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The Shay Halifax: Future of 103-year old stadium thrown into limbo

Councillors in Halifax are at loggerheads over the future of The Shay in Halifax. The Shay is currently owned by Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council and is used by Halifax Town in the National League and Rugby League side, Halifax Panthers, who play in the Rugby League equivalent of the Championship.

However, the future ownership of the stadium is now up in the air after Councillors agreed that the stadium would no longer be the Council's responsibility from 2025/26. This will reportedly save Calderdale Council around £161,000 a year.

The hope now, at least for some Councillors, is that one or both of the two clubs will take on the responsibility of running the stadium as opposed to the Council selling or demolishing it. Councillor Lynn said:

“This is not about making a quick buck to sell the Shay. This is about us having discussions with both clubs who use the Shay with a view to seeing what can be arrived at for them to take responsibility for their own future, in order to alleviate revenue cuts to this council.

“It’s not about seeking a commercial sale, it’s about seeking to have discussions with both the clubs over the coming year to see what we can do about transferring the responsibility for that asset to themselves so they can take the future into their own hands.”

The Shay halifax
The Shay will no longer be the Council's responsibility from after the 2024/25 season – Photo by Wiki

Could the Shay be sold?

Despite assurances from Councillor Lynn, there are several reasons why some fans are dubious about what lies in store for the Shay. The title of the budget item related to the removal of responsibility of the Shay was titled “disposal of Shay” which suggests the council could be looking to get rid of the ground altogether.

Additionally, the Deputy Leader of the Council, Tim Swift, believes all options should be explored. He said:

“We know people feel emotion strongly about their sports clubs in Calderdale. It is important for the sense of community but we should be able to ask the question ‘is there a better way forward for it?”


Andy Delaney

Andy is a freelance sports writer with ten years of experience covering major sporting events across Europe. He has also been a season ticket holder at Old Trafford since 2008 and has visited over 40 football stadiums in the United Kingdom and abroad following the Reds.

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