Dragons keen for Newport County to groundshare Rodney Parade

Rodney Parade
Rodney Parade is the home of Newport and the Dragons

Newport Gwent Dragons chairman Martyn Hazell has confirmed that the Welsh rugby regional team are in negotiations to allow football side Newport County to groundshare at Rodney Parade.

County's Spytty Park pitch has been called "not fit for purpose" by their chairman, Chris Blight.

It is not yet clear whether County will seek to play all their home games at Rodney Parade or just a select few.

"We're in the initial stages of negotiations," Hazell told BBC Wales.

"If we can accomodate them we will as it helps the town out.

"It helps the soccer team out and helps the rugby team out... but rugby would take the first choice on fixtures and everything else.

"We wouldn't get a tremendous lot of money out of it but it all helps, all finances in the time as we are now helps."

Both Newport Gwent Dragons and Welsh Premiership side Newport play at Rodney Parade, which has a capacity of 11,000.

However, Hazell does not think that having three teams sharing Rodney Parade will be a problem: "Our ground staff are pretty good, I think the pitch can put up with it.

"The County ground itself where they play at Spytty Road is not very good... and there's a problem there.

"The fixtures, I don't think they all play on a Saturday, I think they have midweek games, so as long as things fitted in we can accommodate them."

The Rodney Parade pitch has had its own problems and the Dragons have been punished by LV= Cup organisers for calling off their game with Saracens because of a frozen pitch, while flooding has also affected the playing surface this season.

But County have been forced to rearrange a number of home games as their pitch has struggled to cope with the inclement weather.

Spytty Parkexternal-link is owned and operated by Newport City Council and is also home to Welsh League side Llanwern and Newport Harriers athletics club.

"They have embraced us and there are a few hurdles to get over," said County chairman Chris Blight.

"There are numerous meetings that are due to come up shortly but I think we've got to tell the Conference by 31 May where we will be playing our football next season.

"I would love to think that it may well be at Rodney Parade.

"There's an awful lot of hard work going into it but that is the objective."