8 Jan

Don Valley Stadium Facing Possible Closure

Don Valley Stadium

Sheffield's Don Valley Stadium is facing the prospect of being demolished as a means of saving the city council up to £500,000. A council report, seen by BBC Radio Sheffield, also details the possibility of re-opening the Woodburn Road Athletics Stadium to offset the loss.

Opened in 1991 at a cost of £29 million, 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 Sheffield half marathon, it is also the training base for the City of Sheffield AC and London 2012 champion Jessica Ennis.

Upon hearing the news, Ennis's coach, Toni Minichiello, said the outdoor facilities at the stadium are vital to the heptathlete's training: "We use it regularly. Don Valley is very crucial to what we do in terms of training. It's an outdoor 400m track, it's the type of place you see at the Olympics. It also services the wider athletics community for things like javelin and discus and anything above short sprint running." Continuing, Minichiello said that Ennis would remain in Sheffield even if the stadium closed.

A recent release on the Don Valley Stadium website read: "We would like to reassure everyone that any proposals will be subject to consultation with employees, trade unions and customers. We will inform all customers of any change to our facilities as soon as the budget is confirmed and the Sheffield City Trust have fully considered all the available options."