BRADFORD Bulls have announced they will leave their long-standing Odsal home at the end of the current season and move to Dewsbury Rams’ Tetley’s Stadium.

The club have signed a two-year deal to play at their Championship neighbours while they seek to develop a new ground in Bradford.

ODSAL MEMORIES: Stadium bids farewell as Bradford seems set to lose iconic sporting venue 

The decision has been made due to the high financial costs of remaining at Odsal and means the end of an era for the club who have been based there since 1934.

Chairman Andrew Chalmers revealed the news in his latest Telegraph & Argus column.

He wrote: “Our new home, Tetley's Stadium, Dewsbury is approximately 10 miles from the M606, and is a boutique and intimate rugby league stadium, with an existing capacity of 5,100, and expandable to 8,000 if required.

“Having played there and undertaken significant due diligence, this stadium represents an affordable economic choice for the Bradford Bulls, whilst we work through the task of developing an equally affordable boutique stadium development in Bradford.

“Our home for the next two seasons, is not only painted in our red amber and black colours, but also boasts covered and uncovered terracing, covered seating in the North Stand, along with indoor hospitality, and corporate boxes, and parking for over 500 vehicles.

Andrew Chalmers column: End of an era as Bulls move to Dewsbury

“I can envisage Tetley's Stadium being sold out next season, and what a fabulous atmosphere for the Bradford Bulls fans to enjoy. We will also include subsidised bus transport options from Odsal Stadium to Tetley's Stadium on match days to assist our Bulls fans in enjoying supporting their team.”

Chalmers states that the process to establish a new stadium development in Bradford has already begun, insisting that the Bulls will return to their home city.

This will realistically be a two to four year process, but as I am outlining, it’s something we have already commenced work on and are committed to... This club will always be the Bradford Bulls, whilst I’m the guardian of its ownership" - Bulls chairman Andrew Chalmers

He wrote: “I can also confirm we have already begun the process of identifying potential alternative stadium development sites, and one of these has been raised with the Bradford Council already.

“We have also had discussion with an experienced stadium developer in the region, and have signed a memorandum of understanding with this large group to work to evaluate an affordable development option within the Bradford city boundaries.

“I emphasise affordable because it’s important that the club can meet the future cost of being based there.

“This will realistically be a two to four year process, but as I am outlining, it’s something we have already commenced work on and are committed to. I will keep you updated on this initiative, as I understand the importance of the club having its long term home within the city.

“This club will always be the Bradford Bulls, whilst I’m the guardian of its ownership.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford Bulls Chairman Andrew ChalmersBradford Bulls Chairman Andrew Chalmers

Bulls have explored other grounds in the city but Chalmers explained that both Bradford (Park Avenue’s) and Bradford City’s stadiums were not suitable.

He wrote: “Valley Parade was unable to be considered due to the uneconomic cost associated with modifying their pitch, and their existing lease terms, and underlying expensive facility costs and existing commercial agreements.”

“Horsfall Stadium, despite the intensive efforts of our friends at Bradford (Park Avenue), was ruled out on the basis that the ground was simply too small, and required the club to operate a ballot for those fans wishing to attend.

“Expanding the capacity was considered, however the cost estimates associated with expanding the capacity to 5,000, were uneconomic, and unfortunately the stadium location meant exemptions being required to operate at that capacity, which in consultation with the Bradford Council, seemed unlikely to be given – for valid reasons.”

Meanwhile the Rugby Football League issued a brief statement on Twitter in response to Bulls' announcement.

It read: "Bradford’s request to use the Tetley’s Stadium in Dewsbury as a home ground remains subject to the approval of the RFL Board, who are charged with making a decision in the best interests of the sport. We have not received an application, and it would be inappropriate for us to comment until we do."

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