Saracens to Stay at Watford Next Term Due to Stadium Delays

May 12, 2011

English rugby union club Saracens have confirmed that they will play at least ten of their home games at Championship soccer side Watford’s home ground Vicarage Road next season.

The two parties have also agreed to pre-arranged terms for any additional matches that Saracens may play, taking into account the possibility of the club qualifying for the Premiership play-offs next season.

The north London side encountered delays in the planning application stage for construction work on the club’s new stadium at Copthall in Barnet after initially hoping to move to the stadium for the start of the 2011/12 season. The delays and the new single year deal at Watford, however, means new estimates point towards a January 2012 opening.

Ed Grifiths, Saracens chief executive, said: “We still hope to move to Barnet next season, but if it is the 2012-13 season, so be it.”

Vicarage Road has hosted the Premiership rugby union team for the past 14 years and welcomed Saracens’ return to the ground on “enhanced terms”, with owner Laurence Bassini stating: “The club is happy to welcome Saracens back to our stadium next season.

“They approached us to see if we could take into account their current situation with regard to their ongoing Copthall Stadium negotiations. Given the long-standing relationship between Watford and Saracens, it is only right that we considered their request.”