Saracens have today (Friday) submitted a planning application to the London Borough of Barnet to transform the Copthall Stadium into a multi-purpose community sports venue. The refurbished stadium will be used for athletics, rugby and community sport… and may also be an Olympic training venue, adding to the overall 2012 legacy.
Chairman Nigel Wray said: “Our proposal is, we hope, really great news for everyone in north London because the artificial turf pitch will create something absolutely unique in England – a well-known top class stadium available for use by local schools and clubs 350 days per year; for matches, for sports days … a real community asset.
“The award-winning Saracens Foundation will be based at the stadium, working in the Barnet community, creating ‘Teams not Gangs,’ improving the quality of life and creating opportunities for young people.”
Saracens are planning to stage no more than 16 days of Premiership rugby at Copthall, and the club has developed a comprehensive match day traffic and parking plan, incorporating satellite car parks and 200 match day stewards, to avoid disruption for residents.
Set up for rugby from September until May, the stadium will have a capacity of 10,000 and will incorporate demountable stands on three sides.
The new Copthall stadium will continue to host Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers athletics club, providing top class international standard facilities for competition during the summer and enhanced all year-round training facilities, including access to the track and a new indoor area.
Public consultations have been running since November last year and will continue while the application is being processed. Saracens community engagement teams, including players, have been walking door to door, explaining the club’s plans to residents.