Jump to content
British Speedway Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Rob B

Odsal

Recommended Posts

1 minute ago, George Dodds said:

maybe the terms weren't attractive - something along the lines of "you bail out the football club, pay to bring the stadium up to acceptable standard and we'll allow you to take on the financial burden of the lease - and hope that the fans who wouldn't make the short trip to Bradford will pay to watch you in Halifax". Hardly a cast-iron opportunity

I don't know, I would be guessing but I do remember the representing party visiting Odsal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, George Dodds said:

maybe the terms weren't attractive - something along the lines of "you bail out the football club, pay to bring the stadium up to acceptable standard and we'll allow you to take on the financial burden of the lease - and hope that the fans who wouldn't make the short trip to Bradford will pay to watch you in Halifax". Hardly a cast-iron opportunity

That's just it ... I don't think ANYTHING along those lines came within a million miles of the narrative at the time, as far as Calderdale were concerned.

Edited by Grand Central

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Grand Central said:

I was thinking of something a little more factual than 'somebody from Halifax (I think it was the council)' ... Doesn't really add to my understanding at all

Well that's all and I'm certainly not a liar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, foamfence said:

Well that's all and I'm certainly not a liar.

I don't doubt that. But I still don't believe that Calderdale ever made any form of real offer for Speedway to go back; in preference to the North and South stand construction in 1997ish that squared off the stadium for football and rugby. That was the only plan on the table.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Grand Central said:

I don't doubt that. But I still don't believe that Calderdale ever made any form of real offer for Speedway to go back; in preference to the North and South stand construction in 1997ish that squared off the stadium for football and rugby. That was the only plan on the table.

The football club was desperately trying to find money from anywhere at the time - developers, finance firms and the usual shysters. I'm sure they would have taken the odd million off the Hams if they'd offered. To try and pass that off as "another huge missed opportunity for speedway" is fanciful to say the least and along the lines of the "John Berry would have saved speedway if they hadn't stopped him".  Just good old fashioned bit of idle speculation based on unattributed whispers, tales and hearsay. The only thing missing is facts. 

Edited by George Dodds
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, George Dodds said:

Also curious.

From memory all terraced areas were closed after The Popplewell Report into the Bradford City fire. Capacity of The Shay in 1985 was under 2,000 so speedway would have been struggling anyway there and it may have had something to do with switching to a stadium which met "modern" safety criteria. Also remember plans to build a supermarket on The Shay and a new ground at a nearby leisure centre. Another was for a smaller ground to be built on the site and the rest redeveloped - a bit like Crayford stadium. The council owned the lease, the football club was a financial basket case. If any offer was made to the speedway I suspect it would have involved them bringing a substantial amount of money to the table - probably a bit like Startrax at Odsal.

I seem to recall that there was little change to the stadium configuration until the rugby club sold Thrum Hall and moved in at The Shay in the late 1990s so speedway could have returned, even after it had ended at Odsal. Perhaps the sums never added up.   

The closure of all terraced areas at The Shay in 1985 lasted just three early-season Halifax Town FC games. By January 1986, Halifax RLFC, hiring the ground on a one-off basis for a First Division game with Widnes, because of problems with the Thrum Hall floodlights, attracted a 6,385 crowd to The Shay (more than double any crowd Halifax Dukes attracted during their final season, 1985).

The speedway club, incidentally, were sub-tenants of the football club, who chose to hike the rent circa 1985 - one of several factors in the Dukes leaving for Odsal. £25,000 is the figure that sticks in my mind.

The Shay was reconfigured quite a few years before the rugby league club began sharing the stadium in 1998. The first and second bend area was removed circa 1990. It was replaced with a gently inclined open standing area. In 1996, a stand was built on the site of the third and fourth bends. Later that year, an identical stand replaced the open standing area at the opposite end of the ground.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Piotr Pyszny said:

The closure of all terraced areas at The Shay in 1985 lasted just three early-season Halifax Town FC games. By January 1986, Halifax RLFC, hiring the ground on a one-off basis for a First Division game with Widnes, because of problems with the Thrum Hall floodlights, attracted a 6,385 crowd to The Shay (more than double any crowd Halifax Dukes attracted during their final season, 1985).

The speedway club, incidentally, were sub-tenants of the football club, who chose to hike the rent circa 1985 - one of several factors in the Dukes leaving for Odsal. £25,000 is the figure that sticks in my mind.

The Shay was reconfigured quite a few years before the rugby league club began sharing the stadium in 1998. The first and second bend area was removed circa 1990. It was replaced with a gently inclined open standing area. In 1996, a stand was built on the site of the third and fourth bends. Later that year, an identical stand replaced the open standing area at the opposite end of the ground.

 

The attendance seemed very big for the Belle Vue meeting, run after the 1985 word final. At the time i thought it was Halifax's biggest crowd in years.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Piotr Pyszny said:

The closure of all terraced areas at The Shay in 1985 lasted just three early-season Halifax Town FC games. By January 1986, Halifax RLFC, hiring the ground on a one-off basis for a First Division game with Widnes, because of problems with the Thrum Hall floodlights, attracted a 6,385 crowd to The Shay (more than double any crowd Halifax Dukes attracted during their final season, 1985).

