FOOTBALL fans have cautiously welcomed the news that York City FC will manage the new community stadium to be built at Monks Cross.
More than 50 supporters attended a consultation session at the club's current headquarters in Bootham Crescent to see the plans for the new building and discuss the future.
Those present said they hoped it would enable the club to raise more income by having access to the stadium on non-match days and were relieved the ground would not be maintained by someone new to football, though some were worried about the move and about the logistics, such as how 8,000 people would leave the ground after late night matches in winter if Park and Ride buses have ceased for the day.
Sophie McGill, club director, revealed that the new 8,000 seat stadium could become a wedding venue, as well as host conferences, business meetings and other income generating events.
Also present were York Knight fans, whose rugby league club will also play its home matches at the new stadium from autumn 2016 and representatives of Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL), who currently run Waterworld and who will run the leisure centre with 25 m swimming pool, gym and sports facilities which will be alongside the stadium. Waterworld is expected to close in December 2014.
David Metcalfe, a lifelong City supporter, said he was concerned that an 8,000 seat stadium could create financial problems for the club and that it should develop a stronger youth programme.
He said of the decision to let the club run the stadium: "I'm very supportive of it because it will mean more income for the club and there will be better facilities and better training for the youth team."
Leigh Allaker of GLL said its partnership with Charlton Athletic to run a sports centre next to a football stadium worked well and he was confident GLL and York City could work well together on the Monks Cross site.
Ms McGill said she was getting positive feedback from supporters about the stadium plans unveiled in the Pitchside Bar of Bootham Crescent and about the club running the new stadium.
She added it will offer far better surroundings for business and other non-football events than the Bootham Crescent stadium, which was built in 1932. She said the club wanted to work with York Knights.