Eagles hope to roost in Owlerton
Chairman Ian Swire is hoping the Owlerton Stadium can help keep his Sheffield Eagles in the Steel City.
The current championship holders are soon to be without a ground owing to the imminent closure of the Don Valley Stadium, and had been working towards moving to new premises at Sheffield Hallam University.
The club said on Wednesday, though, that the Bawtry Road site was no longer available for first-team fixtures, with Swire referring to an "emergency situation".
In a statement, Swire added that Owlerton, which is currently a greyhound venue, was the only remaining way of keeping his club in Sheffield.
The Eagles started life out of Owlerton when they were formed by Gary Hetherington in 1984, but moved on when stadium safety became an issue in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster.
"The only possible remaining venue within Sheffield that could potentially accommodate the Eagles is Owlerton Stadium where the Eagles started out life almost 30 years ago," Swire said.
"However there is likely to be a substantial amount of work required to bring the stadium up to Rugby Football League requirements."
"The stadium lost its safety licence for playing rugby league games in 1989 and a feasibility study will need to be carried out to see how practicable it will be to return rugby league to the stadium."
When the Don Valley closes later this year, the Eagles will not be its most high-profile evictee, with Olympic hero Jessica Ennis-Hill also looking for new premises.
Sheffield City Council is relocating athletics to Woodbourn Road in the city and Swire added: "It is to be hoped that they can also assist rugby league to relocate to Owlerton if the feasibility study is positive.
"Without a professional rugby league club in Sheffield then all the community work that the club has been carrying out over those 30 years will cease, to the great detriment of thousands of youngsters in the city."