Plans to restore speedway track at Bradford's Odsal Stadium take RFL by surprise
The Rugby Football League have "expressed surprise" over plans to bring speedway back to Bradford's Odsal Stadium.
Last Updated: 06/09/13 2:20pm
Speedway disappeared from the arena in 1997 despite Bradford Dukes winning the inaugural Elite League title, but promotor Tony Mole - who most recently helped bring Birmingham Brummies back into existence - has submitted plans to the city council to have a track restored.
Now Mole wants to bring the Dukes back - under the name of Bradford and Halifax.
He told speedwaygb.co: "I can confirm I have met Speedway Control Bureau officials at the stadium and it is possible to meet all their requirements for a new track.
"I have written to Bradford MBC with an application for certification of established use as the sport was held there previously with no known objections.
"I have exchanged drafts of licence agreements with Bradford Bulls Rugby League club although these are subjects to solicitors finalising them.
"The freehold is leased by Bradford MBC but when the Rugby League club hit problems this was taken on by the Rugby Football League Council. We would need their approval but we cannot discuss the matter further with them until we have planning confirmed.
"Not only can I confirm we can meet SCB requirements, but we can have a potential FIM track which would give is the option of major events once again.
"There is still a big demand for the sport in West Yorkshire. The Bradford and Halifax Dukes would attract plenty of interest."
But the RFL, who bought Odsal in January last year, have claimed they received no contact from Mole before the planning application was lodged.
A statement read: "The RFL would like to express surprise at the news that speedway promoter Tony Mole has submitted a planning application to Bradford Council to stage speedway meets at Odsal Stadium.
"The governing body has had no contact from Mr Mole or any other party about restoring a speedway track at the stadium, which the RFL purchased in January 2012 to safeguard its continued use as a Rugby League venue.
"The RFL will continue to work closely with the owners of Bradford Bulls to enable them to build on the considerable progress seen since their purchase of the club in August last year."
Bulls co-chairman Omar Khan has welcomed the news and says he would love to see the sport back.
"It is a great thing - we would love it," he told the Telegraph & Argus.
"I don't see any problem with it. Speedway was very successful in Bradford previously. If it can be done from a health and safety point of view, and if it is feasible, I have no problem with it.
"As long as the stadium is making money, that's all I care about."