THE running of the Keepmoat Stadium is expected to be officially handed over to Doncaster Rovers at the first match of the season.
Doncaster Council’s cabinet yesterday approved a deal which will see the stadium, which was built with £32 million of taxpayers’ money, run by the football club for an inflation-linked rent of £100,000 a year.
Negotiations have been taking place for months after it was revealed in May that the Stadium Management Company had lost more than £2 million. The Free Press revealed last September the two parties were in talks about the sale.
The decision made yesterday is subject to approval by the Rovers’ board and a stack of legal documents still need to be signed to fully seal the deal.
At the meeting, Simon Wiles, the council’s director of finance, described the deal as “virtually agreed” and wished the Rovers well saying that if the stadium was branded more as a “home for the fans” than a “municipal building” then it may encourage more community use.
Following the decision, Gavin Baldwin, Rovers chief executive, said: “This is another step forward for us and we are really excited by the news which will see Doncaster Rovers take over the running of the Keepmoat Stadium.
“We will continue to work with the legal teams to progress towards a transfer date.
“This is a community stadium and Rovers are keen to bring the stadium back to the residents, our fans and the business community to drive social and economic benefits for all those involved in this fantastic venue.”
He added the club planned a party to celebrate the takeover at the League Cup game against York on August 11.