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Bootham Crescent - Monks Cross

Coming Soon - Both football at Monks Cross and the completion of this page

The Why

The wheels were put in motion for a new ground for York City in 1999 when Douglas Craig and his board of directors transferred City’s property assets, Bootham Crescent included, into a new holding company, Bootham Crescent Holdings (BCH). Effectively it split the ground and football club apart. Ostensively, it protected the club in case it fell out of The Football League.

The Land Registry noted BCH paid York City just £165,000 for Bootham Crescent.

For every share held in York City FC, the shareholder now also held a BCH share. Chairman Douglas Craig, being the largest shareholder, and the other directors held the vast majority of the shares.

At City's AGM in December 2001, Douglas Craig put a price of £4.5m on BCH for any potential buyer. It was a massive increase on the £165,000 paid for the ground just over 2 years earlier. He went on to say, alernatively, a purchaser could buy only the club, but would be forced to leave Bootham Crescent. He went on, "any parties seeking to acquire the ownership of the Football Club will be required to vacate the ground and premises at Bootham Crescent. BCH would give anyone buying just the club £1m towards paying off its overdraft and making Huntington Stadium, a local athletics ground, fit for football”. He went on, ”If no buyer comes forward by 31 March 2002, the board will resign the club's membership of the Football League on April Fools' Day as they cannot afford to keep the club going in the face of mounting debts”.

Thanks to the efforts of The York City Supporters Trust, and despite the best efforts of John Batchelor, the future of the football club was finally secured. The club secured a £2 million loan from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) to buy the ground in February 2004. The terms of this loan meant City needed to identify a site for a new stadium by 2007, and have detailed planning permission in place by 2009, to avoid financial penalties. Once plans for a new stadium were approved, the loan would turn into a grant to assist in funding the relocation. The loan was made on the proviso that a new stadium be completed within seven years, after which the £2m would be converted into a grant that will be the football club’s contribution to the new stadium.

Later Jason McGill, who assumed a majority 75 per cent shareholding in 2006 in return for providing £1m in funding to take York through to the new stadium’s scheduled opening date of 2011, said, "The FSIF have been fantastic throughout. If they hadn't provided the £2m loan then York City would have folded and probably had to start again somewhere else. Maybe even here at the old rugby stadium (Huntington), though the facilities would have been way below League standard. Without that lifeline, Bootham Crescent could have been sold. The Council probably wouldn't have given permission to build on the site while York City were still in operation. But who in their right mind was going to keep a club going and also put in what was needed with nothing on the horizon?" After the initial 2011 target date had been missed several other deadlines came and went to leave many in the city wondering if the stadium would ever be built, he added: “The FSIF could have been ruthless and said, ‘There is no sign of this being built, no matter what the Council say, and we want our £2m back. I didn't have £2m to give them. So we would have had to sell Bootham Crescent and give them the £2m back. We owe the FSIF a lot.”

As part of the agreement, Persimmon Homes had first refusal to buy the 4.4 acre Bootham Crescent site once York City leave, for 10% lower than its market value. Persimmon Homes intend to build a housing estate and the proceeds of the sale would go towards building the new stadium. In March 2008, Jason McGill noted "the annual cost of £60,000 for the maintenance and upkeep of a 1932 stadium with few commercial and income-generating opportunities" as the reason for the continued need to move to a new stadium.

The Where

The Monks Cross shopping estate dates back to the 1980s and is in Huntington, about 3 miles north of York city centre, just south of the A1237 and close to the A64 and York ring road.

Popular stores at the complex include Asda, Primark and Argos and a number of smaller outlets and restaurants, swimming pool and sports ground.

The multi purpose sports ground (Huntington Stadium) was the home of York’s rugby league side (in its different guises) between 1989 (when debts forced the sale of its Clarence Street ground) until 2014. It was never an ideal venue as it had a 6 lane running track and 2 open ends. However, it did host various regional athletics meetings (just 6 lanes prevented any significant national usage) and open air pop concerts.

