Edinburgh City approach Spartans over Ainslie Park groundshare

Edinburgh City have enjoyed countless tussles with Spartans at Ainslie Park. Now they hope to groundshare with their rivals
Edinburgh City have enjoyed countless tussles with Spartans at Ainslie Park. Now they hope to groundshare with their rivals
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Edinburgh City have approached Capital rivals Spartans over the possibility of playing at Ainslie Park next season.

The SPFL League Two team are likely to require a temporary home for 2017/18 as Edinburgh Council seek to redevelop Meadowbank Stadium.

A public consultation on the £40m redevelopment of the Commonwealth Stadium ended on the final day of 2016 and the local authority hope to submit a planning application early this year.

The redevelopment would see City eventually playing on a new 3G surface installed within a new running track, with a 500-capacity stand, replacing the current 5000-seat structure. It is hoped that work can begin this year with an anticipated completion date of spring 2018.

City have identified Ainslie Park as a suitable home venue until any work is completed.

“We have been approached by both Edinburgh City and Hibs Ladies to have a match-day groundshare with us,” revealed Spartans chairman Craig Graham.

“City need an alternative home while Meadowbank is being developed and Hibs Ladies wish to play in Edinburgh rather than Broxburn where they currently play.

“Naturally, there are lots of different angles to consider, from letting our close rivals benefit from using our fantastic facilities, to us ensuring better utilisation of our stadium pitch having lost both our men’s East of Scotland XI and our women’s reserve teams.

“The discussions have a way to go. However, it’s my personal view that we should try and help each other where we can, which promotes the game as whole.

“It’s an approach we have tried to adopt since we opened Ainslie Park and it’s amazing the number of times helping others comes back with interest and everyone wins.”