Rugby League

League One

15 Feb 2023

Midlands Hurricanes' Greg Wood relishing move to Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium

Midlands Hurricanes' Greg Wood relishing move to Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium

Midlands Hurricanes’ Chief Executive Greg Wood believes the club’s move to Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium can help propel both the club and Rugby League within the region to the next level.

“There’s a real interest coming about us moving there,” said Wood.

“It gives us the base for the future to grow the sport. It’s very much our ambition to have a Women’s team, a Wheelchair team and for us to keep growing from that, and the (Alexander) stadium is the place we can do it from.

“We’ve genuinely seen a real interest from the local community. We’ve had an interest from people who aren’t even particularly rugby fans, but they’re sports fans, they’ve seen what’s happening and they want to come down and see the stadium.

“Equally, for travelling supporters as well, hopefully there’s a bit of a pull to come and see what it’s like down there (at the stadium). This year it’s a transition, we’re in the warm-up arena, but next year fans can come down and see the home of the Commonwealth Games, and it’s a really impressive place to play sport!”

2023 will see the Betfred League One side utilise the warm-up arena located adjacent to the main 18,000 capacity stadium whilst maintenance work is carried out on the venue’s playing surface, before permanently moving to the impressive facility next year.

Despite not having played a game in Birmingham yet, Wood revealed that the club’s relocation to the UK’s second-largest city has already created a buzz within the local community.

“We’ve got more season tickets sold this year than we’ve ever had before and with a lot of those tickets, we’ve had contact from people saying: ‘I live in the area, I’ve seen what’s going on and I’d like to come down’.  We’ve also had quite a few people asking is the first game sold out and how can they get their tickets!

“It’ll obviously take time; I think this year will be a great stepping stone in the right direction for us. We want to get as many people through the gate as we can and drive engagement within the community, and hopefully make it a brilliant afternoon out for everyone that comes through the door.”

Speaking at the recent League One launch event, Hurricanes captain Chris Cullimore also shared his excitement at the prospect of playing at the facility.

“I’m looking forward to it,” revealed Cullimore.

“It’s been a long time coming, last year was a bit of a development year in terms of how we played and then obviously everything that’s happened with the stadium, but I’m really looking forward to it.”

He added: “We’ve got a good group that are driving some high standards and we’re looking to have a decent year this year - we want to be in the play-offs.” 

“It’s a bit like anything, if you win and then keep winning, you progress in competitions, reach play-offs, compete in finals and then suddenly people start noticing and want to watch.

“It’s on us now to perform on the field and everything Greg and the staff off the field has done is driving it. In terms of building the club, we just need to play well, and hopefully, the kids and the fans will keep coming back.”

Midlands Hurricanes will play their first Betfred League One home game at the Alexander Stadium this coming Sunday when they host Cornwall, with live coverage of the match being shown on The Sportsman. Kick-off is at 15:00.