Sale in negotiations over Salford move
October 24, 2011
Sale Sharks could be set to move away from Edgeley Park © Getty Images
Sale Sharks chief executive Mick Hogan has confirmed that the club are still in negotiations over a proposed move to Salford City Reds' new stadium at Barton.
Previous Sale owner Brian Kennedy and Reds chairman John Wilkinson had spoken about a possible groundshare and Hogan, who joined the club in January 2010 from rugby league side Wigan Warriors, has told BBC Radio Manchester that the idea is still very much alive.
"It's no secret we've had a chat with the stadium management people at Salford," he said. "If the deal is right for our supporters, our players, sponsors and the like we would like to move there."
The City of Salford Community Stadium is due for completion in February 2012 and will initially hold 12,000 specators before being expanded to a 20,000 capacity in the future. Hogan confirmed that the Sharks would remain at their Edgeley Park base, which they share with Stockport County, until at least the end of the season. A move to Barton would have the advantage of less crossover with rugby league being played from February through to September.
"At the minute we're staying [at Edgeley Park]," Hogan added. "We're here definitely for the rest of this season possibly thereafter. It's very early stages of negotiations, but all we're concentrating on for the rest of the season is turning this place into a fortress."
Sale's home attendances have dropped in recent years and their top gate so far this season was 8,088. Last season they successfully moved their home fixture against London Irish to Bolton's Reebok Stadium, which attracted 16,428 spectators.
"Most modern stadiums these days, unless you are in the top half of the Premier League, need two teams, possibly even three, to make them pay. They're expensive, particularly new builds like Salford, and there is only so much non match-day stuff you can do with conferencing and banqueting.
"We're a regional club and possibly moving further around the M60 dial opens us up to more of Lancashire, and that mid-Lancashire region, where we know there is a lot of support for rugby union."
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