When I visited England back in 2006, I was lucky enough to visit Wakefield.
Now, I say lucky in the way that, after being to Wakefield, I feel lucky every single day since that I don’t actually live in Wakefield!
While there, I saw the stadium the Wakefield Wildcats play out of. It was a dump, little more than some tin sheds covering seats. No team has a long term prospect playing out of a place like that.
Not too far from Wakefield is Castleford. I didn’t manage to get to Castleford, mostly for the fact that I did everything possible to avoid the place. However Castleford play out of a stadium that is probably worse than the one at Wakefield.
Both teams are struggling at the stadiums they play out of, and both are under pressure to move, or merge, if they want to keep their place in Super League.
Believe it or not, I don’t want these teams to merge. However they both need to do something pretty drastic if they are going to survive in Super League over the long term.
I personally think the way forward for the Wildcats and Tigers is to be playing out of one stadium. Pool their resources and get a good stadium built that both clubs can use. This will cut costs and the stadium that gets build, or re-developed will get a lot of use by hosting two clubs.
I think over the long term the area defiantly needs Super League club. So if a new stadium is built that both teams use, and there comes a point where a merger has to take place, it would be a smooth transition for both sets of fans who by that point will have become accustomed to playing out of the stadium that gets built.
The days of teams being able to play out of tiny local stadiums is over. It died a long time ago. Like many things in life, rationalization needs to take place. Why have a dozen tiny, run down stadiums in an area when you can build one good stadium that can get a lot of use and cater to a number of teams in different sports.
This is the way forward for the Wildcats and Tigers. If they can most past squabbles over where a stadium would be situated and who gets what out of a joint stadium deal, both teams could set themselves up over the long term and have a secure place in Super League.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
Oct 15, 2019 0