COMMENT: New player adds to the intrigue at city stadium

COMMENT: New player adds to the intrigue at city stadium

COMMENT: New player adds to the intrigue at city stadium

First published in

THE future of Oxford Stadium is a question mark that has been hanging over a part of the city for some time.

Each day draws us nearer to an answer.

The revelation that a local farmer, Robert Tyrrell, has thrown his hat into the ring, in an effort to revive it, provides even greater intrigue.

Already we have had professional gambler Harry Findlay step in to try to bring it back to life – only to change his mind.

We have developer Galliard looking to flatten it and build homes there, while Irish racing magnate Paschal Taggart is also still in the game.

Locally, support for the venue to be revived is strong.

But it comes against the wider backdrop of greyhound stadiums across the country struggling to stay alive. Several have closed in recent years. So, any move to reopen the stadium in Oxford has to be seen against that wider context.

Clearly support for the sport is not what it once was – but there is still huge interest in bringing the venue, with its rich history, back to life.

The latest effort stresses the need to combine greyhound racing’s merits with those of speedway.

Both are sports that still command a sizable following.

Whether the proposals will succeed remains to be seen, but there appears to be little appetite in the community for homes to be built there.

Mr Tyrrell’s plan has to fight against a perception that such venues are no longer viable.

If he succeeds, it could make a dramatic difference to both Oxford and to other venues like ours across the country.


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