Bradford Bulls heading ‘home’ to Odsal Stadium

Bradford Bulls are back at Odsal Stadium after signing an initial 18-month tenancy agreement with the Rugby Football League to return to their traditional home.

Bradford Bulls return to Odsal where they last played in September 2019 (Picture: Steve Riding)

The former Super League champions played their last game there on September 1, 2019, ahead of moving in with Championship rivals Dewsbury Rams.

They cited the rising costs of repair and maintenance as the main reason for leaving the famous venue which had been their home since 1934.

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However, Nigel Wood, who took over at the club a few months after their initial departure, always pledged to get them back into Bradford.

A deal has now been struck with the RFL who bought the stadium’s leasehold in 2012.

Bradford will host York City Knights at Odsal on Sunday with a capacity strictly limited to 4,000 due to Covid protocols.

Bulls chairman Wood was “delighted”and said: “While the stadium is not yet exactly as we want it to be, and there is still work to do yet, it provides the best opportunity to allow most supporters the chance to view the action in person.

Odsal Stadium is the venue that came back from the dead. We are not blind to its shortcomings.

A general view during the last game to be played at Odsal Stadium back in 2019 (Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

“It may be old and it may be basic, but it is our home.

“There is considerable uncertainty still around the sport, matters that we cannot control or even influence like central distributions and league structures, so we can only commit to an initial 18-month occupancy while these issues get resolved.

“We hope people can understand that. Getting the Bulls back to Bradford is not the end of the journey and we continue to work positively and collaboratively, with all organisations who can help, to give the supporters the facilities they deserve in the 21st century.”

Elsewhere, though, Bulls still hope to reverse last week’s decision that saw them denied an Elite Academy licence for 2022 to 2027, a conclusion they described as “incomprehensible.”