FOOTBALL will be played at Sixways during the 2020/21 season after Worcester Warriors’ co-owners Colin Goldring and Jason Whittingham became joint majority owners of West Midlands Regional League Premier Division club Worcester Raiders.
The artificial grass pitch at Sixways has been certified by the Football Association and Raiders have confirmed the stadium as their new home for the forthcoming season.
Although rugby fixtures will take precedence, the arrival of Raiders will significantly increase the usage of the facilities at Sixways and the number of spectators who visit the stadium during the season.
“Our vision has always been to make Sixways a multi-sport centre and to maximise the use of the excellent facilities we have here,” Whittingham said.
“The COVID-19 lockdown has given us the chance to look at the business and our plans for the future. We have probably accelerated a few of our plans as a consequence including bringing Worcester Raiders to Sixways.
“They are a young and ambitious club with a progressive committee who are excited by the prospect of playing their home matches in a stadium of Championship football standard.
“We believe that Raiders are the right fit for what we are trying to achieve here. We want to strengthen our links with the local community and broaden our appeal and Raiders, who were formed as a youth team only 19 years ago, already have an excellent community programme.
“In addition to increasing the use of the stadium we also have the potential to increase overall attendance at Sixways over the season by more than a third.
“This is a very positive and significant step for the club as we continue to build a sustainable business with rugby at its core. We hope that Warriors supporters will join us in making Raiders feel at home here.”
Steve Harris, who was elected Chairman of Worcester Raiders earlier this year, shares the ambitions of Warriors’ co-owners.
“In my short space of time as chairman of Worcester Raiders , there has been a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes and different opportunities that have come along,” Harris said .
“My goal at the beginning was to make us financially viable to compete in the new season which has been extremely difficult and challenging with the Coronavirus, and ground delays at Claines Lane .
“I always said I believed Worcester should have a team in the Football League one day that everyone can support and be proud of.
“I’m proud to say today this vision is now one step closer after several weeks of discussions .
“The Bond Group owned by Jason Whittingham and Colin Goldring have agreed a takeover of our club with Worcester Raiders retaining a percentage shareholding of the club.
“Jason and Colin have been explanatory from the start and have great plans at Sixways that we are excited to be a part of.
“The 2020/2021 season we see us playing at Sixways at a capacity stadium of 12,000 under the team name of Worcester Raiders FC managed by Karl Gormley and Chris Cornes .
“I urge everyone in Worcester to get behind us in this fantastic new venture and stadium.”