Stadium won’t now be completed in September – but no one will say why

An artist's impression of how the finished York Stadium complex will look
27 Jun 2019 @ 8.15 pm
| News, Sport

Council officials have signalled a further delay in the opening of York Stadium.

A report to the executive published a week ago said that “the building contractor is anticipated to complete on site works early in September and there will then be a period of a few weeks where our leisure operator will mobilise the site ready for public opening”.

But tonight (27 June), director of corporate and customer services Ian Floyd had to tell councillors:

  • Since this was written, in the last week we’ve received further information from the building contractor, which unfortunately indicates that completion will not be achieved in September.

    We are working with partners to fully understand the precise nature and extent of the delay and the reasons for this delay. Once we have done this we will provide a full statement with more information.

    For now, we appreciate the past few months have been frustrating for fans and residents, and we are as disappointed as anyone that the site couldn’t open as early as we’d hoped.

Accurate timeline

Council leader Keith Aspden told the meeting: “All councillors here, like sports fans and residents, will be disappointed by the delays.

“So I’ve asked senior officers to come forward as soon as possible both to review that situation and then to publish an accurate and final timeline for moving forward.”

Two of the restaurant units are still to be let out. Labour group leader Cllr Danny Myers asked if stadium development partner and project manager Wrenbridge would pay any financial penalty for not leasing the units.

Ian Floyd said: “The penalty is that they incur some of the borrowing costs that would potentially accrue for one or two years.

“Clearly the majority of that penalty hits the council and it’s a risk we’ve highlighted before.”

On leasing the units he said “there is significant activity underway. The delays have nothing whatsoever to do with those two units”.

How long can this go on?

Photograph: York Stadium on Twitter
Addressing the meeting at the start, former councillor Brian Watson said: “There is a strange business over what has caused the current delays to the project.

“Surely you can’t keep saying it’s confidential – after all it’s the public’s money that you’re using and you have a responsibility to us all.

“If it revolves around the leasing of units then just how long can this go on?

“One last tongue-in-cheek question, that you might be able to answer: will it be open in time for the World Cup?”

Finance and performance lead Cllr Nigel Ayre said:

  • He didn’t specify to which particular World Cup he was referring. If he’s referring to the Cricket World Cup I think I can say categorically no.

    And no it won’t be ready before the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final either. It will however be ready to host World Cup games as it was promise for the Rugby World Cup

The Rugby League World Cup will start in October 2021.