The speedway club, incidentally, were sub-tenants of the football club, who chose to hike the rent circa 1985 - one of several factors in the Dukes leaving for Odsal. £25,000 is the figure that sticks in my mind.

The Shay was reconfigured quite a few years before the rugby league club began sharing the stadium in 1998. The first and second bend area was removed circa 1990. It was replaced with a gently inclined open standing area. In 1996, a stand was built on the site of the third and fourth bends. Later that year, an identical stand replaced the open standing area at the opposite end of the ground.

 

As some one else has stated the crowd for the 85 belle vue meeting was quite a bit more than half of 6385.

But the rest of your post is spot on and just bolsters my opinion that a return to The Shay in the nineties was NEVER a realistic possibility no matter what others are saying now, due to the changes already occurring to the configuration; and greater changes in the planning process as well.

Edited by Grand Central
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Grand Central said:

As some one else has stated the crowd for the 85 belle vue meeting was quite a bit more than half of 6385.

But the rest of your post is spot on and just bolsters my opinion that a return to The Shay in the nineties was NEVER a realistic possibility no matter what others are saying now, due to the changes already occurring to the configuration; and greater changes in the planning process as well.

I seem to remember Dukes promoter Eric Boothroyd saying the 1985 average crowd at The Shay pushed 3,500.

I've got a copy of the 'Memories of Halifax Speedway' DVD. It's a while since I've watched it, but I recall Eric dealing in some detail with the move to Odsal.

Pretty sure Eric reckoned he lost a thousand spectators overnight then another 600-800 on Kenny Carter's death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Piotr Pyszny said:

I seem to remember Dukes promoter Eric Boothroyd saying the 1985 average crowd at The Shay pushed 3,500.

I've got a copy of the 'Memories of Halifax Speedway' DVD. It's a while since I've watched it, but I recall Eric dealing in some detail with the move to Odsal.

Pretty sure Eric reckoned he lost a thousand spectators overnight then another 600-800 on Kenny Carter's death.

Yes I have a similar memory of all that ... The belle vue meeting after the world final would have dragged the 85 average up ... On its own it must have been 5000+,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/5/2021 at 8:46 PM, Piotr Pyszny said:

The closure of all terraced areas at The Shay in 1985 lasted just three early-season Halifax Town FC games. By January 1986, Halifax RLFC, hiring the ground on a one-off basis for a First Division game with Widnes, because of problems with the Thrum Hall floodlights, attracted a 6,385 crowd to The Shay (more than double any crowd Halifax Dukes attracted during their final season, 1985).

The speedway club, incidentally, were sub-tenants of the football club, who chose to hike the rent circa 1985 - one of several factors in the Dukes leaving for Odsal. £25,000 is the figure that sticks in my mind.

The Shay was reconfigured quite a few years before the rugby league club began sharing the stadium in 1998. The first and second bend area was removed circa 1990. It was replaced with a gently inclined open standing area. In 1996, a stand was built on the site of the third and fourth bends. Later that year, an identical stand replaced the open standing area at the opposite end of the ground.

 

I remember when I popped into the Shay c2009 I couldn't imagine how the track once fitted around the pitch. All evidence of a once speedway track had disappeared.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, steve roberts said:

I remember when I popped into the Shay c2009 I couldn't imagine how the track once fitted around the pitch. All evidence of a once speedway track had disappeared.

I had to go to the Halifax area in 1985, on business and took the opportunity to see the stadium 'upfront and personal'. I thought it was a lovely stadium! When I heard the Hams were moving the Dukes from Halifax to Bradford (Odsal), I did question in my own mind the eventual wisdom. :(

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Like I alluded  to in an earlier post, the 1985 exit from the Shay Grounds was the beginning of the end for speedway in West Yorkshire though I do appreciate that financial issues (expense of moving floodlights to comply with new regulations and the Shay landlords hiking up the rent while Odsal was offered rent free) at the time were why the Halifax to Bradford move was made.

 

I wonder had speedway continued at the Shay after 1985 whether the 1990's stadium redevelopments would have taken place or maybe stadium redevelopments would have included keeping the speedway track?

 

I still maintain that had Halifax kept going at the Shay and stadium developments would of included speedway then Halifax speedway would still be running up to present times and more than likely would still be one of the best attended tracks in the Country. - I also say the same about Bristol (closed 1977), Cradley (lost Stadium in 1995) and Coventry which closed in 2016.

 

- Now how much healthier would speedway look today if the sport was still staged in Bristol, Coventry, Cradley and Halifax?  

Edited by 25yearfan
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, 25yearfan said:

 

I wonder had speedway continued at the Shay after 1985 whether the 1990's would have taken place or if stadium redevelopments would have included keeping the speedway track?

 

Interesting point. But if I use Exeter Rugby Stadium as an example, stadium improvements there which included the eventual move finished speedway in Exeter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, Deano said:

Interesting point. But if I use Exeter Rugby Stadium as an example, stadium improvements there which included the eventual move finished speedway in Exeter.

...and all the while Cowley Stadium is laying dormant. A travesty for a once such great facilty.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Privacy Policy