COUNCIL TAKES DECISION ON FUTURE OF CITY’S COMMUNITY STADIUM

Salford City Council has agreed a decision to take full ownership of the Salford Community Stadium on 13 February, with future impacts for rugby and sport and leisure across the city and regeneration of the area.

The decision to take full ownership will provide the council with full control of the stadium and its assets (currently Salford City Council owns 50%), including car parking areas and training pitches, with the development land around the site which will give the council the ability to shape the future of the area.

This is a decision, subject to contracts, that the council believes paves a bright future for a key regeneration site known as the western gateway, which is also a growth location site for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Mayor Andy Burnham, developing as part of Greater Manchester’s recently negotiated Devolution Trailblazer deal with Government and associated Single Settlement. 

Detailed negotiations with the stadium company joint owner and stadium stakeholders, along with detailed legal and financial due diligence, now are bringing the final steps close to completion.

The stadium, which is home to Salford Red Devils and Sale Sharks, officially opened in 2012 and has already hosted the Rugby League World Cup in 2013 and will be one of the venues for the Women’s Rugby World Cup on 2025.

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “I am delighted that we are nearing conclusion of months of painstaking discussions.

“After being a joint owner, the council is set to take the reins and full control of the stadium and surrounding site. 

“This will enable the council to deliver its aims and aspirations agreed earlier this year as detailed in the Strategic Statement of Intent, while also moving us forward in delivering the original intentions of decision(s) taken back in 2009/10. This includes securing the council’s long-term interests by controlling future redevelopment and regeneration of the stadium facilities and adjacent development land.”

Mayor Dennett continued: “We’ll be able to recommit to deliver the initial vision of a community stadium for the city and its people. The future will be grounded in a new sports & leisure and rugby strategy, with links to activity, culture and health and wellbeing and fair access and opportunities. These benefits will go far beyond activities on the pitch, with full development of the site creating an anticipated 790 new jobs, delivering £28million worth of social value and attracting £65 million of private sector investment. 

“The city’s heritage and rugby history will be safe now for future Salfordians. William Webb Ellis was born in Salford and we’re proud that the stadium is home to two important clubs, Salford Red Devils RLFC and Sale Sharks. We have celebrated the 150th historical and cultural contribution made by Salford Red Devils RLFC and the Salford Red Devils Foundation and championed Sale Sharks and the contribution the team has made locally since their move to the city in 2012. We are now looking to the next historical milestone and how this acquisition can continue to support both clubs. 

“In a mission close to my heart, Salford Red Devils RLFC will retain their position playing in the City of Salford, which is why the Community Stadium was built in the first place all those years ago, along with it being a place to call home for Salford Reds and Sale Sharks.

“We have exciting plans to engage fans, community groups & grass-roots rugby clubs, schools, education providers and residents with the City’s Community Stadium, along with Sports England, the Rugby Football League (RFL), Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Government, especially the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and the work currently being undertaken around the future of rugby within the UK.

Both codes are thriving in the city at a grassroots level with teams including league clubs Folly Lane, Salford City Roosters, Langworthy Reds and Cadishead Rhinos as well as our other professional club Swinton Lions. The union game is represented by local clubs at De La Salle, Eccles and Broughton, combined represent the positive growth of rugby in Salford. 

Mayor Dennett is joined by representatives of Salford Red Devils, Salford Red Devils Foundation, Salford Red Devils Women’s, PDRL, LDSL and local rugby league community clubs gather at the Salford Community Stadium.

“There is huge potential to use rugby to increase participation rates in sport and as a vehicle to contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of local people of all ages through all forms of the game and the wider activities of the Red Devils charitable foundation, providing new skills and aspirations. The rugby league club and the foundation serve the city as a community club and already deliver a huge range of initiatives, including SEND activity provision for children during school holidays and as an organisation, has the power to inspire, creating a healthier, more active community. 

“The realisation of the City of Salford’s Community Stadium is an important aspect of our cultural, heritage, sporting & leisure assets within the City and builds on decisions the Salford City Council has already taken to land the Royal Horticultural Society’s 5th National Garden (RHS:Bridgewater) and the BBC’s Philharmonic Orchestra within the City, in addition to delivering our much loved Lowry Theatre & Art Gallery back in 2000, who are an vital cultural institution within our city, also looking after and curating the L.S. Lowry collection within the City and through-out the world.” 