In 1990, a York rugby league game saw the ground record attendance of 4,977 set, although in later years, the capacity was reduced. It must be noted that after the move from Clarence Street, there was a very short lived upturn in attendances before a steep decline, whether down to on pitch performances or location is debatable. The long standing York Rugby League club eventually folded in March 2002 due to financial difficulties which dated back to the 1980s and which had necessitated the sale of its Clarence Street ground. A new York City Knights rugby league side then played at the stadium, although they too struggled with poor attendances until moving to Bootham Crescent in 2016.

As well as Monks Cross, several other sites were considered:

  • York Central (behind the railway station) and Foss Island (the old gas works) were discounted due to their city centre locations
  • A64 to the west of York
  • A stadium as a part of a York University "sports village"
  • Bustardthorpe, by the racecourse, south of Terry's factory on Bishopthorpe Road
  • Fulford / Naburn maternity hospitals
  • Boroughbridge Road (British Sugar site)
  • Haxby Road (Nestle's Mille Crux).

An option to rebuild Bootham Crescent wouldn't go away. The preferred option became Monks Cross, the site of a 1980s multi purpose stadium.

The new York Community Stadium is built on the site of the old ground and is part of a new complex which includes a cinema, swimming pool and shops. The stadium will be owned by City of York Council and its joint tenants will be York City Football Club and York City Knights Rugby League Football Club. The complex will also host various community concerns, including the NHS.

The capacity of the all seater stadium is 8,005 and is not dissimilar in style to many modern stadia of its size.

The What

The stadium will be all seated with a capacity of 8,005. The original plan was for a 6,000 seater stadium, but that was upscaled. An offer from Jason McGill to install safe standing, at a cost of £200,000+, was rejected by the authorities as they were unable to do the necessary in the timescales before building work started. Read More and see City's matchday programme from 1st January 2018. The content is re-produced below.

It will comprise four stands, imaginatively named the East Stand (Main Stand), the West Stand, the North Stand and the South Stand.

The 3 floored East Stand accommodated hospitality guests, players, officials and the media. It will be connected to the adjacent retail and community facilities.

The stands will stretch the length of the playing field, and each corner will host stadium facilities, including matchday emergency services, stewarding, groundsman accommodation, plant space and a fan zone. The seats will be a splatter of mainly red, blue, yellow and blue, largely a combination of the colours of both teams.

The pitch will use reinforced natural grass ("desso grass", incorporating some artificial grass on top of sand and is fairly standard these days), with provision to counter frost. The dimensions of the football pitch will be the standard 105 by 68 metres (115 by 74 yards), with 3 metre wide run offs on the sides and 6.5 metre wide run offs behind the goals, meeting FIFA recommendations. For rugby league, it will be 100 by 68 metres (109 by 74 yards), with 6 metre in goal areas, and 3 metre wide run offs on the sides and after the dead ball lines.

As well as York City and York City Knights, the community stadium project features a 13 screen cinema complex (including an IMAX screen), 5 restaurants and 3 retail units which will be run by Cineworld. Leisure facilities will incorporate a swimming pool, gym, dance studio, and a sports hall with spectator seating. NHS outpatient services will also be offered on-site from a community hub and there will be a new library. The council has also revealed (21st October 2017) that community partner agreements had been signed for the stadium complex with York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and York Against Cancer, adding to the existing agreements with York City Football Club and York City Knights Rugby League Club.

The equity left from the sale of Bootham Crescent after other creditors’ claims have been met will be used to cover the loans Jason McGill has made to the club on an interest free basis (foregoing what he was entitled to under his 75% shareholding purchase agreement) to bridge the gap until the move. With these outlays including £2m to the Council, £400,000 interest to FSIF and around £200,000 to the shareholders of Bootham Crescent Holdings, chances are McGill will end up out of pocket. “I would say I have contributed around £4.5m net. If I had left in 2011 as planned with the new stadium open that would have been it. Even a delay to 2012 when we won promotion to the Football League or 2014 when we reached the League Two play-offs under Nigel Worthington would have been fine. Then I could have walked away having delivered on my original pledge of York City getting a new stadium along with promotion back to the League. But things did not work out as planned and now, with Persimmon having a 10 per cent discount, the sale is unlikely to cover what I have contributed.”

