Wakefield Trinity: Year-round income would provide welcome boost for Wildcats

Wakefield Trinity chairman Michael Carter.
Wakefield Trinity chairman Michael Carter.
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CHAIRMAN Michael Carter says the proposed community stadium and retail park at Belle Vue would provide year-round income for Wakefield Trinity and landlords 88m group.

The two parties are working together on plans for a major development at Belle Vue which could be open within two years.

“The aim is to have income streams for both parties,” Carter confirmed.

“We’ve spoken to the guys at 88m and they want income coming in from their bit of the retail side, but the plan is that there would be retail bits within the stadium to make it a 365 days a year business. The most successful clubs live off the back of being able to do that.”

If the development goes ahead it would end uncertainty over Trinity’s home which has dragged on for decades.

Carter said: “It’s a relief to get it done and dusted. There’s still a lot of obstacles we need to hurdle over and we’ve said that if there’s no concrete movement within the next six months then we’ll have no alternative to go to pastures new.

“The group who have bought the ground have brought a lot of positivity to it - they’re determined to drive it forward now. It takes up 80 per cent of my time so it’s a relief!”

Carter said the previous option of a move to the Newmarket site in Stanley is not dead.

“I would never take Newmarket off the table as an option because if this falls through it’s all we’ve got left,” he stressed.

“Things can change really quickly, but right now we’d be really happy if we could get this community stadium at Belle Vue over the line.

“We could stay and play here while the building work is ongoing on the stadium, but I’ve already had an offer from another club that if we had to move out for six or seven games they would accommodate us. It brings home who your friends are if we had to move.”

Carter had been considering relocating the club to Dewsbury Rams’ Tetley’s Stadium.

He insisted: “We were very serious about moving. I’ve had discussions with Mark Sawyer at Dewsbury on and off for the last two years. If 88m hadn’t come to the party at this stage we’d have definitely gone because we could see no end product on the horizon.

“Dewsbury would have been a good opportunity because it’s a nice ground, but we’re delighted to be staying at Belle Vue.

“The reaction of the fans since we announced it speaks volumes that our fanbase want to stay at the oldest rugby league stadium in the world.