Managing Director of Salford Red Devils, Paul King added: “This is certainly a big step in the right direction, and hopefully this can now lead to a swiftly agreed deal.

“I can’t understate how important the conclusion of the deal is for the club. We’ve stretched as best as we can for as long as we can to get even to this point today, and once the agreement gets over the line, it really does give us access to some transformative opportunities. Not only are there commercial benefits waiting for us, but we can finally apply for the matched funding pots that are available to us through the Crowdfunder.

“Whilst bringing forward a realisation of a shared vision based on what the stadium was originally built for, an agreement allows us to become a different Salford Red Devils – a secure, and self-sustaining Salford Red Devils that thrives within the City of Salford.”

Tony Sutton, the Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League, said:

“Salford City Council’s full ownership of the Salford Community Stadium is excellent news for the Salford Red Devils club, and therefore for the many community groups and young people with whom they engage directly, as well as through the work of their community Foundation. The city has been associated with Rugby League since 1896, when the Salford club joined the Northern Union, and the sport is therefore embedded deeply in the community and its history.

“The RFL has been delighted to engage with Salford City Council and the Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham throughout a long and complicated process, and we will continue to do so as we work with Mayor Dennett and his team to continue to grow the numbers of people playing Rugby League in the region. We both thank and congratulate them for this positive outcome.”

Sale Sharks Chief Executive Paul Smith said: “The future of the Salford Community Stadium has been a protracted saga that has caused a huge amount of uncertainty both within the club and among our fanbase for too long.

“While there is still work to do, this announcement hopefully begins to draw a line under the questions around stadium ownership and allows us all to start working together to create a real hub for rugby, across both codes, in the north.

“There is a huge opportunity here to build a really special venue to support our community and develop top level sport in the region.”

Club statement: stadium update

The Club would like to provide an update in relation to developments to the situation with the Salford Stadium.

There remains confidence from the necessary parties that an agreement on the stadium could be reached in the first quarter of 2024.

Discussions remain ongoing surrounding a short-term agreement between the Club and Salford City Council in the mean time which we expect to have further clarity come the end of this month.

We’ll continue to provide updates on the full picture when appropriate to ensure supporters remain aware of the current state of play alongside the timelines that we are aware of.

We’d also like to note our thanks to those who have showed their unwavering support of late.

AN UPDATE ON THE SALFORD STADIUM

The club would like to provide an update regarding the Salford Stadium.

Following the statement made by Mayor Dennett last week, on Thursday, a number of meetings were held by the Council in respect to the future of the Salford Stadium. Since the meetings, we have received several updates that we believe are important to share. These include:

  • A meeting this week between the Council and the RFL to discuss the planned process for stadium acquisition, thus enabling a long-term lease and protecting our pursuit of a Grade A rating in IMG’s grading criteria.
  • A meeting between Sale Sharks, Salford Red Devils and Salford City Council to take place imminently to discuss the rental agreement.
  • Hopeful of a new food & beverage, and car park contract to be completed by the time of acquisition which should enable Salford Red Devils to generate revenue.
  • Further comments have been shared addressing access to various commercial streams, however the timelines for the Club receiving access to these are likely to remain unfavourable given the processes that must first be undertaken.

We have received an indication of intent for the acquisition to be complete within the first quarter of 2024.

Whilst we welcome the statement made by Mayor Dennett, as well as the above, we are conscious our position remains a time-sensitive one that is currently without a resolution. Without this materialising imminently, we are only able to assume that we will continue to not have access to the various commercial streams we have operated towards and budgeted for over the coming months.

Our club is more than just a team people watch every other week. Our Club is Salford’s Club; owned by its community, and consistently here for its community as a source of jobs, education, and health. Mayor Dennett has previously spoken to the importance of Salford Red Devils as a 150-year-old institution of Salford, and despite previous experiences, there is a wholehearted belief that the Council will come through.

However, as the end of our current tenancy agreement is imminent, we remain aware that any further inaction could place this at risk.

