Joint venture reveals plans for 5,000-seater city stadium

Sheffield FC, the world’s first football club, and Sheffield Eagles, the city’s professional rugby league club, have unveiled plans for a new 5,000-seater stadium in the city as part of a joint venture between the clubs.

The stadium, which will be based at the former Sheffield Transport Sports Club site at Meadowhead, will encompass professional football and rugby league facilities as well as a cricket pavilion, a football museum and an indoor community sports hall.

It is planned that the site will become an international visitor attraction for football and rugby league fans alike and provide an insight into the history and heritage of both clubs.

Sheffield FC, which was formed in 1857, has submitted a planning pre-application to Sheffield City Council with a full application set to be lodged in January.

Sheffield FC chairman, Richard Tims, said: “We are pleased to announce our vision for the future: a new stadium back in the Steel City, a joint venture with Sheffield Eagles and a world-class facility, which will benefit the whole community.

“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.”

Sheffield Eagles director of rugby, Mark Aston, 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 will create 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.

“With league positions making up only 20% of the RFL’s Club Grading Scoring matrix, the development of facilities and the ability to improve our commercial footing and build a solid base for the community aspects of our operation are an absolute priority for us.

“This development gives us an opportunity to drastically improve our grading.”