Bradford Bulls bid farewell to Odsal stadium


The last game has been played by Bradford Bulls at Odsal stadium, the team’s home for the last 85 years.

The rugby league club brought down the curtain on the famous bowl with a Championship game against Sheffield Eagles.

The club plans to compete next season with ground-sharing at Dewsbury’s Tetley Stadium for home games.

The Bulls announced their departure due to the rising costs of repair and maintenance earlier this month.

The Rugby Football League has “reluctantly” approved the ground-share for the 2020 season.

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John Kear, the Bulls’ coach, said “I think you’ve got to have a heavy heart as it’s been the spiritual home of the club for many, many years.

“We are going to have to leave the place to play outside the city boundaries, but hopefully in the very near future we can return with the club in a good place.”

Phil Caplan, rugby league publisher and fan, said he first went to Odsal in the early 1970s.

“It’s not the end of rugby league in Bradford; it’s the fans that make the atmosphere not the buildings,” he said.

Odsal history

  • Bradford Northern (now Bulls) formed in 1907 and played at several grounds before Odsal Stadium was opened in 1934
  • Before that date the hollow was a council rubbish tip on the southern outskirts of Bradford
  • It sat in a valley gouged out during the Ice Age about 10,000 years ago, geologists concluded
  • In 1954, the ground hosted an official attendance of 102,000 at the Challenge Cup Final replay between Halifax and Warrington (pictured)
  • Other sports featured at the arena have included football, speedway, stock car racing, show jumping and kabaddi.

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Olivia Wilson
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