We are optimistic following recent discussions and hope that the meetings this week offer a path to a swift resolution of critical priority, rather than serve as another example of a failed-to-materialise assurance.

Further updates will be issued as appropriate.

SALFORD RED DEVILS FANS FORUM AND AJ BELL STADIUM UPDATE

Following a widely viewed television news report yesterday evening, the Club felt the need to provide a clear update from the perspective of Salford Red Devils so that we are not further misrepresented, unfortunately we were not asked to provide a comment at the time.

We are currently actively engaged in positive discussions with all parties in the reported ‘stadium swap’ agreement, and we continue to strive towards the best possible outcome for Salford Red Devils. Other parties in these discussions are COSCOS (Salford City Council and Peel Holdings), Sale Sharks and Salford City Football Club. We are open minded to facilitate all aspects of the ongoing dialogue as long as the best interests of the Club are also considered throughout the process.

As we understand it, there is still no finalised agreement for the purchase of the The Salford Stadium. Regarding our reported move to the Peninsula Stadium at Moor Lane, whilst we understand positive progress has been made between Salford City Football Club and Salford City Council, we are still yet to undertake any due diligence on the stadium.

The conversations continue to develop at pace, however the Club recognises the need to conduct a considered evaluation of any alternative options to our tenancy at the The Salford Stadium, which is still contracted until the end of 2023.

We will be hosting a fans forum on Thursday 4th November to provide a further update on circumstances as they currently stand and anticipate that there may be further updates to provide by this date.

Full details of the fans forum will be released in the coming week and we look forward to seeing as many fans in attendance as possible regarding what is an important process and topic in the Club’s history.

Fans forum to be held regarding ownership of the The Salford Stadium

Following recent speculation on the ownership of the The Salford Stadium, the club will be hosting an event on Thursday 8 July to provide context, clarity and communicate the circumstances around the stadium’s ownership.

The event, which will be held in the 1873 Lounge and will commence at 7pm. will feature a presentation delivered by executive chairman Paul King and club staff, followed by the opportunity for fans to ask questions.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions still in place, there will be a limited capacity available for the event therefore sponsors, squad builder members and season ticket holders will all be prioritised and access will be on a first come, first served basis.

Tickets are free and can be obtained online here. If you wish to be sat with a particular person, please book together, as you would for a matchday via networking. The event is strictly over 18’s only. Due to restrictions on numbers, please only book a place at the event if you fully intend and are able to go. You will not be able to attend if you do not have a ticket.

Executive chairman Paul King said: “In recent months there has been growing speculation about the ownership of the The Salford Stadium, we have been relatively quiet on this matter whilst we took the time to fully understand the circumstances and realities of the situation.

“Following regular meetings with Salford City Council, we believe that we now have a clearer understanding of the circumstances and want to communicate these openly, in person and with the chance for fans to ask questions.”

The event will be recorded and published at a later date for anyone who is unable to attend or get a ticket, and there will be live updates on our social media channels.

Fans forum to be held regarding ownership of the AJ Bell Stadium

Following recent speculation on the ownership of the AJ Bell Stadium, the club will be hosting an event on Thursday 8 July to provide context, clarity and communicate the circumstances around the stadium’s ownership.

The event, which will be held in the 1873 Lounge and will commence at 7pm. will feature a presentation delivered by executive chairman Paul King and club staff, followed by the opportunity for fans to ask questions.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions still in place, there will be a limited capacity available for the event therefore sponsors, squad builder members and season ticket holders will all be prioritised and access will be on a first come, first served basis.

Tickets are free and can be obtained online here. If you wish to be sat with a particular person, please book together, as you would for a matchday via networking. The event is strictly over 18’s only. Due to restrictions on numbers, please only book a place at the event if you fully intend and are able to go. You will not be able to attend if you do not have a ticket.

Executive chairman Paul King said: “In recent months there has been growing speculation about the ownership of the AJ Bell Stadium, we have been relatively quiet on this matter whilst we took the time to fully understand the circumstances and realities of the situation.

“Following regular meetings with Salford City Council, we believe that we now have a clearer understanding of the circumstances and want to communicate these openly, in person and with the chance for fans to ask questions.”

The event will be recorded and published at a later date for anyone who is unable to attend or get a ticket, and there will be live updates on our social media channels.

