Saracens Submit Plans to Relocate to Barnet

March 8, 2011

English rugby union club Saracens has submitted plans to Barnet Council to transform an athletics stadium into a multi-purpose community sports venue.

In the proposals submitted by the club, the refurbished Copthall stadium will be used for athletics, rugby and community sport. Saracens, who currently play at Championship soccer club Watford’s Vicarage Road, hope to use the stadium for rugby from September until May.

The stadium will have a capacity of 10,000 and will have removable stands on three sides. Saracens are planning to stage no more than 16 days of Premiership rugby at Copthall and a match day traffic and parking plan has been produced.

In October last year, League Two soccer club Barnet criticised the council for holding talks with Saracens over a possible relocation to Copthall Stadium in north London, a venue which they have been hoping to acquire for the last 10 years in order to move from their current home ground, Underhill.

In 2001 the soccer club’s plan for a 10,000-seat stadium was approved by the council, but rejected by then Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

Saracens club chairman Nigel Wray said the proposals would create “a real community asset” and allow its charitable arm to continue its work to offer young people alternatives to crime.

He said: “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.”

The council confirmed that it had received Saracens Rugby Club’s application but declined to comment further.