YORK’S new community stadium is due to be handed over on February 4 - but doubts remain whether the required test events will be completed in time.

And York City Knights will now have to play the first game of the new season at Bootham Crescent - after the club said they were unable to get assurances the new stadium would be ready.

City of York Council has said that the LNER Community Stadium is due to be handed over on February 4, providing stadium developers Greenwich Leisure (GLL) and Buckingham have “held a minimum of three tests”.

But two test events that were planned to be held this week have been axed, bosses have confirmed.

Knights were scheduled to kick off their season against Bradford Bulls on February 9.

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 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.

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

Claire Foale, head of communications for the council, said: “The stadium is due to be handed over on February 4. For this to happen GLL and Buckingham need to have held a minimum of three test events. These are reliant on completing adequate commissioning and certification.”

A Spokesperson for GLL said: “We are continuing to work with our partners Buckingham to complete the York Stadium Leisure Complex and further significant progress has been made.

“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 is working with our stadium partner to source alternative test events and details of these will be published shortly.”