The How

When asked what the future entails for someone who had initially planned to sell up in the wake of the scheduled move to a new stadium in 2011, Jason McGill, speaking in October 2018, replied: “Moving here will be a watershed moment for me. I would certainly want to have a season here, where I can enjoy the fruits of those labours. I am 52 and this saga has been a big part of my life, what with all the trials and tribulations that happened along the way. There was the lobbying of various parties, then the meetings with everyone from the Council to the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) and all the bodies that have been involved. It has been a lot of hard work, especially when I have been running my own business at the same time. I was spreading myself too thinly, and so there will be a year here. Then, after that, let’s see what happens. We all want to see York City benefit from increased crowds and the income this facility can generate. If we can dovetail that with success on the pitch, fantastic”.

It is hoped the traditional uplift in attendances at a new stadium, often around 30 per cent, will be repeated, not least because both York City and York City Knights rugby league club will benefit from all income generated when either is playing at home.

Jason McGill noted, “We hope fans will come down early, have a few beers and watch the Sky or BT game on a bank of TVs. We want to get the atmosphere going with local bands, but the original plan had no provision for a roof. That was no good as if it rains then the fans would have got wet. So, my company, and not the football club, has paid the money”. JM Packaging stumped up an extra £50,000 to cover the cost of a roof for the Fans’ Zone.

“The plan is getting to a position where the football club can wipe its face without needing extensive external investment,” McGill said about a club that lost £1.16m over the three years to June 2017, the last set of accounts available. “Personally, I feel it will be very tricky not to need some funding on an annual basis, at least early on after the move. But, certainly, the revenue this facility generates will reduce the money that will be needed. Be it JM Packaging (McGill’s company) or whoever. This will put the club on a stronger financial footing”.

It is expected there will be two non-matchdays a month, typically a Friday and Saturday night, when the Minstermen can stage events such as dinners or boxing bouts in the hospitality areas that will see all proceeds go to the club.

“The business plan is to increase the income of the football club,” added McGill. “Bootham Crescent has next to no facilities. For a start, the hospitality boxes face on to the car park. Here on the top floor there are three dining experiences. Left-hand side from the pitch is a room for 200 people, a pie and pea facility. The middle is more a carvery for 100. Then the directors dining room has scope for another 100. Something for everyone. We can also open up the whole area to make one large venue, catering for 400 at a time. At Bootham Crescent, we can probably do 50 maximum”.

Jason McGill went onto say, “The city of York is going to benefit immensely from this project. Not just the stadium, but the entire facility, from the leisure facilities to the largest cinema complex in Europe, swimming pool and a community centre with NHS Outpatients. The club couldn’t have carried on forever at Bootham Crescent. York City loses money there and has done for sometime. Of course it will be a wrench to leave. Bootham Crescent has been our home since 1932 and has some fantastic memories for all of us, good and bad. But by moving here we are safeguarding the club’s future. The original plan was to be in here by 2011. For a lot of reasons that didn’t happen. None to do with the football club. Now, though, as you look around at this magnificent facility going up you can see we are entering a new period in the club’s history. The club is protected by an agreement we have with the Council for 99 years. It means there can be no repeat of what happened in the past”.

The When / Timeline

Mark Jackson’s Under 23s side play their first match of the 2021/22 Premier League Cup on Wednesday evening, when they host Wigan Athletic. The match will be played at York City’s LNER Community Stadium, getting underway at 7pm.

April 2007

York City FC identified a preferred site for a new stadium but due to confidentiality clauses its location was not disclosed. By March 2008, plans with the preferred site had stalled.

Feb 2004

City secure a £2 million loan from the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF) to buy Bootham Crescent. The terms of the loan mean City need to identify a site for a new stadium by 2007 and have detailed planning permission in place by 2009, to avoid financial penalties.

May 2008

City of York Council committed to building a community stadium in for use by York City and York City Knights.

June 2009

City of York Council's outline business case approved. It was hoped to open by 2012. The search for a site was on.

June 2010

4 sites shortlisted, a 6,000 Monks Cross stadium being the preferred option, although already the opening date was now stated as 2014 at the earliest.

