Sheffield Sharks are poised to get a new home.

It has been revealed that the BBL outfit are set to move into a £5 million arena in the city which is part of a £200m investment to complete a long-planned Olympic Legacy Park.

Proposals for the 35-acre site would see the Sharks share a state of the art building with a diagnostic medical facility owned by Canon Medical Systems.

Scheduled to open in early-2022, the final sign-off for the facility remains incomplete but with the remainder of the development now unwrapped as a mix of sport, education and research, there is optimism it can get over the line after years of prep work, Sharks director Sarah Backovic said, and mirror similar facilities in Newcastle and Leicester.

“It will be similar in terms of size – a three-court hall by day and converting to a competition arena on match days,” she told BBC Radio Sheffield.

“It’s going to be an exciting opportunity for basketball to grow in the city and region.”

Former Sports Minister Richard Caborn, who has championed the Sharks’ cause and the convertion of the site of the former Don Valley Stadium, believes the park will be a “catalyst for investment and regeneration.”

Politically problematic, with Sheffield City Council effectively a competitor due to its ownership of the Ponds Forge and EIS facilities, the arena move would end Sharks’ status as tenants and occasional nomads over the years.

“It feels like an eternity,” Backovic added. “It’s not been an easy journey to get to this point. But we’ve found in collaborating with other people, there’s a realistic chance it comes to pass.”

Photo: Olympic Legacy Park



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