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Uncertainty surrounds Super League Grand Final after Old Trafford development

The future of the Super League Grand Final is well and truly up in the air with no official decision announced regarding an extended contract with Old Trafford.

But a spanner was thrown into the words when new Manchester United part owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe began talking about plans to demolish Old Trafford in favour of a new stadium.

As these plans gather pace, the future of the Super League Grand Final remains on uneasy territory. This comes as Ratcliffe has outlined a desire for a 100,000 seater stadium according to Manchester Evening News.

This would sadly likely be too many for a Grand Final given the lowering average attendance at the Super League title decider. Thus, it only adds to the uncertainty around the Grand Final’s future.

Speaking on the Geraint Thomas Cycling Club podcast earlier this month, the Ineos chief hinted at plans to increase capacity to 100,000.

He said: “You have got this opportunity if you choose to, to build a completely new ground, because we have got enough space. If you built a completely new ground it would absolutely be state-of-the-art, world class, 90,000 or maybe even 100,000 that then provides a platform for some of the big competitions in the north of England.

“Football in the North is just as important as it is in the south, arguably more so, and the people in the north pay their taxes, so why do we have Wembley, Twickenham, Wimbledon etc in the south. What have we got in the North? There’s a strong argument to build a ‘Wembley of the North’.”

Super League Grand Final set for new stadium

Credit Imago Images

So the question is, if these plans go ahead where could we see the Grand Final move to either for the short term as building work commences or the long term?

Well former Magic Weekend stadiums like the Etihad, St James’ Park and Anfield would be options for sure especially if the plan is to keep the Super League Grand Final in the North.

That being said, there options down south such as the Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium. This hosted the 2022 Challenge Cup Final between Wigan Warriors and Huddersfield Giants.

Even Manchester United legends aren’t against the move to rebuild Old Trafford.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Manchester United legend Gary Neville said: “I think everyone knows that it’s one of two options; either renovate and refurbish the existing Old Trafford or develop a brand new stadium next to Old Trafford.

“Every structural solution is different. Until you get into the meat of the work and see what is really brought forward, then I don’t think anyone has the answer. That’s the reason that the group has been set up, to help answer some of those questions.

“The work that goes on and the findings of the work that goes down [will help form a decision], but it will also come down to the commercial aspect of what will be afforded. We know that a new stadium – well, a refurbishment costs a lot of money – but a brand new stadium costs more.”

So it seems this move is becoming more and more likely.

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