St Helens New Stadium Secures the Rugby Clubs Future says McManus
February 1, 2012
St Helens Rugby Club’s shiny new £30million stadium will guarantee a rosy future for the Stobart Super League club, according to chairman Eamonn McManus.
The 18,000-capacity Langtree Park replaces the century-old Knowsley Road, which had become a millstone around the club’s neck by the time it was demolished last year to make way for housing.
McManus, a retired investment banker and lifelong Saints fan who has personally driven the move for a new ground, says the club is now in a position to become self-sufficient through its pristine spectator and corporate facilities. He said: “It’s not just a great stadium, it’s guaranteed the life for St Helens – its traditions and its values – for generations to come.”
McManus, who conducted a guided stadium tour for the media on Tuesday, added: “At Knowsley Road we generated nothing, there was literally nothing. The expense of running it was much greater than the revenue.
“It’s been a sea change. We’ve already got bookings for the next six months.”
McManus used his connections in the banking industry to ensure the stadium development has not left the club in debt.
“It is 100% owned by the club, with no bank debts, which is quite an achievement,” he said.
“The stadium is high quality in every regard and quite unique in its design. It’s got the feel of a substantial stadium but will also maintain an intimate but passionate rugby league atmosphere.
“I financially invested in the club 12 years ago on the back of architectural plans for a new stadium, which I thought would take two or three years to ensue.
“Now it’s all done and dusted, it’s something you can look back and feel genuinely proud of. I feel 10 feet tall when I come into this place.”