Stadium set for green light

Last updated : 15 August 2003 By Michael Morris

CARDIFF City's dream of a new stadium has moved a crucial step closer.

On the eve of the Bluebirds' first home game of the season, the Echo can exclusively reveal plans for a new £72m arena on the site of the current Cardiff Athletics Stadium in Leckwith - just yards from the club's current Ninian Park home - are set to be approved by Cardiff Council's planning committee next week.

The stadium - which would originally have a 30,000 capacity but eventually seat 60,000 - is a vital part of City owner Sam Hammam's dream of bringing Premiership football to the Welsh capital.

And fans were today celebrating the news, saying: "There's no stopping us now".

The scheme also includes a replacement for the current athletics stadium, a hotel and health club and retail space with a foodstore and housing on the Ninian Park site.

The council has recommended approving the plans, but because of the amount of retailing involved, they will now go to the National Assembly for the final go-ahead.

If both the planning committee and the assembly accept the recommendations, the Bluebirds could be ready to move into their new home for the start of the 2005/2006 season.
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