Non-league football club Sheffield FC and rugby league team Sheffield Eagles have detailed plans for a new 5,000-seat stadium in the city as part of a joint venture project.
Sheffield FC is recognised by FIFA as the oldest existing football club and currently plays in Dronfield, Derbyshire. The Eagles compete in the Championship, the second tier of rugby league in England.
The new stadium would be based at the former Sheffield Transport Sports Club site at Meadowhead. As well as football and rugby league facilities, it would include a cricket pavilion, a football museum and an indoor community sports hall.
It is hoped the site will become an “international visitor attraction” for football and rugby league fans alike and provide an insight into the history of both clubs. The stadium would adhere to both English Football League and Super League criteria.
Sheffield FC initially announced plans for a new 4,000-seat stadium back in March 2021, but the project did not involve the Eagles at the time. The updated plans include a larger capacity and additional on-site facilities.
Sheffield FC, which was formed in 1857, has submitted a planning pre-application to Sheffield City Council, with a full application set to be submitted in January.
Sheffield FC chairman Richard Tims said: “Following years of discussions, we are finally starting to see our plans really gathering pace and have a fantastic project team who are totally committed to making our supporters’ dreams turn into reality.
“This will be somewhere to which the football’s three billion fans can make a pilgrimage and pay homage to the city which gave the world the beautiful game as well as a venue for the local community to utilise and enjoy a variety of sports.
“It doesn’t matter whether you support Sheffield United or Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield FC or Sheffield Eagles this is about being proud of the region’s sporting heritage and making it a hub for sporting excellence and community engagement in Sheffield and the South Yorkshire region.
“Our target is for the project to be ready for the start of the 2025-26 season. We need everyone to get behind this and once and for all put Sheffield sport well and truly on the map.”
Mark Aston, director of rugby for the Eagles, which currently play at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, added: “Sheffield Eagles are very excited to be part of this joint venture with Sheffield FC and to be at the heart of this world-class development, which at the heart will have a stadium that meets the Super League criteria to assist us in our aim to return to the top flight.
“Sheffield Eagles have grown immensely in the last three years thanks to the work of the Eagles Foundation and the planned facilities will also be a home for our women’s, wheelchair, learning disability and physical disability teams. It will also allow us to further develop homegrown talent and provide a base for our already large community programme.
“The development will bring very valuable sporting facilities to the Sheffield sports scene and open up several opportunities for sports outside of football and rugby league to be involved and provide enjoyment as both spectators and participants.”