secure the lease of the historic Odsal Stadium, home to Bradford Northern/Bulls since 1934.

“The club hasn’t and won’t comment for the mere sake of it, it will only comment upon facts once they’re established.

“Whilst recognising and appreciating that this is an understandably quite lengthy process that the RFL and Knight Frank are undertaking, the club equally recognises that fans want to be regularly kept up to date on developments.”

Deadline for process completion set

Credit: Imago Images

Hurst went on to lay out the expected timeline for an announcement on the Odsal lease situation. Hurst expects the RFL to provide an update in the mid-summer, once all appropriate governance processes have been completed by the RFL.

“As such, after proactively contacting the RFL for an update, the club can now reveal that the RFL has confirmed that it is moving into the final stages of the process, with work having been undertaken with each of the parties from whom interest had previously been received.

“The RFL’s position remains that the process is completed by mid-summer with all appropriate governance having been undertaken by then.

“The club thanks its fans and followers for their patience and will issue further statements as and when things develop.”

It appears that there will be no imminent news regarding Bradford’s long-term future at the historic ground.

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