Ten more years – Exiles in talks for a long-term deal to stay at Rodney Parade
TALKS are under way between Newport RFC, the Newport Gwent Dragons and Newport County AFC over extending the Exiles’ tenancy at Rodney Parade for a decade or more, the Argus can reveal.
It is understood that all parties are keen to ratify a new agreement and County’s new CEO Dave Boddy will immediately prioritise the matter.
County have until the middle of March to submit to the Football League proof of a long-term deal to stay at Rodney Parade in order to meet the criteria for promotion.
If that fails to materialise, County can opt to return to Spytty Park, an ongoing deal with Newport Council meaning that remains a possibility for the time being.
But all signs are pointing to a longer stay as tenants at Rodney Parade, with all parties hopeful of agreeing a deal until 2024 or longer.
The current deal is for three years.
“We’ve already started negotiations on that, we’d like at least a ten-year lease,” director Howard Greenhaf said.
“We don’t foresee any problems with that and hope for a new agreement within a month or six weeks.
“If we have any ambitions to get promoted and stay in the Football League, this has to happen.”
New CEO Boddy also feels Rodney Parade must become County’s permanent home.
“We want to improve our average attendance, it’s certainly not unrealistic to average over 3,000, that’s achievable for Newport in this league,” he said.
“The Football League application regarding the ground is certainly a priority for us. There is a three-year agreement already in place, but we want to extend that.
“At the Conference we were very involved in the plans last summer and I think it’s something that has been good for the Dragons and County.”