Sale confirm ground switch

PA Sport
Salford City Stadium

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Salford City Stadium

Sale Sharks have confirmed they will move into the new City of Salford Stadium next season after signing a 25-year lease.

The ambitious Aviva Premiership club will ground-share with Stobart Super League neighbours Salford City Reds at the 12,000-capacity stadium at Barton, which was completed earlier this year at a cost of £26million.

The news was announced a press conference at Barton, where Sale co-owner Ian Blackhurst said: "This is a tremendous move for Sale Sharks."

He added: "The first-class facilities at the Salford City Stadium will provide a great platform as we aim to become one of the top club rugby union sides in Europe."

Sale will move from Edgeley Park, the Stockport County ground that has been their home for the last nine years, this summer in readiness for the start of the 2012-13 season.

Sale own Edgeley Park but admit the ground does not meet minimum standards laid down by the Professional Game Board.

Blackhurst confirmed that Stockport will continue to play their home matches at Edgeley Park.

The move has been welcomed by the City Reds, who moved from their old ground, The Willows, at the end of last season.

"It is a real boost for the city of Salford to have an elite club from both codes within its boundaries," said Salford chief executive David Tarry.

"The deal announced today has significant benefits for Salford City Reds. Success at Salford City Stadium is now a more affordable proposition."

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