8 Mar

Clubs Back Don Valley Alternative

Don Valley Stadium

After confirmation that Sheffield's Don Valley Stadium will be demolished as a part of a £700,000 cost-cutting measure by the city council, local clubs have backed the decision to re-open a neighbouring ground. Woodbourn Road Athletics Stadium, which was closed in 2011, will be refurbished at a cost of £150,000 in an attempt to offset the loss of Don Valley.

Mike Corden, chair of City of Sheffield AC, said that efforts would need to be made to ensure the 'contingency plan' of reopening the Woodbourn stadium was to work. Mike, speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, said that his club and Hallamshire Harriers had agreed to focus their efforts on a viable alternative.

While the closure of the Don Valley Stadium looks like being a fairly demoralising prospect in the wake of the Olympic legacy, Mike suggested the only recourse was to seek a new ground: "In September, if Don Valley is not there, my job and the job of my committee is to ensure we have a contingency plan so all those hundreds and hundreds of youngsters have a place where they can train."

Opened in 1991, the Don Valley Stadium is the second largest athletics stadium in the UK with a seated capacity of 25,000. On top of providing a starting point to the Sheffield half marathon, it is also the training base for the City of Sheffield AC and London 2012 champion Jessica Ennis. News of its closure has received widespread criticism in the wake of London 2012, with Ennis's coach Toni Minichiello describing it as 'pathetic.'