September 2011

Developers Oakgate (Monks Cross) Ltd submit a planning application for the community stadium and retail park.

May 2012

After much debate, the council finally granted planning permission (it was the Thursday before Luton), with the stadium expected to be ready during the 2014–15 football season. The council debate was lengthy, some arguing the development would damage the city centre economy and others that the projected £50m development costs could be better spent.

November 2012

Construction delayed until June 2014, for a completion date of July 2015.

January 2013

A further delay to the construction of the shopping park caused by the discovery of protected breeding newts at the site caused the stadium completion date to move to January 2016. Read More

August 2014

Greenwich Leisure (GLL) named as the preferred bidder to deliver an increased 8,000 all seater stadium, leisure complex and a community hub with construction was now due to start during spring 2015, for a completion date of July 2016. York City were given responsibility for operating and managing the stadium on an initial 13 year contract.

March 2015

Planning application for the GLL plan (submitted to the council in December 2014) passed. By now, the cost of the complex, including a replacement athletics track at another site was £37 million.

July 2015

Construction again delayed as contracts are not yet finalised and the new completion date was moved to during the 2016–17 football season.

August 2015

Construction was once again delayed. Work was now due to begin in February or March 2016, for completion due by May 2017.

March 2016

With construction costs increasing due to more detailed design work, construction inflation and delays, the cost was now put at £44.2 million. The start of construction was delayed to the summer of 2016, for completion in early 2018.

October 2016

A judicial review of the development was launched by Vue Cinemas who objected to an extra screen being approved at the site. Later in 2016, the principal contractor ISG withdrew, citing rising costs and the judicial review which was settled in the City of York's favour in January 2017.

December 2016

ISG, the main construction partner, withdrew from the project citing the ongoing uncertainty over dates.

May 2017

Still no sign of construction starting and no new contractor been found. The Buckingham Group were eventually appointed as main contractor on 11th October 2017.

November 2017

The council stated that work would begin on the stadium before the end 2017, to be opened for the start of the 2019–20 season.

4 December 2017

Construction begins. Listen to City director Ian McAndrew as work starts and Read More


Yorkshire Post reports the fanzone will have a roof thanks to a £50,000 donation. Read More. Plus Jason McGill interview.


Safe standing timed out. Managing Director Steve Kilmartin has confirmed that the club's bid to introduce safe standing or rail seating at the new Community Stadium has been unsuccessful. Earlier in the season, City's board of directors confirmed that the possibility of safe standing or rail seating was being explored with key stakeholders, however, writing in the official match programme, Mr Kilmartin said: "There has been a considerable amount of work undertaken by the board of directors in relation to the desire for 'rail standing (seating)' to be introduced behind one of the goals at the new stadium as we were aware this would, undoubtedly, be a popular, although expensive, decision with supporters. Potential sponsorship, in this respect, was pursued, although not ultimately forthcoming within the available time frame and the Chairman generously decided that he would fund the provision which had been determined to have a cost in excess of £200,000. There were then a considerable number of additional obstacles to be overcome as written approval was necessarily required from the Sports Ground Safety Authority and all statutory parties needed to formally reach an agreement allowing rail seating within the new stadium. Ultimately, despite the intervention of the Shadow Sports Minister and passionate pleas from the Chairman, approval was not forthcoming and an order was therefore placed for conventional seating within the stadium only hours before the deadline imposed by the intended suppliers expired. We, therefore, move forward and having seen simulated visual displays of the ground with the projected seating and lighting installed these are, without doubt, quite spectacular with modern technology being utilised within the seat design to project a greater overall image that will be to the benefit of all concerned. The intensity of these negotiations - which often resulted in flurries of e-mails, telephone calls, and letters each day attempting to reach agreements with various authorities - only demonstrated (if proof was needed) that with the new stadium now reaching an advanced stage of development, this would not have been achieved without the vision, determination and tenacity, together with substantial funding, from the Chairman over the last 15 years. Every day, we are able to see, more clearly, the progress of exterior development with the drone coverage providing spectacular views of the internal aspects including proximity of the pitch area to supporters which should provide an atmosphere football fans will enjoy during games”.

