Newport County move to the Dragon's lair at Rodney Parade

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

Newport County have confirmed they will play football at Rodney Parade from next season.

The Blue Square Bet Premier side have struck a three-year-deal to move to the home of Newport Gwent Dragons regional rugby side and Newport Rugby Club.

"This is huge for Newport County Football Club and for the town," said Newport County chairman Chris Blight.

Blight revealed that County had negotiated a break-clause which allowed them to move back to Spytty Park.

"The fact it has all come together after several months of trying to do so is really a feather in everybody's caps," said Blight.

"We have three institutions here - we have got Newport Rugby Club, with a regional side as tenants and now Newport County.

"There are plenty of examples around the country where two clubs are playing in a ground, but here we have three."

Blight had called County's Spytty Park pitch "not fit for purpose" and wanted to move to the home of Newport Gwent Dragons and Newport rugby teams.

He admitted the three sporting teams had struck a unique deal to play at the same 11,000-capacity venue for at least the next three years but hopes to make Rodney Parade a permanent home.

The football club has the safety net of an agreement with Newport City Council, which owns Spytty Park, to return to their former ground for the 2013-14 season if the groundshare does not work out.

"There is a rugby club with a stand which needs bums on seats," said Blight.

"You want to fill that stand as often as you can, it doesn't really matter which game is being watched whether it is rugby or football.

"They need a turnover to go through the club and it is a beautiful stand and I am sure it would be a great shame if it wasn't full on more occassions.

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.