St Helen's Sports Ground artist impression

CEO Lance Bradley on the move to St Helen’s Sports Ground


Yesterday, Ospreys announced that from the 25/26 season, St Helen’s Sports Ground is our preferred location for our new stadium. After a strong offer from Bridgend in an exceptionally competitive process, hear from Ospreys CEO Lance Bradley on the decision. 

Why St Helen’s Sports Ground?

“We looked right across the area. We examined brownfield sites, greenfield sites, existing stadiums in a really exhaustive search. In May, we narrowed it down to either St Helen’s or the Dunraven Brewery Field in Bridgend. We had massive support from Bridgend Council and Bridgend Ravens, so I’d like to thank them. We have also had a lot of support and encouragement from Swansea Council, so thanks to them.”

“In the end it’s come down to the location. It’s an amazing facility, it’s right in the heartland of our fanbase and the opportunities for us to build a fantastic stadium with fantastic fan experience at St Helen’s is one that we feel very excited about.”

How difficult was the decision between Bridgend and Swansea? 

“The choice in the end between Bridgend and Swansea was really, really tight. The Brewery Field is a fantastic old stadium steeped in history. We had a lot of support from both the club and the local council; it is a fantastic location for rugby. But in the end, we felt that St Helen’s just gave us a bit more opportunity to do some of the things we want to do. 

We have quite ambitious plans as a club and we’re doing well on the field with the men’s team. At some point I’d really like to produce an elite women’s team for the club.

It was very close, but St Helen’s is our preferred option.”

What can supporters expect from the new stadium?

“What I hope supporters will find with the new stadium is that it will be a much more intimate experience. 

We expect the capacity initially will be somewhere around 8000 places. That will consist of stands behind one of the goals and along one side and then of course the terrace - I think that will be a great asset to the club and the atmosphere. I think fans will enjoy that!”

How much potential does St Helen’s have to offer a unique matchday experience and atmosphere? 

“We’re going to introduce a fan zone and we’ve got some quite exciting ideas about what we can do with that. We also want to listen to what fans think they might want because we want to make coming to watch Ospreys an event. It’s not just ‘come and watch the game’, but have entertainment beforehand, entertainment after the games, so that fans really feel part of the club.”

How beneficial will it be for the local area and local businesses?

“St Helen’s is in a fabulous location in Swansea and I think that we will be able to build something that fans will wasn’t to come to; not just on matchdays but on non-match days as well. That’s important for us. 

It’s got the potential to be the hub of the community and that’s what we want to be: as a club we want to be the hub of the rugby community and of the business community. Moving to St Helen’s allows us to work towards those goals. 

“We think it will be hugely beneficial for local businesses when we move into the site. We currently get an average of around 6000 a game and we’re sure that will increase as fans get used to coming to what will be a much more intimate and much more exciting venue to watch rugby at. Inevitably drawing in those kind of crowds is great news for everybody.” 

Will the Ospreys strengthen ties with Swansea University given the close proximity? 

“The plan will be that when we do move we will install a 4G pitch. One of the benefits of that is we can play as many games as we want to on that pitch. That gives us the opportunity not only to play our senior men’s team at St Helen’s but hopefully an elite women’s team in the not too distant future.

Swansea RFC will continue playing at St Helen’s and it also means the university can continue to play. We’re keen to build our relationship with the both parties. It’s a great opportunity for all of us.

We also want to host community games, so it may be that we have school finals, 7s tournaments, junior rugby.”

“I really want people who play rugby to have an ambition of playing at the Ospreys’ ground at St Helen’s and for us to be able to fulfil that dream for them.” 

How will the phased approach to renovating the pitch and stadium work?

“It’s a multi-million pound project, that’s why it has taken a little while to get it over the line. The next phase is that we continue to work with Swansea Council because we will need to go through their planning processes and their approval processes.

Phase one will be to install a new pitch and to install stands to create a stadium. The plan is that we put a roof on the terrace so that the whole stadium is undercover and to refurbish the clubhouse so that we’ve got somewhere to base ourselves.

“In the future, phase two may involve moving the training centre. That’s an additional cost that at the moment is very much in phase two, but longer term that would be a fantastic goal to achieve.” 

Will 24/25 season members get priority access to St Helen’s for the 25/26 season?

“We’ll have a terrace, we’ll have a new stand that will run alongside the ground, we’ll have a stand behind one of the goals. 

That will meant that we can offer different seating or standing packages to fans; some of those will be limited and we will reward current season members (24/25 season) so that they’ll be the first ones to have the option of buying a season membership for St Helen’s.” 

“My final message to supporters is thank you for supporting us so far; your support means a huge amount to the club. We hope that by moving to St Helen’s we demonstrate not only our confidence in our plans and how excited we are about the future of Ospreys. 

I think fans have got a lot to be excited about moving to St Helen’s. I think it will be a great reward for everyone who has stuck with us over the years at the Stadium because this is going to be a fabulous atmosphere to watch rugby in.”

To get priority access to St Helen’s, become a season member now.