It’s official, Doncaster Rovers have signed a deal with Doncaster Council which sees them take over the lease of the Keepmoat Stadium this week in a 99 year deal.
A ceremonial handover was part of the huge celebrations to mark the coming home of football on Saturday (August 11) when Doncaster Rovers faced York City in the first round of the Capital Cup and the operational handover will be September 1.
The club, who have been tenants at the community stadium since it opened in 2007, created a party atmosphere for the match, which they won on penalties.
Doncaster’s Mayor, Peter Davies, attended the event to officially handover the keys to the stadium to Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan and director Terry Bramall.
Gavin Baldwin, chief executive of Doncaster Rovers said: “The York match was a fantastic day for Doncaster Rovers Football Club as we celebrated the ceremonial handover of the Keepmoat Stadium with our fans.
“Since the club moved from Belle Vue five years ago, fans have always felt the difference - as tenants the stadium didn’t truly feel like their home. We are working with them to develop strong relationships and make positive changes.
“This deal means so much to the club and there are many things that we intend to change to bring the Keepmoat Stadium back into the heart of the local community and to make sports fans truly feel it is their home.
“Expect announcements over the coming weeks from the club to detail how we will work with partners to deliver a better Keepmoat Stadium for all who use it.”
One of the first significant actions by Doncaster Rovers was for the directors to officially rename the onsite bar as the Belle Vue Bar following an online vote by fans on the Vikings Supporters Cooperative website. Directors of the club unveiled new signage with the fans.
Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, said: "I am pleased that this solution secures Doncaster Rovers, and other sporting clubs a home at the Keepmoat Stadium. The council should never have got involved in the running of the stadium and this agreement will protect tax payers from unnecessary expenditure in the future.
"I wish Doncaster Rovers the very best in the new season ahead and fervently hope they are back in the Championship next year."
Further announcements regarding the stadium will be made through the club’s official website www.doncasterroversfc.co.uk