The stadium opened in 1934. Credit: via Robert Beaumont

Odsal hits the market

Knight Frank has been appointed to sell the lease of the multi-sports stadium, currently let by Bradford Council to the Rugby Football League on a 150-year peppercorn rent.

Best known as the home of the Bradford Bulls rugby league team, the venue is also currently the home of Odsal Motorsport. In its 90-year history, the stadium has hosted events such as speedway World Finals, and in the 1980s was a temporary home to Bradford City following the Valley Parade fire.

The RFL stepped in to take over the site in 2012 when no other interested party had the financial wherewithal to do so. The venue extends to 12.85 acres.

Knight Frank’s Leeds office, which has worked with the sports body before, is now instructed by the RFL to find a buyer for the lease.

Partner Jonathan Hyland said: “This is an absolutely fantastic opportunity to acquire one of the most famous sporting stadia in Yorkshire. Odsal has a wonderful history and is one of the jewels in the crown of the city of Bradford.

“We expect a good deal of interest in this sale, given Odsal’s reputation, high-profile and location. Once a preferred buyer has been chosen, they will be granted a period of exclusivity during which they will be required to agree terms for a formal lease with the Bradford Bulls.”

Robert Graham, the RFL’s director of finance, facilities and central services, said: “The RFL purchased Odsal in January 2012 because of a specific set of circumstances, which at the time involved a real danger that an historic venue for Rugby League could be lost to the sport.

“This was never envisaged as a permanent position for a national governing body, and after acting as custodians for more than a decade, and with two tenants in Bradford Bulls and Odsal Motorsports, the circumstances have now developed sufficiently to explore options for sale.”

Odsal is situated in a bowl, creating a substantial amphitheatre, and is an instantly recognisable vbenue.

The South and East Stands are the two main buildings with the North and West Stands being concrete surfaced open-standing terraces. Home, away and match official changing rooms are located at ground level in the West Stand.

Odsal Motorsport has a licence running until 2041, allowing them to host up to 20 events per year. The current annual combined income from the two occupiers is approximately £125,000.

Odsal is situated to the south of the A6036 Rooley Avenue, around 2.5ms south of Bradford city centre. Junction 3 of the M606 is approximately 0.5 miles away accessed by the A6177 Bradford ring road.

Hyland continued: “I am delighted to be working with and advising the Rugby Football League again. Knight Frank successfully marketed and sold Red Hall House near Roundhay Park on behalf of the RFL in 2021 – Red Hall had been the headquarters of the RFL for 26 years.

“We also advised the RFL on their move to the stunning Etihad Campus in Manchester, which marked the start of an exciting new era for them.”

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