City of York Council has announced that the Community Stadium, the new home of York City Football Club, has been hit by fresh delays with the team stating the news will “inevitably” have financial implications.
Work commenced on the 8,000-seat stadium (pictured earlier this month) and leisure centre complex project in December 2017 amid a long-running saga surrounding the future home of the football club, which is currently competing in the National League North, the sixth tier of English football.
Local newspaper The Press said senior councillors were told at a meeting in September that construction work was on schedule and due to be completed by May 2019, with the stadium set to officially open in July.
Championship rugby league team York City Knights are also set to call the new stadium home and were due to play the final two home games of their 2019 Championship season at the new venue. However, this will now not be possible and the football club has also stated it will open the 2019-20 season at its current stadium, Bootham Crescent.
A City of York Council spokesperson said in a statement: “We understand there will be a delay to the completion of the York Stadium Leisure Complex. This would mean a handful of games would not be able to take place in the new stadium as planned and the accompanying leisure facilities will be unable to open as soon as we’d hoped. This is subject to commercial discussions so we cannot comment further.
“A significant amount of progress has been made to date, both on and off site, with all stands now visible. We share the disappointment and frustration the delay will cause. Work will continue with all partners to minimise any delay and open the York Stadium Leisure Complex as soon as possible, without compromising on quality or safety.”
The Press said the new stadium will now not open until August 19 at the earliest, with the football club expressing its “extreme disappointment” at the news. It said in a statement: “The delay, which is out of our control, will inevitably have financial implications for York City Football Club with the loss of four high-profile pre-season fixtures and the cancellation of several commercial events which were designed to mark the club’s departure from Bootham Crescent.
“Our supporters should not be alarmed by the news and the board of directors wishes to stress that the club will not be leaving Bootham Crescent until the Community Stadium is ready. The club is now in discussions with City of York Council over the full implications of the delay.”
Bootham Crescent has been home to the football club since it opened in 1932. The stadium is set to be redeveloped into housing.
Image: York City FC