York City owner and chairman Jason McGill described the announcement that work on a new community stadium will begin this Autumn as “exciting news”.
The National League North club will groundshare an 8,000 capacity stadium with local Rugby League club York City Knights, which will be prominent in a £41m community hub featuring a cinema, leisure facilities and an NHS outpatient service.
Contractors are expected to begin work on the site in October, with the main construction expected to be completed around sixteen months later.
Speaking to the club’s official website McGill said: “This is exciting news for York City supporters and the city’s sporting future. It is a highly significant announcement which will help safeguard the long-term future of York City Football Club.
“I am extremely grateful to the local council and other associated parties for their hard work and patience in moving this matter forward,” he added.
“If things go according to plan, York City supporters will be watching their team at a new 8,000 capacity stadium by the start of the 2019/2020 season.”
The move into a new stadium will bring an end to the Minstermen’s eighty six year stay at Bootham Crescent, a move that McGill admits will be made with a “tinge of sadness” from the club’s supporters.
However, he was keen to stress that the move will allow the club to make the most of income streams that are not possible at their current home.
“Moving to an 8,000 capacity all-seater stadium at Monks Cross would be fantastic news. It would safeguard the club’s future, put the club back in a break even position financially, and represent the start of an exciting new era.
“Admittedly, a move to a new stadium will be greeted with a tinge of sadness by some supporters,” he added. “Our ground holds a lot of special memories for a lot of people but any modern day football club needs a sustainable stadium that generates vital ‘non-matchday’ income.
“The Monks Cross community stadium will provide income streams that we simply don’t have at Bootham Crescent – which has been our home since 1932 – and make a massive difference to the financial well-being of our football club.”
Nigel Ayre, executive councillor with responsibility for the stadium, commented: “The community stadium project is about to take a major step forward with building work starting in just a few months.
“Since the last major update there have been several issues to contend with, not least a general election, worries about the impact of Brexit, and a failed legal challenge.
“Despite this, we’ve continued to make good progress and now we have a good idea of how long it will take to complete the build,” he added.
“The community stadium will benefit the whole of York with enhanced facilities, a home for both our professional football and rugby clubs while creating hundreds of new jobs.”
Article: Mark Carruthers (@marknldaily)
Image: Reuters Media