Plans were unveiled this week for a £4.2 Million community arena in the city which will also house the Leicester Riders basketball team.
The project will provide a 2,000 plus capacity sports arena on council owned land on Charter Street, adjacent to Leicester College’s Abbey Park Campus, which would potentially be up and running by Autumn 2015.
The Leicester Cobras wheelchair basketball club would also train and play at the arena.
Leicester City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby said “what we’re doing is to bring together a partnership, partnership of the city council, partnership of Sport England, the Regional Growth Fund, Leicester College and of course particularly a partnership with the Leicester Riders, our very successful basketball club, because what we are creating together is a home for the Riders, but a major sporting venue for Leicester”.
Riders director Kevin Routledge said “It’s a game changer for the Riders, we’ve been trying to do this for the best part of 20 years, and not having a home makes the job of running a professional sports club almost impossible”
He also spoke of the facilities multi purpose use “on the one hand its a community facility its available 80% of the time, it will be utilised for ordinary kids coming in off the street in to structured sport to play, not just basketball but a range of sport, in addition to that the whole of the Rider’s talent program will be able to base themselves here, and develop and become top players as many of them are, there GB internationals on both men and women’s side”
Verity Hancock, principle at Leicester College commented on the arena “we’re really relieved because we have really been desperate for a solution to our inadequate sporting facilities for many years, and so its brilliant that finally there’s definitely something that going to happen and were really pleased with what it represents”.