The Anonymous Widower

Sheffield Put The Don Valley Stadium Out Of Its Misery

The news yesterday that Sheffield City Council is to close the Don Valley Stadium Is something that should have happened years ago.

Although it is a fine stadium it is costly to run and out of scale with all of the other athletics venues in the UK, with the exception of the Olympic Stadium in London. Even Crystal Palace is smaller with a capacity of 16,000 as against the 25,000 of the Don Valley Stadium.

It is not just my view that this will be best for Sheffield and athletics, despite what some vested interests are saying. Respected BBC athletics commentator Mike Costello has said, that it the right decision as Sheffield has a superb indoor training centre in the English Institute of Sport and the council will be providing an alternative outdoor track. Probably, the whole of the UK needs more decent indoor 200 metre tracks and training centres, with some more well-maintained simple outdoor stadia, where everybody can get a taste for athletics on a proper track.

It was probably a massive mistake on the part of Sheffield to bid for the 1991 World Student Games. It doesn’t seem to have left the city with the sort of legacy that Manchester got from the 2002 Commonwealth Games, with a large stadium and a velodrome. The only legacy would appear to be the world-class Ponds Force pools.

Incidentally, does anybody have any memories of those World Student Games in 1991. I can certainly remember the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

March 2, 2013 - Posted by | News, Sport | ,


  1. Yes I remember Helen Sharman….

    So YOU think the Don Valley should be flattened….OK.

    The games did revive a lot of the East End of Sheffield…and perhaps created the format for the Commonwealth Games that followed…but Sheffield was a much smaller event..and far less backing from Govt and other sponsors.

    What would you put into the East End?? There will be a gaping hole….another supermarket?? (Big Tesco 2 miles away) another shopping centre? (Meadowhall less than 2 miles the other direction.). Not suitable for housing….

    I am a Deedah born and raised and live in exile. My family have been in Sheffield since the 17th Century…

    I recall when you couldnt stand at the end of the Cliffe common (Attercliffe common to outsiders) and see the city centre for the muck from the forges and steel works. Hadfields, Osborns, Firth Browns, Jessops…..names that mean nothing to you…

    OK those days have gone. (and the jobs too)..but why should Sheffield be laid to waste?
    Have more events there??

    There has to be another way….

    Comment by Janet | March 2, 2013 | Reply

    • I think everybody has tried hard to find another way. But ask me why if it is such a great facility are the UK Athletics championships usually held in Birmingham?

      One of the other problems is that for big events, Sheffield has two large football stadia.

      As to the names, I recognise most of them. In some ways I’ve always felt that Sheffield’s big problem is its poor transport links. It has no airport and the train service is only now getting electrified.

      Comment by AnonW | March 2, 2013 | Reply

  2. Sheffield is built on 7 hills…so no where to build an airport of any size to be commerically viable.
    The one that was was known to be only capable of taking planes more suitable for private craft….
    As for electrifcation…wont happen until 2030.,,and then its only a half promise..

    Anyway…longest runway is at Doncaster..the old Finningley…and the main East Coast main line at Doncaster.
    So build the good transport links to Doncaster….

    Comment by Janet | March 2, 2013 | Reply

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