Early 2019

With plans already set for the end of the closure of Bootham Crescent in April 2019, a further delay, to later in 2019, of an unspecified length was announced.

August 2019

New planning application sees Monks Cross' capacity increased to 8,512 (East (Main) 3,632; West 2,296; North (away) 878; South (home) 1,706; Total 8, 512).

Autumn 2019

Confirmed that construction would be completed by the end of 2019, however, at the time of writing (7th January 2020), construction work is still ongoing, albeit well advanced with both York City and York City Knights making plans to move into the new stadium within weeks.


The York Community Stadium will be renamed the LNER Community Stadium after naming rights were approved at a City of York Council session last night. A Council statement said: "The approval from the Executive Member for Finance and Performance, authorises Ian Floyd, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Customer and Corporate Services to progress the Stadium Naming Rights Sponsorship Agreement." York City Football Club are to be handed the keys to the complex once construction is complete, with test events taking place thereafter before a competitive fixture can be played in the new stadium. November 2019 - Progress video


At the club's Q&A, the panel noted Monks Cross was still very much a building site and that they were still awaiting the council's date for completion. Dave Penney went onto say that the test events, arranged by GLL are pencilled in (subject to stadium completion) for Jaunuary 15 (a dinner for 200 people to test ticketing, toilets and evacuation), January 19 (a junior football event for 2,000 supporters) and 26th January.


The Council released a statement which stated, "The stadium is due to be handed over on 4 February. For this to happen GLL and Buckingham need to have held a minimum of 3 test events. These are reliant on completing adequate commissioning and certification". Earlier on the same day, confirmation from one of York's junior football leagues that due to lack of any confirmation they wouldn't be able to attend and support the planned junior football event (January 19) and from elsewhere that the dinner on January 15 wouldn't be going ahead.


The Council announce test events to be staged within the next 2 months.


As City's last scheduled evening league game under the lights at Bootham Crescent kicks off, rumours mount of further delays until November for Monks Cross due to problems with the steepness of the terracing. A couple of days later, GLL told YorkMix there were no structual problems, no issues with CCTV (they said there are over 180 cameras), exit routes are fit for purpose and floodlights are of the required specification. Meanwhile, they said, "We share everyone's frustrations at this news, and are disappointed that GLL and Buckingham have not made sufficient progress to hold the required test events to enable the planned matches on 22 March. We have stressed to GLL the need for this matter to be concluded as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we continue to work with all our partners to make a success of what will be a fantastic place to support our clubs and a real asset for the community". Read Early March 2020 articles on MX stadium delays (YorkMix) and YCST Due Diligence


The City of York Council confirmed work is still continuing at the Community Stadium saying, "A small number of trades people are carrying out 'snagging' work. The York Community Leisure Complex is still a live building site but with a reduced workforce. All staff are following social distancing rules, along with enhanced cleaning regimes including hand washing, in accordance with government guidelines. The build is almost complete, but we have a small number of self-employed trades people still working (mostly on the external works) to progress the final stages of minor works, known in the industry as 'snagging'. This will continue for as long as it is government guidance to do so. This includes Buckingham's project managers. A set of test events are scheduled to be held once the stadium is complete, but these can only be held once social gathering restrictions are lifted. All certification and testing will recommence once Government allows the gathering of people to resume, but only at that point. When all contractors and partners are able to return safely to the site to fully complete the works, they will." Its good to know its "almost complete", a state its been in for a number of months.


Jon Flatman, YCK Chairman noted, "We've been having regular conversations with contractors. There are no defects at the stadium but there have been some small snagging issues that need to be resolved. We've been informed that practical completion is a matter of days and weeks away. There are then some protocols around testing to obtain a safety certificate, both for playing behind close doors and having attendances at matches".


Having visited the stadium earlier in the week, Jon Flatman, YCK Chairman noted, “The stadium was close to practical completion, as it stands, clearly the builders need to hand the building over to GLL and to the Council. Once that building is handed over, the building requires test certificates. Those test certificates require numbers of people to be able to use the facilities. At this current stage, that isn’t the case”.


