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Last Updated: Friday, 2 November 2007, 15:01 GMT
Turf cut at new Cardiff stadium
Peter Ridsdale and Rodney Berman
Peter Ridsdale and Rodney Berman pose by the first turf cut
Work has begun on the construction of Cardiff City's 46m new ground, with club chairman Peter Ridsdale promising it will be open to fans by August 2009.

He and Cardiff Council leader Rodney Berman held a formal cutting of the turf ceremony at the site, opposite the club's current Ninian Park ground.

Developers Laing O'Rourke began work this week, with up to 300 workers expected at the height of the build.

Mr Ridsdale said: "The money is in the bank and the diggers are on site."

He added: "Today is the day when the new stadium starts."

He held an official launch with Mr Berman and Laing O'Rourke managers at Leckwith Stadium, which is being demolished to make way for the new ground.

Peter Ridsdale with Ninian Park behind him
Peter Ridsdale said the news was 'very exciting' for the club

A replacement athletics track is under construction across the road.

Cardiff FC is committed to building a 30,000-capacity stadium, with at least 25,000 seats in place when it opens.

Mr Ridsdale said the construction schedule was for the ground to be completed by May or June of 2009, in time to prepare a pitch for start of the 2009/10 season.

He said the ground would cost 42.3m plus a further 4m-5m fit-out costs.

He added he was confident of the club's case in the 21 November court action being brought by financial backers Langston over 24m of loan notes.

Mr Berman described the court case as "noises off which will be resolved quickly".

SEE ALSO
Hall parts company with Bluebirds
29 Oct 07 |  Cardiff City
Cardiff warning over legal battle
24 Oct 07 |  Cardiff City
Hammam 'casting shadow' over club
25 Sep 07 |  Cardiff City
Ridsdale offers to quit Cardiff
21 Sep 07 |  Cardiff City
Cardiff chief rejects debt claim
15 Aug 07 |  Cardiff City
Cardiff facing court over '30m'
15 Aug 07 |  Cardiff City
BBC Sport Wales coverage
24 Dec 06 |  Wales

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