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National Rugby League Museum To Open In Bradford - Despite No Teams Playing In The City

The council has reiterated the facility remains a "top priority", even after Bulls relocation.

Creating a Rugby League museum in Bradford is still a “top priority” for Bradford Council – despite the fact there aren’t likely to be any teams playing the sport in the city when it is due to open.

In 2016 it was announced that Bradford City Hall would be home to the first National Rugby League Museum.

The museum would house rugby league’s extensive collections and historic artefacts and was hailed as being a “world class attraction” that would be in the heart of the city.

The museum was due to open in Autumn 2021 – coinciding with the Rugby League World Cup.

Earlier this month Bradford’s former World Champion Rugby League team, Bradford Bulls, announced they would be leaving their Odsal Stadium home and playing the next two seasons in Dewsbury.

Although the team hopes to return to Bradford, that is unlikely to happen before 2022. It means Bradford is likely to be home to the National Rugby League Museum when there is no Rugby League team playing in Bradford.

But Bradford Council says the museum is still one of its top priorities, and work was currently being done to secure its funding.

The museum would be created by sporting charity Rugby League Cares.

Bradford beat a number of other Rugby League cities to be named home of the museum.

The announcement was made at an event in City Hall that featured Civic Leaders and members of Rugby League Cares, flanked by the current Challenge Cup and a version of the trophy dating back to 1895.

When the announcement was made Chris Rostron, general manager of Rugby League Cares, said: “Through all our discussions with Bradford Council and its officers we have been overwhelmed by the positivity for this very prestigious project. The city’s commitment to working with Rugby League Cares to help us realise our ambitions to make the museum a world-class attraction shone through from day one.

“Bradford’s enthusiasm to host the National Rugby League Museum is matched by the energy within a city which is rapidly becoming one of the UK’s top destination venues, and our location in City Hall could not be more central or accessible.”

The Telegraph & Argus asked for an update on the museum in light of the news the Bulls were leaving Odsal, and the city temporarily would have no Rugby League team playing here.

A Bradford Council spokesperson, said: “Work has yet to begin, however, The Rugby League Museum remains a top priority for the Council and we are working with our partners, including Rugby League Cares, to secure funding for the new facility.”

The club’s shock announcement earlier this month said decision to leave Bradford was made due to the high financial costs of remaining at Odsal where it had been based since 1934.

Chairman Andrew Chalmers said the process to establish a new stadium development in Bradford had already begun, insisting that the Bulls will return to their home city.

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