Nottingham Forest considering leaving The City Ground for new 50,000-seater stadium, reports say

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The City Ground, Nottingham Forest's home stadium since 1898. Credit: ITV Central

Nottingham Forest could be set to leave their ground in favour of a new 50,000-seater stadium, according to reports.

The move would see them leave The City Ground that has been their home since 1898.

The reason for the potential move is the ongoing uncertainty between the club and Nottingham City Council.

Nottingham City Council own the land that the ground is on, and a dispute is continuing over rent and a new lease.

The existing lease that Nottingham Forest have has limited time left on it, and plans for a new 250-year lease have hit a wall. The council are said to want an increase in rent from £250,000 to £1 million.

As a result, the Reds are planning to relocate to a new site and build a new 50,000-seater stadium, abandoning plans that were announced in 2019 to redevelop The City Ground.

The club had originally planned to redevelop the Peter Taylor Stand, increasing capacity from 5,000 to 10,000 and increasing overall stadium capacity to 38,000.

Nearly four years on from plans being announced, fans are frustrated with the lack of progress on the stadium rebuild. Now, owner Evangelos Marinakis is seriously considering moving Forest to a new stadium.

One of the sites being considered is Toton, a location once slated for the now scrapped HS2 project. The land is owned by Nottinghamshire council.

It's also speculated that should Forest build a new stadium, they may opt to build a new training ground attached to it, similar to Manchester City.

ITV Central has contacted Nottingham Forest and Nottingham City Council for comment.

Nottingham Forest have declined to comment.

Nottingham City Council in a statement today have said:

"Getting promoted back to the Premier League in 2022, with the subsequent celebrations in Old Market Square, will live long in fans’ memories. We’re very lucky to have the successful sporting clubs we do in Nottingham, and so it’s disappointing to hear that Forest might be looking to relocate

“The City Ground lease has been discussed for a long time now and it’s important to say again that the council remains committed to finding a solution which works for both parties. Unfortunately, we’ve had little back from the club recently by way of negotiation – this is highly unusual in a property transaction.

“We’ve been very clear with Forest that the council is legally bound by the need to seek best value for taxpayers – no local authority can subsidise a Premier League football club. We’re seeking market rate for the site, nothing more, which is in line with our statutory requirements.

“The council is ready to continue negotiations, but we can only do that if Forest come back with meaningful comparable evidence on their valuation of the site, which has been repeatedly requested. At present, we’ve simply been told what the club is not prepared to pay without a constructive way forward being proposed.”

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