Saracens move to North London

Saracens have announced plans to stop playing their home games in Watford.

The rugby team want to move to Barnet Football Club's Copthall Stadium and play on artificial turf from next season...

The plans have got to be approved before they can happen.

They've also announced plans to transform Barnet Copthall Stadium into a multi-purpose sports venue.

The stadium, currently home to Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers amongst other sports clubs, would become a premier athletics venue and potential training centre for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Chairman Nigel Wray said: “There is a unique opportunity to create a fabulous stadium. Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers would thrive, Saracens would use the artificial turf pitch around 16 times per year, and the rest of the time – up to 350 days per year - the field could be used by schools, local clubs and the wider community.

“Barnet Copthall would also become a new hub for the award-winning Saracens Foundation, which has been working with more than 500,000 young people in London over the past decade, improving lives by running various courses that link education and sport.

“It goes without saying we will consult widely and extensively with the local community and stakeholders to establish a proper dialogue and ensure we create an asset that meets all the requirements of local residents and sports clubs.

“In the process, we will create a home for Saracens, an ambitious club playing entertaining rugby in a superb stadium, an institution which will make the people of Barnet and all North London can feel proud for many years to come.”

Geoff Morphitis, Treasurer of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers said: “This is a tremendous opportunity in these difficult financial times to refurbish a stand that is nearly 50 years old and to bring in new facilities.

“This would ensure the venue can continue to host top class athletics meetings and serve as a valuable sports facility for the local community. We look forward to working with Saracens to ensure the delivery of an outstanding sporting venue and to expand our work in the local community.”

Public exhibitions on the emerging proposals for Barnet Copthall Stadium are being held later this month so that the local community has an opportunity to view and comment on the plans and ask questions of the project team. The exhibitions are being held on:

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