Bootham Crescent, the former stadium of English National League North football club York City, is set for redevelopment after the completion of its sale to housing developer Persimmon Homes for £7m (€8.39m/$9.17m).

The sale has allowed the club to pay off both the Football Stadia Improvement Fund and the City Council, which had assisted by the provision of historical funding which allowed the club to contribute significantly to the cost of building the new LNER Community Stadium.

City moved into its new 8,500-seat home in February 2021 after work was completed on the venue in December 2020. City said the balance after payment of project related costs has been used to pay off a capped element of the capital invested by the club’s majority owner, JM Packaging Ltd (JMP). All interest accrued on that capital, as well as part of the capital itself, is being written off by JMP.

Ownership of the 4.25 acre brownfield site in the heart of York has now passed to Persimmon, which will commence with redeveloping the site into 93 new homes, with plans that will see the history of the ground preserved.

Bootham Crescent opened in 1932 and was the home of City until the club’s final competitive match at the ground in December 2020.

The legacy elements of Persimmon’s project will see the creation of a memorial garden incorporating a section of terracing from the old Popular Stand. The centre circle of the pitch will also be retained within a large open space accessible to the public.

Scott Waters, managing director of Persimmon Homes Yorkshire, said in a statement: “The preservation of the ground’s history is absolutely central to our redevelopment plans to provide a fitting and lasting legacy that fans, residents and the wider public can enjoy.

“As the new custodians of the site, preserving its heritage in a way that the community can be proud is of vital importance and we are excited to start work on bringing these plans to life. Both the club and fans have played an important role in helping finalise these exciting legacy plans and we will be providing updates on these in the coming months.”

Commenting on the conclusion of the deal, York City chairman Jason McGill told BBC Yorkshire: “I just hope when people look out their windows they’ll remember there was football played here. I’ve got tears in my eyes to be honest. I can still remember the roar walking in here. It is sad, but we have to move on.”

Image: York City FC