SAINTS have finally come home!
After 12 months based in Widnes, the club yesterday, (Tuesday) arrived back in St Helens in style as they officially received the keys to their new stadium.
Developer Langtree handed over the state-of-the-art 18,000 capacity arena, which will become the club’s new home from next season.
Saints will now spend the next 10 weeks fitting out internal areas of the stadium, including kiosks, restaurants and turnstiles, all decorated in the club’s famous red and white livery.
Club chairman Eamonn McManus said: “A new stadium has been almost 10 years in the making and I can’t begin to describe how pleased I am that we are finally at this point.
“Langtree has done a great job and it looks fantastic. The council has also been tremendously supportive and without their involvement the stadium would never have been achieved.”
“Our supporters can now look forward to a great view from every part of the stadium, whether they are standing or sitting, while also having access to high quality refreshments across a range of facilities.
“We shared our supporters’ love of Knowsley Road and it was such an atmospheric place to watch rugby league.
“Season ticket sales have been excellent so far and we know our supporters will make this stadium just as special and create a daunting place for opposition teams to visit.
“The players and coaching staff are itching to get out there and soak up the unique atmosphere of representing Saints in such a stunning arena.”
John Downes, managing director of Langtree, said: “This is a landmark project, not only for Saints, but for the town as a whole, and we are proud to have delivered it to such a high specification.”
Council leader Marie Rimmer added: “The rugby club first came to the council in 1998 to ask us to work with them to deliver a state-of-the-art stadium.
“Since then we have been working closely with the club and Langtree to bring this dream to fruition.”
Langtree appointed Barr to carry out the construction and Arcadis UK to manage the project, which has been delivered on schedule.