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Various sites for ‘national stadium’

Sport | Published:

SPRINGFIELD, Les Quennevais and Jersey Rugby Club in St Peter are all being considered as sites for the Island’s first ‘national sports stadium’, an Assistant Economic Development Minister has said.

Springfield stadium. Under-10 football festival. L>R Barnaby Watson (St Pauls) and Zike Mvalo (Wanderers 2) Picture: ROB CURRIE. (26205755)

Senator Steve Pallett, who has political responsibility for sport in the Island, told a Scrutiny panel that all options were on the table for a sports facility that would cater for the Island’s rugby and football teams as well as, potentially, other sports.

However, he recognised that creating a multi-use facility at Springfield, the home of football in the Island, would be difficult.

Senator Pallett was asked if the new stadium would go on a new or existing site during a meeting with the Economic and International Affairs Panel.

He replied: ‘They are considering various sites.

‘If you asked me if it would be on a greenfield site in St Martin I would say no.

‘Springfield is always going to be difficult, it is in a residential area. If you’re talking about the sort of 3,000- to 4,000-seater stadium I think that is going to be difficult to achieve.

‘I know the Constable and Deputies want to preserve the amenity space around there, which was already reduced when we put the 3G pitch in there.

‘The consultants are looking at something that will make Jersey Bulls, Jersey Reds and others sustainable to co-locate.’

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Proposals outlined in the Government Plan included plans for an Island sports campus or hub.

The Senator said in the summer that a lack of investment in the Island’s sports facilities over recent years meant a number of areas needed looking at.

Senator Pallett was asked about government grants given to sports clubs and he said he hoped that money given to the Jersey Reds rugby team would not be needed in the long term.

Last year the team received £150,000 from the government.

The assistant minister added: ‘The grants given to the rugby club are for an economic purpose, the loss of professional rugby would cost the Island income.

‘I do think the grants should be for a short period of time, we can’t prop up the rugby club forever and there is a need for them to be sustainable.’

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