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Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Tuesday, 28 September 2010 15:01 UK

Wycombe and Wasps new stadium set for Air Park

Adams Park
London Wasps have shared Adams Park with Wycombe since 2006

Wycombe Wanderers and London Wasps have named Wycombe Air Park at Booker as their preferred site for a new stadium.

The clubs, both owned by Steve Hayes, have built on plans put forward in March for a venue capable of holding at least 17,500 spectators.

Wycombe District Council is performing a public consultation on the proposals.

Meanwhile Chris Thomas has been named as the new chief executive officer of both clubs after holding the role on an interim basis since April.

Thomas, who has previously worked for NatWest Group, KPMG Consulting, Zurich Financial Services and the Bank of America, takes over the CEO role from Paul Harrison.

"I have greatly enjoyed working across both clubs for the last few months as acting CEO and I am thrilled that Steve Hayes has asked me to continue in this role permanently," Thomas said.

"My immediate focus, across both businesses, is to ensure that we have strong commercial teams in place.

"This is vital in enabling us to establish the long-term financial stability that ensures we can continue to invest in both the London Wasps and Wycombe Wanderers teams whilst striving to upgrade our facilities and service levels for our supporters."

On the stadium announcement, Hayes said: "Investing in a new community stadium and sports village means that the clubs can develop their playing and non-playing sides."

Both teams currently play at Adams Park, just four miles away from the new site, which has been designed to include pitches for football, rugby and cricket, a racquet centre and an athletics facility.

There are also plans to create commercial space, a hotel, residential development and centres for education and training.

"This is about building something in Wycombe that we can be proud of, that will deliver a major boost to the community and which will create a positive and lasting legacy," Hayes continued.

You can make a difference to what happens and we would very much value your involvement

Wycombe and Wasps owner Steve Hayes

"My invitation to everyone is visit our website, read more about our vision and, if you want to be involved, sign up and play a part. You can make a difference to what happens and we would very much value your involvement."

Wycombe Sports Developments Limited, the organisation set up by the Chairboys and Wasps to oversee the project, hopes a new stadium would alleviate Wanderers' reliance on Hayes' finances and enable Wasps to compete with major rivals.

Director for WSDL Mark Rigby said: "Having looked at the property requirements we would need to deliver the full potential of the scheme, we are now clear that Wycombe Air Park at Booker is our preferred site.

"It has the size, location, topography and combination of attributes that would best enable us to progress our vision, including the potential of co-location of the Air Park for continued aviation.

"Crucially, we must now await the results of Wycombe District Council's separate public consultation on the sites it is currently assessing.

"Only after this consultation has closed will we have a clearer view on how the planning process may progress."

The future of Adams Park is uncertain. The stadium was opened in 1990 when then non-league Wycombe switched from their old ground Loakes Park.

Wasps moved from QPR's Loftus Road to ground share with the Chairboys in 2006.

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see also
Wycombe owner hits out at critics
25 May 10 |  Wycombe
Wycombe owner targets new ground
08 Jul 09 |  Wycombe
Hayes becomes new Wycombe owner
07 Jul 09 |  Wycombe
Wycombe chief takes over at Wasps
03 Dec 08 |  London Wasps
Wycombe chief joins Wasps board
24 Aug 07 |  London Wasps

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