Yorkshire set for £10m deal as members agree for debt to reach £43m

Building for future: Headingley Stadium is set for a revamp.Building for future: Headingley Stadium is set for a revamp.
Building for future: Headingley Stadium is set for a revamp.
YORKSHIRE and Leeds Rugby have signed a naming rights deal for Headingley Stadium.

The 10-year deal, which will be officially announced on Friday, could be worth around £1m a year.

Yorkshire say the money will help fund at least 85 per cent of their rent during that time for a new main stand shared with Leeds Rugby.

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Yorkshire’s members yesterday overwhelmingly backed the board’s plan to increase the club’s borrowing powers to £43m to help build the stand at an extraordinary general meeting at Headingley.

Yorkshire, circa £26m in debt, must build the stand or else lose international cricket at Headingley post-2019 and be overlooked as a hosting venue for the lucrative new city-based T20 tournament.

A £35m deal, brokered by Leeds City Council, has been agreed with a London-based blue-chip financial institution to fund the stand, which is part of a £40m stadium upgrade that also includes a new South Stand on the rugby ground.

The financial institution, which Yorkshire say does not wish to be named until contracts have been signed, hopefully in mid-July, will lease the stands to the council, which, in turn, will lease them to a new joint-venture company owned by Yorkshire and Leeds Rugby for a period of 42 years.

At the end of that time, ownership of the stands will revert to the joint-venture company.