WRU make £20m bid for Cardiff Arms Park

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Cardiff Athletic Club (CAC) are considering an offer from the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) for control of the Cardiff Arms Park (CAP) used by Cardiff Blues and Cardiff RFC as their home ground.

It is believed that a Memorandum of Understanding has been drawn up between the two parties, with the Welsh Rugby Union paying the Athletic Club, who are the owners of the ground, £20m for the freehold to the land on which it stands.

This includes where the rugby stadium is, the CAC clubhouse, the car parking around the stadium and could extend to include the site of the Holiday Inn hotel on Castle Street.

It adds another chapter to the ongoing saga regarding the future of the Arms Park, with the parties involved up until now being current tenants Cardiff Blues Limited and landlords CAC.

The lease held by Cardiff Blues to play at CAP is set to run out in 2021, but after close to 10 years of negotiations to extend it there was an announcement from Chief Executive Richard Holland in January that they were actively pursuing avenues of playing at a new stadium in the City.

Cardiff Arms Park Millennium Stadium
The Principality Stadium neighbours the CAC owned land

With the running of Cardiff RFC recently having been taken in-house by Cardiff Blues Limited, it leaves the possibility of Cardiff Arms Park not having any rugby sides calling the historic ground their home venue.

Contact has been maintained between Cardiff Blues and CAC, with the preference of all parties to have the teams stay where they are, but the Welsh Rugby Union have stepped in after seeing the opportunity to expand their control over the land next to the Principality Stadium.

There are no confirmed details on what the WRU plan to do with the ground if their bid is successful, but there is a threat to clubhouse access for members on international matchdays at the very least.

The trustees of CAC will now vote on the proposed WRU move, with talk of a two-week deadline being given by rugby’s governing body in Wales.

While some sections of the Athletic Club are said to be keen to accept with a hefty sum of money on the table, the expectation is that the trustees will turn down on the offer, with the freehold seemingly not up for sale.

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