RFL steps in and secures future of Rugby at The Odsal Stadium

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The Rugby Football League (RFL) has announced the acquisition of Odsal Stadium in a bid to ensure the long-term future of one of the sport’s most historic venues.

The League, which is the governing body of rugby league in England, has paid an undisclosed sum at what it describes as “market value” which will allow Super League team Bradford Bulls to remain at their home stadium. Ownership of Odsal by the RFL will safeguard the stadium at a time when the economic downturn has seen the proposed development of a sporting village concept put on hold.

“This arrangement is absolutely the right thing to do because it safeguards the future of one of the sport’s most famous stadia,” said RFL chairman Richard Lewis. “Odsal is famous throughout the world and it would be a tragedy were the venue to be lost to the sport in the way that other evocative rugby league venues have already been lost. We have paid market value for the stadium and the Bulls will pay market value rental to the RFL to play their home fixtures at Odsal.”

Bradford Bulls chairman, Peter Hood, added:  “This is excellent news for Bradford Bulls, for the Bradford district and for the sport. Odsal is an iconic rugby league venue and is strategically important to the Bradford district, located as it is at the head of the city’s principal access corridor. The sale to the RFL safeguards our immediate future and keeps all the options open once the economy recovers from recession.”

Odsal held a long-standing world record for rugby league’s biggest attendance when 102,569 fans watched a Challenge Cup final replay between Halifax and Warrington in 1954. This record was eclipsed following the opening of Stadium Australia in Sydney in 2000.

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