Sheffield Eagles start their delayed home campaign on March 4 against London Broncos, and have confirmed that season ticket sales have surpassed their total from their days at Wakefield, and are up on what they achieved during their stay at Bawtry Road in 2016.
Whilst Chief Operating Officer Liam Claffey has stressed the club are only taking mini-strides at this stage, the deadline for a completed Olympic Legacy Park remains a realistic aim for 2019.
Claffey, who has said a refined version of the OLP is on schedule for this season’s home opener, says discussions with landlords Scarborough Group are taking place every week, in order to finally house the Eagles in a fully functional and complete home for next season.
“We are having weekly conversations and the plans are coming along for 2019,” he said. “We have seen them and are really excited about that. They are keen to host us still once the stadium is completed.
“When complete, it will be a fantastic facility and we feel that will allow us to push on and get the numbers we had at Don Valley where we went from 1,300 to just 400 at Wakefield. There is 900 fans we need to get back.
“We have discussed office space and shared ticket and retail spaces with them as well. Those discussions have been very positive. We need to make sure that we are off site as soon as possible with our temporary stand at the end of the season so work can start on the permanent stadium.”
The stadium is key to the security of the club long term, after the Eagles narrowly avoided extinction following years in exile.
With the club achieving their first goal of being back in Sheffield this season, the club are now looking to build to ensure they hit the ground running.
“We are a small outfit,” added Claffey. “We have myself, Mark Aston and Mark Hannigan, who is working on the commercial front. We can’t run before we can walk. We will continue to promote as best we can, but long term we are heading in the right direction.”