Minutes, presumably from a City Of York council meeting, state Monks Cross, although "practically complete ... remains a building site. ... The construction is almost complete ... people still working ... to progress the final stages of minor works, known as 'snagging'. All certification and testing will only recommence once Government allows the gathering of people to resume".


CoYC advise City that the stadium will not play host to York City Football Club games until after 9th October (presumably 2020 although the year wasn't stated). This follows a day after GLL, the stadium operator, announced they were suffering financial difficulties. Its believed there is no link between the statements. 3 days after the date passed (October 12th), rumours of a further delay to mid November due to drainage problems began circulated. The rumours were confirmed on October 17 th with a new completion date of Christmas. Read More.


City of York Council and GLL released news that the LNER Community Stadium has been completed. City noted, “This is really positive news. After a long wait, we’re now very close to moving into our new home. We’re aware that there are some final checks and approvals which need to be completed before we can take to the pitch but we’re looking forward to our first match at the LNER Community Stadium. We hope to be able to share more news about that soon. Watch this space!” Read More. On Radio York, Councillor Nigel Ayre said that all the statutory testing had taken place during the latter stages of construction and that no more ‘test events’ are needed. Buckingham will hand the keys over to GLL on Saturday (other reports quoted Friday). On December 18, the York City Supporters Trust, as a 25% shareholder in the club, granted its consent for the move to MX. Read More.


After a wrangle over staff parking, it is announced that City's first game at Monks Cross will be on Tuesday January 19 against Gateshead with City expected to take up residency in the offices from January 11. However, even as the move was being announced, Steve Watson was laid low with coronavirus, when another player went down with symptoms overnight, the Boston game (January 9) was postponed. As the dominoes fell, Tuesday's last game at Bootham Crescent (January 12 v AFC Fylde) was postponed with the Gateshead game in doubt (it was formally postponed on January 13). With the NLN / NLS suspended for a fortnight on January 22, the "next" first MX game due on January 30 against Curzon Ashton was off.


Football finally arrives at Monks Cross with a 7pm kick off against AFC Fylde. The game ends in a dissappointing 3-1 defeat for City. Going 2 down, a Sean Newton penalty briefly gave City some hope. With the NLN / NLS vote result yet to be announced, the game could yet be declared null and void.


Hull City’s Under 23s make their LNER debut drawing 0-0 with Barnsley's Under 23s in a league game.


York City Knights make their LNER Community Stadium debut going down 22-28 to Hull FC in a pre-season friendly.


Leeds United’s Under 18s make their LNER debut beating MK Dons Under 18s by 8-2 in the 3rd round of the FA Youth Cup.


York City Knights make their debut at the LNER Community Stadium going down 6-21 to Toulouse Olympique XIII on the oepning weekend of the Betfred Championship season.


Injury ravaged York City Knights go down 0-26 to Wigan Warriors in Round 3 (last 16) of the Challenge Cup in a hard fought and enthralling game at the Community Stadium.


LNER Community Stadium hosted both semi finals of rugby league's Women's Challenge Cup. Broadcast live on the BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website, York City Knights comfortably overcame Castleford Tigers (runners up in the last 2 competitions) by 32-4 in the first semi final. Holders Leeds Rhinos beat St Helens (20-12) in the other game. Fans were not allowed.


Paying spectators are admitted to Monks Cross for the first time and see York City Knights beat Swinton Lions by 36-22 in the 1895 Cup Semi Final. With 2,000 tickets for sale, the attendance was quoted at 1,400. Matchday experiences varied as some noted teething problems like car park vouchers and turnstile scanning not working. Perhaps, more worrying was some fans reporting being over policed by over zealous security with taped off sections where people couldn’t get to their seats and being told to put their masks on whilst eating their food and drink. All fans were expected to wear masks throughout the game and CCTV allowed security staff to pick out individuals deemed to be breaking regulations. Its unclear whether the security staff are employed by the stadium or York City Knights. Others enjoyed the experience, including drinking in local pubs and strolling to the ground whilst kerbside parking was available. It is hoped that teething problems are sorted by the start of the football season.


