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Major decision made on Salford Red Devils stadium

Salford City Council has agreed a decision to take full ownership of Salford Red Devils‘ stadium the Salford Community Stadium on 13 February, with future impacts for rugby and sport and leisure across the city and regeneration of the area.

The decision to take full ownership will provide the council with full control of the stadium and its assets (currently Salford City Council owns 50%), including car parking areas and training pitches, with the development land around the site which will give the council the ability to shape the future of the area.

This is a decision, subject to contracts, that the council believes paves a bright future for a key regeneration site known as the western gateway, which is also a growth location site for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Mayor Andy Burnham, developing as part of Greater Manchester’s recently negotiated Devolution Trailblazer deal with Government and associated Single Settlement.

Detailed negotiations with the stadium company joint owner and stadium stakeholders, along with detailed legal and financial due diligence, now are bringing the final steps close to completion.

The stadium, which is home to Salford Red Devils and Sale Sharks, officially opened in 2012 and has already hosted the Rugby League World Cup in 2013 and will be one of the venues for the Women’s Rugby World Cup on 2025.

Salford Red Devils director pleased with decision

Salford Red Devils v Leeds Rhinos Picture by Olly Hassell/SWpix.com – 09/07/2023 – Rugby League – Betfred Super League – Salford Red Devils v Leeds Rhinos – AJ Bell Stadium, Salford, England – Salfords Ken Sio celebrates his try with Ryan Brierley and Tim Lafai

Managing Director of Salford Red Devils, Paul King added: “This is certainly a big step in the right direction, and hopefully this can now lead to a swiftly agreed deal.

“I can’t understate how important the conclusion of the deal is for the club. We’ve stretched as best as we can for as long as we can to get even to this point today, and once the agreement gets over the line, it really does give us access to some transformative opportunities. Not only are there commercial benefits waiting for us, but we can finally apply for the matched funding pots that are available to us through the Crowdfunder.

“Whilst bringing forward a realisation of a shared vision based on what the stadium was originally built for, an agreement allows us to become a different Salford Red Devils – a secure, and self-sustaining Salford Red Devils that thrives within the City of Salford.”

Tony Sutton, the Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League, said:

“Salford City Council’s full ownership of the Salford Community Stadium is excellent news for the Salford Red Devils club, and therefore for the many community groups and young people with whom they engage directly, as well as through the work of their community Foundation. The city has been associated with Rugby League since 1896, when the Salford club joined the Northern Union, and the sport is therefore embedded deeply in the community and its history.

“The RFL has been delighted to engage with Salford City Council and the Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham throughout a long and complicated process, and we will continue to do so as we work with Mayor Dennett and his team to continue to grow the numbers of people playing Rugby League in the region. We both thank and congratulate them for this positive outcome.”

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