AS the LNER Community Stadium leisure complex opens to the public today, Jon Flatman has paid tribute to the perseverance of those involved in the project.

It has been a long journey for sport fans in York but there is now light at the end of the tunnel, with the commercial facilities due to welcome visitors today and York City FC hoping to grace the pitch next month.

The procedures to clear the way for spectator attendance are yet to be finalised as pilot events and Covid protocols will be required.

Speaking at a media day at the stadium, York City Knights chairman Flatman said: “Whether it be leisure facilities, restaurants, ten-pin bowling, crazy golf, shopping or watching elite sport, it’s a place where people want to be. There’s so much to do here for people of all ages.

“I must pay full credit to the council and those councillors who have stuck with this process around the stadium for many, many years, and hats off to them for being brave enough and strong enough to stick with it when others would have walked away.

“One of the examples of how good this stadium is how many people there are here on the press day - there are national journalists, local and regional; video, TV, print and web-based - it’s because it’s special, different and exciting.

“I don’t think there’s anyone here who hasn’t been blown away by how good it is. And that’s from the point of view of players, coaches, spectators and fans.

“It’s a fantastic venue."

Following Monday's judgment on the team to accede into Super League, the Knights will showcase their new ground in the Championship next season.

“We’ll get the feedback and work on that but the Super League story was put to bed on Monday," Flatman said.

“The story now is about the future, about 2021 and how we can make rugby league and York City Knights at this stadium a real event where people want to be.

“James (Ford), his fantastic staff and players will do a job for that and everybody else will muck in to make sure it’s a great place.

“That Super League story’s on hold but we’re definitely ready for Championship 2021."