City unveil a “wall of honour” in the fanzone at the LNER Community Stadium recognising the outstanding support of the club during the Covid-19 pandemic of the 1,097 (97%) of season ticket holders who left their money in the club, opting out of a refund to help the Minstermen at the beginning of the pandemic. A club spokesperson said: ”We were deeply touched by the efforts of our supporters to help the club in our time of need and amongst the uncertainty of the pandemic last year. The supporters are the lifeblood of this club and to show our appreciation we wanted to honour their names individually for all to see at our brand-new stadium”.


Over 1,000 fans attend Cty's open training session at LNER Community Stadium. Refreshment pricing seemed to be a major talking point. This was the first of 4 events (3 pre-season friendlies to follow) that the City Of York Council named as 2,000 crowd limited test events prior to certification for a full capacity stadium.


Supporters watch City for the first time at The LNER Community Stadium and beat Newcastle United 1-0 with both sides fielding strong first squads (Newcastle's plan to mix their first and Under 23 squads between games at Harrogate and York were scuppered due to coronavirus). Given the complex covid restrictions, the capacity was limited to 2,000 and visiting supporters were barred. Most came away impressed City’s composed display against a strong Newcastle side. Due to covid restrictions, masks and social distancing were mandated inside the ground. West Stand ticket holders were barred from the Fanzone which was segregated with metal barriers to divide the South Stand and Azuma Stand for the fixture. Physical programmes were not available to buy at the ground but were available to buy online. Concessions bars were open, but no alcohol was sold. It is unclear how coronavirus is transmissible via alcohol but not other drinks and refreshments (by the next game, alcohol was available). The team sheet listed York’s number 10 as “Don Trialist”, it transpires Clayton Donaldson is still contracted to Bradford City until the end of July. Over 44,000 fans passed through the virtual turnstile and witnessed Rebecca Welch become the first (female) referee at our new stadium.


Apparently a CoYC meeting fails to give LNER a capacity crowd safety certificate meaning City's opening day fixture will be played in front of a limited, all - ticket, crowd, believed to be 2,000 although some general public and away team sales (10% of capacity) will be available.


LNER hosts a behind closed doors 2-2 friendly between Leeds and Villareal. Cllr Nigel Ayre tweeted, "Premier league, Europa League quality facilities right here in York", just a shame the game was played behind closed doors so that the York public got absoluteley no benefit.


First competitive game at LNER sees City go down 2-1 to Kidderminster. Kiddy's Ashley Hemmings opened the scoring. Mackenzie Heaney equalised just after half time to become City's first scorer at the new ground before a late Sam Austin goal saw City go home empty handed. A 2,019 crowd was reported despite numbers being capped at 2,000. There were some reports of failures with the new ticketing system and that the roof leaves many rows of seats open to the elements.


Safety Advisory Group announce a 4,000 capacity for Sunday's (August 29) York City Knights double header game v Bradford Bulls (men) / Leeds Rhinos (women). An announcement from City followed a day later to confirm the 4,000 capacity for the Brackley game (August 28).


Ground record 2,375 crowd saw City go down 2-1 to 2 late goals.


Bradford Bulls beat York City Knights by 36-18 at LNER. There were few reports of the attendance, although one stated 4,000 which would make it a sold out record crowd (given the then current safety limit) and would be in line with the crowds The Bulls drew at Bootham Crescent in the recent past.


City record their first competitive win at LNER, beating Farsley Celtic 4-2 in front of 2,591, a club record attendance for the ground.


Leeds Under Under 23 hosted Wigan at LNER in their first match of the 2021/2 Premier League Cup (Group E). It was the first Leeds game played at the stadium in front of paying spectators. The side split their home games between Leeds' Thorp Arch, LNER and Elland Road this season. Tickets were priced at £6 (adults) in The East Stand in advance or from the North Ticket Booth on the night. Car parking (4 Hours, Free) was available at the Supporters park in the north car park or Vangarde. The game was streamed on LUTV for LUTV subscribers.



Monks Cross Delays: LNER: An Apology.

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