In December we found out that the venue in York was finally completed after a cumulative of 8 years of delays. Now we know when York City FC will play their first home game at the newly built LNER Community Stadium.
On Tuesday, January 19th, the first fixture will take place at the new facility. The team from York will compete with Gateshead FC. The match will be played as part of the Vanarama National League North (the sixth tier of English football). York's stadium itself started operating yesterday, on January 11th, following last week’s agreement on the matter. It’s an important transition for York City FC after many years of waiting for the new venue.
Moving to the new stadium is possible thanks to an accord between the club's authorities and the City Council regarding the terms of the facility lease. Recently, there has been speculation in the media about a dispute between the club and the city officials on this matter.
Later today, the final game at 88-year-old Bootham Crescent was expected to take place. However, the current situation (including York City staff having tested positive) has caused its postponement. It’s a real shame for fans, who were supposed to hold a virtual farewell streaming. As for going to their historical stadium physically, a final opportunity for supporters has been promised by the club. Its date will depend on the pandemic’s development and is likely to come in spring or summer.
The new venue has 8,500 seats and has already been recognized by the FA and RFL as one of the best small stadiums in the country. It is known that LNER Community Stadium will host the Women's Rugby League World Cup in November this year. There are 8 games scheduled in York, ranging from the group stage matches to the semi-finals.
The facility will be used not only by York City FC footballers, but also by York City Knights, who are professional rugby league club, currently playing in Championship. Until recently, both teams shared a stadium at Bootham Crescent, which is located in the city centre.
Councilor Nigel Ayre emphasized:
Our aim throughout our work on the York Community Stadium project has been to deliver an incredible stadium and wider leisure facility for supporters, residents and the wider York community.
Author: Tomasz Sobura