Rugby league club announces move from its home of last 120 years

4 June 2015 .......   Wakefield Wildcats ground Belle Vue. TJ100879f Picture Tony Johnson

4 June 2015 ....... Wakefield Wildcats ground Belle Vue. TJ100879f Picture Tony Johnson

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A RUGBY league club in Yorkshire has confirmed it could leave the stadium which has been its home for more than a century at the end of the year as it cannot afford the rents.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats announced it is serving its six-month notice period to leave the Belle Vue stadium, which is owned by the Bank of Ireland.

Wildcats chairman Michael Carter said the amount the club is paying in rent is “unsustainable”, though they are willing to stay if it can be renegotiated. And the club is considering moving to an alternative venue outside of the city, which would leave Wakefield without a professional sports team.

Mr Carter said: “We have not taken this decision lightly and it is with a heavy heart that we could leave. We are doing what we think is in the best interest of the club because staying and paying the rent on the current deal is not a feasible option.”

The announcement was made at the club’s business meeting on Wednesday. Mr Carter wrote to O’Hara’s & Co, who work on behalf of the Bank of Ireland, asking if they could pay a reduced fee to stay at the stadium.

But he said the club has now decided to hand in its notice and is now expected to leave the stadium at the end of the year.

Belle Vue has been the home of the Wildcats for 120 years. The club had hoped to move to a new 12,000-capacity community stadium as part of a new 100-acre business park in Stanley, but the economic crisis sidelined the plans.

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