The £41m project to build a new 8,000-capacity home for York City and York City Knights has been plagued by delays when plans were first mooted.
Clubs were expected to move into the venue – part of a complex that will also boast a cinema, a pool and leisure facilities – in 2011.
York Council revealed that contracts relating to the stadium and leisure complex were finally signed in October.
Construction yesterday began on the York Stadium Leisure Complex, as partner organisations involved in the plans held a ceremony to mark the milestone.
Coun Nigel Ayre, executive member for leisure, said: “It is fantastic to see so much happening on site with the works progressing on time and it has been great seeing the whole complex start to take shape.”
Alongside the sporting facilities, NHS outpatient services will be offered on-site, from a community hub.
There will also be a new library and a York Against Cancer retail unit.