Bradford Bulls Securing Odsal Stadium Lease: Rugby League News Update

Bradford Bulls Set to Reclaim Odsal Stadium Lease

The Bradford Bulls are poised to secure the lease of Odsal Stadium, their long-time home ground. The Rugby Football League (RFL) has approved the Bulls’ bid, which will be discussed at the upcoming RFL Council meeting on July 24.

The Bulls have outbid a motorsport company and a third party, whose identity remains undisclosed due to a non-disclosure agreement. Bradford’s offer includes an initial payment of £100,000, followed by an additional £160,000 over the next five years, totaling £260,000 by 2029. This is significantly less than the £1.2 million the RFL paid to acquire the lease in 2012.

The RFL will also receive 50% of any proceeds up to £1 million if the Bulls sell the lease within the next ten years.

The governing body has been shouldering the substantial costs of maintaining Odsal, estimated at around £190,000 per year, making the sale of the lease an inevitable decision.

The potential sale represents a loss of £490,000 for the RFL, which will be recognized in their 2024 accounts. However, the governing body has communicated to its member clubs that the disposal of the lease is now critical, given the financial strain of maintaining the stadium.

Interestingly, the move would bring the lease back under the control of Nigel Wood, the current Chairman of the Bradford Bulls, who was in charge of the RFL when the initial lease deal was struck over a decade ago.

The RFL Council will discuss the issue later this month, though the final decision rests with the RFL Board. Given their approval of the Bulls’ offer as the most beneficial for the sport, it is highly likely that the lease will be sold to the Championship club, allowing them to reclaim their spiritual home at Odsal Stadium.

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