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Last Updated: Friday, 11 February, 2005, 11:30 GMT
End looms for Pontypridd home
Sardis Road could soon be turned into shops
Sardis Road could soon be turned into shops
Pontypridd's Sardis Road, one of the most famous rugby grounds in Wales, looks set to be sold to developers.

Owners Ponty Rugby Limited have entered into negotiations to sell the ground to property developers Morbaine Limited.

Talks have reached the stage where planning permission for a full retail development has been applied for.

"Sardis Road has now become a financial burden on the club, which will only deteriorate as the infrastructure gets older," a Pontypridd spokesman said.

"When a site has been found, the club will have more than sufficient funds from the deal to develop a new stadium with an initial projected capacity for 3,000 spectators.

"With this new facility it will enable Ponty Rugby to continue to be a focal point for Valleys rugby, as well as a centre of excellence, which all young players can use as a stepping-stone to international recognition."

Pontypridd moved to their grand new stadium at Sardis Road - dubbed the "House of Pain" - in September 1974, having played their initial matches at Taff Vale Park in Treforest, and then moved to the People's Park alongside the Rhondda River.

Many international players including world record Test points scorer Neil Jenkins, the former Wales fly-half, learned their rugby playing at Sardis Road.

But Pontypridd's success as a club side counted for little as financial problems plagued them when Wales moved towards regional rugby.

The Celtic Warriors regional side was formed from the Pontypridd and Bridgend clubs.

But Ponty's financial problems - the club went into voluntary administration in 2003 - and differences of opinion between the two controlling halves, saw Ponty relinquish their regional stake.

The Warriors themselves lasted just over a year more as the team was disbanded and the players farmed out to the four other remaining regional sides.

Pontypridd remain competitive in the semi-professional Welsh Premiership, but no longer need a stadium with the capacity of Sardis Road.




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