Partner | Salford Red Devils link up with New Bailey

Salford Red Devils are delighted to confirm we have teamed up with New Bailey as the official sports partner to the office, retail and leisure destination on the banks of the River Irwell. 
Salford Red Devils season ticket holders will be able to enjoy discounts at Menagerie, New Bailey’s on-site bar and restaurant, while fans and locals will also be able to get involved in ticket competitions and pop-up activities at the development.
Director of Salford Red Devils, Andrew Rosler, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with New Bailey, a destination that has a real presence in the community, and just like our club, a connection to local people too.
“Beginning this relationship not only allows us to enhance the experience for our loyal supporters, but we also hope to get more young people and adults alike engaged and interested in sport.”
Phil Mayall, Development Director at the English Cities Fund, which is delivering the New Bailey masterplan said: “Partnering with the Salford Red Devils is a fantastic opportunity for us to not only continue to raise the profile of New Bailey but also support a team and its fans that have been an integral part of the local community for nearly 150 years.
“We want New Bailey to be an inclusive district with something for everyone and through his partnership we can offer a broader range of opportunities for events and something that’s a little bit different for fans and people who live and work in the area.”
The English Cities Fund is a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England in partnership with Salford City Council.

Local council employees to get discounted prices

Salford Red Devils remind employees of Salford City Council, Trafford Council, Manchester City Council and Peel Holdings that they can get tickets for our pre-season friendly against Swinton at the AJ Bell Stadium on Sunday 14th January, 1pm kick-off, for discounted prices. 
Employees of any of the above can purchase a ticket for our first game of the 2018 season against local rivals Swinton Lions for the price of a concession and watch new signings such as Luke Burgess, Ben Nakubuwai and Jack Littlejohn in action. Employees of the above will be able to claim a concession ticket by showing their staff ID.
We will also be hosting our pre-season launch event prior to kick off in the 1873 suite with Season Ticket holders also getting discounted prices for this event in addition to employees of Peel Holdings and local councils.
A full list of prices for our friendly against Swinton can be seen below:
Adult Season Ticket holder with access to season launch: £13
Concession Season Ticket holder with access to season launch: £8
Adult non-Season Ticket holder with access to season launch: £15
Concession non-Season Ticket holder with access to season launch: £10
Adult without access to season launch: £10
Concession without access to season launch: £5
Tickets are available from the Club Ticket Office on weekdays between 9am-9:30pm and at weekends between 10am-4:30pm. Fans can also purchase tickets over the phone on 0161 786 1570.
Fans can still purchase 2018 Season Tickets from the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online here. Remember fans who want to spread their payments over six monthly Direct Debit payments will need to purchase at the Club Ticket Office or over the phone on 0161 786 1570.

Red Devils team up with Salford City Council in advertising campaign

Salford Red Devils will be showcased on a range of advertising screens in and around the City after teaming up with Salford City Council.
The Red Devils now iconic semi-final celebration picture will feature on an advert which will be shown on a range of screens across main travel routes in Salford including on the arch at the end of the M602.
These adverts will be shown throughout the next week and aim to encourage people to come and support the Salford Red Devils in 2018 and even purchase Season Tickets before the end of the ‘early bird’ window.
Salford Red Devils CEO Ian Blease said: “I’d like to thank Salford City Council and in particular the Mayor Paul Dennett and his staff for helping promote our fantastic Club in a city-wide campaign.
“I’d also like to thank the loyal Salford supporters who have assisted the Club in getting this campaign across our great City.
“Everybody knows that Salford is a City passionate about sport and in particular Rugby League and we hope this promotion will help bring new interest to the Club as well as strengthen our relationship with Salford City Council and our current supporters.”
Salford also currently have an advert promoting our 2018 Season Tickets displayed on Manchester’s iconic drive-in cinema which is currently set-up at the The Salford Stadium and has shown a variety of horror films over Halloween.
Remember the ‘early bird’ window closes on Friday 3rd November and it is crucial fans purchase their Season Ticket before then if they want to maintain their seat or pay via Direct Debit.
 
Season Tickets can be purchased over the phone, at the Club Ticket Office or online here.

Sign up to the official newsletter