YORK CITY Knights will have to play the first home game of the new season at Bootham Crescent - after the club said they were unable to get assurances that the new Community Stadium would be ready in time.

The side was scheduled to kick off their season against Bradford Bulls on February 9 at the new LNER Community Stadium, at Monks Cross, York.

However, in a statement, Knights chairman, Jon Flatman, said: “The latest information we have been provided is unable to guarantee that we will be able to play at the new stadium on that date.

"In simple terms, we require – and fans rightly expect – a degree of notice in order to purchase tickets, arrange travel and deliver marketing for what will be a brilliant home league opener. To remove that uncertainty we have taken the decision to play the fixture at Bootham Crescent.

“Bootham Crescent in recent years holds fantastic memories of a promotion-winning season and an excellent 2019 season. Fixtures between the two clubs at Bootham Crescent have witnessed exciting close games in recent years.

“We fully expect to be in the new LNER Community Stadium for our second home league game in 2020.”

The news comes after two test events that were planned to be held this week at York's new community stadium were axed.

A spokesperson for Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL), which will run the stadium, yesterday confirmed that two test events had been shelved.

He said: “GLL continue to work with our partners Buckingham to complete the York Stadium Leisure Complex and further significant progress has been made.

“When completed, the stadium will offer some of the best facilities in the city and as such we want to make sure all preparations are completed to the highest standard.

“Unfortunately, while the work is in its final stages we are not yet able to run the two test events that were planned at the stadium this week.

“We apologise for the inconvenience - GLL are working with our stadium partner (York Stadium Management Company) to source alternative test events and details of these will be published shortly.”