THE return of the Bradford Bulls to Odsal stadium will “lift the spirit of the city” and has been heralded as a “massive boost” to the local economy.

Yesterday morning it was announced the Bulls will be returning to their spiritual home this Sunday (3pm) against local rivals York City Knights in front of a restricted 4,000 capacity.

It has been almost 21 months since the red, amber and black outfit last graced the turf at the 88-year-old stadium, of which they were tenants for 90% of that time.

Although it has not only been the players and supporters who have missed activity at the ‘Old Lady’, but local businesses too.

Sean Lowe, Co-manager at Q Gardens, which is nextdoor to the ground, said: “There is a buzz around the place.

“We are excited to see the Bulls are returning back to Odsal because it will have a good impact on our business. It is the news we have been waiting for, for a while.

“I used to work there for a number of years, so it was always difficult to see the Bulls leave Bradford.

“Odsal is in the heart of Bradford and the heart of Bradford Bulls. Everyone has lots of joyful memories.

“With the combination of the rugby and stock cars, it will provide a massive boast to the local economy.

“The spirit of the city will be lifted too with them having their rugby team back where they belong.

“Sunday is going to be a magical experience for Bradford, Q Gardens and local businesses.”

Sue Cater, Vice Chair of Bullbuilder, the club’s supporters’ trust, said: "We are really looking forward to returning home on Sunday. Every time I go there is a chill of excitement.

"Pubs will benefit too, the usually suspects will be helping recharge the coffers of local establishments.

"My grandchildren had only seen that wall from outside before I brought them to a a game, it is only when you go inside then you suddenly release it is huge.

"Odsal should be a community used venue, a local resource instead of a hole in the ground.

"When you are not at Odsal, it feels like you are missing one of your essential organs. It is a way of life!"

Bradford South MP Judith Cummins has been a staunch supporter of getting the club back to its hometown after two years away at Dewsbury Rams’ Tetleys Stadium.

She said: “I am delighted at the news that the Bulls are returning back home to Bradford.

“They’ve been away too long, and I am looking forward to continuing to work with the club and others to make this move permanent.

“We all know that Bradford and Odsal are synonymous with the great game that is rugby league, so it’s the first step in a journey that bodes well for the Bulls.”

Local councillors Ralph Berry (Lab) and David Warburton (Lab) are also thrilled to welcome back one of Bradford’s biggest attractions.

Wibsey Cllr Mr Berry said: “We have been hoping they would return for some time, we never wanted them to leave in the first place. It is such an iconic part of south Bradford’s culture and history.

“It has been the source of concern for many people across Bradford, seeing that space not fully used was not good.

“It is one of the biggest participation sports in the area from childhood upwards, you talk about religion then there is rugby league.You had to put the Bradford back into the Bulls.”

Wyke Cllr Mr Warburton added: “It is great that they are back in the city and I hope the crowds will flock there to support them.

“It would be great if they could also get back into the Super League where they belong.

“The local pubs and shops around Odsal Top and Odsal itself, even down into Bankfoot, will all benefit.

“Hopefully, they can do some work on the stadium and bring it back to life. It will be an integral part of the community.”

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, added: “It will be great to have the Bradford Bulls back home at Odsal where they belong and where they have achieved so much of their admirable history.

“Like our other proud sporting clubs, they have done so much over the years to enhance the reputation of the city and their success will always be associated with one of Rugby League’s most iconic stadiums.”