YORK CITY will kick off next season at Bootham Crescent after the new Community Stadium was hit by a delay.
The Minstermen had expected to bid farewell to their home of 87 years at the end of the current campaign.
Four high-profile pre-season fixtures against opposition from both the Championship and abroad had been lined up in July to kick-start a new era at the 8,000 capacity venue in style.
But the National League North side will now start the 2019-20 campaign at Bootham Crescent with no confirmed completion date set for the stadium, which will also be home to York City Knights rugby league club. No reason has been given for the hold-up.
A York spokesman said the board were “extremely disappointed” by last night’s turn of events.
He added: “Our supporters should not be alarmed by the news and the board of directors wishes to stress that the club will not be leaving Bootham Crescent until the Community Stadium is ready.
“The club is now in discussions with City of York Council over the full implications of the delay. The delay means that the club will start the 2019-20 season at Bootham Crescent.”
York City Knights had been due to play their last two home games of the current Championship season – against Bradford Bulls on July 20 and Featherstone Rovers on August 18 – at the new stadium.
Those games will now take place at Bootham Crescent. The Championship play-offs start in September
It is understood both clubs only learned of any potential change to the scheduled July hand over of the keys last week.
A spokesman for City of York Council said: “We understand there will be a delay to the completion of the York Stadium Leisure Complex. This would mean a handful of games would not be able to take place in the new stadium as planned and the accompanying leisure facilities will be unable to open as soon as we’d hoped. This is subject to commercial discussions so we cannot comment further.
“A significant amount of progress has been made to date, both on and off site, with all stands now visible.
“We share the disappointment and frustration the delay will cause. Work will continue with all partners to minimise any delay and open the York Stadium Leisure Complex as soon as possible, without compromising on quality or safety.”