YORK CITY chairman Jason McGill insists the move to a new stadium in two years’ time will “safeguard the club’s future” after a potential start date of the autumn was confirmed by the Council.
The £41m project to construct a home at Monks Cross for both the Minstermen and York City Knights rugby league club has been a long, drawn out saga featuring countless delays.
Initially, York’s two professional sports clubs were expected to move into the 8,000 capacity venue – part of a complex that will also boast a 13-screen cinema, a pool and leisure facilities – in 2011. Now, however, the end seems in sight with a report that will go before Councillors a week today revealing construction should start in October and take 16 months. “Moving to an 8,000 capacity all-seater stadium at Monks Cross would be fantastic news,” said McGill, whose company, JM Packaging, has kept City afloat during the uncertainty surrounding a possible move.
“It would safeguard the club’s future, put the club back in a break-even position financially, and represent the start of an exciting new era.
“Admittedly, a move to a new stadium will be greeted with a tinge of sadness by some supporters,” he added. “Our ground holds a lot of special memories for a lot of people but any modern day football club needs a sustainable stadium that generates vital non-matchday income.
“The Monks Cross community stadium will provide income streams that we simply don’t have at Bootham Crescent – which has been our home since 1932 – and make a massive difference to the financial well-being of our football club.”
National League North side York will contribute to the cost of the project via a £2m loan from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund that will become a grant when the move is completed.