Sarries set Vicarage Road deadline
August 22, 2010
Saracens must make a decision on their future at Vicarage Road © Getty Images
Saracens have been set a deadline of September 3 for a decision on their future at Vicarage Road.
The Aviva Premiership side have been tenants at the ground of Championship football club Watford since 1997 but the Hornets activated a 'break clause' in the deal between the two clubs in May, seeking to find "a new long-term solution to their lease agreement".
The tenancy agreement had been set to run until 2017 before the clause was activated, forcing Sarries to consider their options elsewhere or negotiate a new lease which satisfied both parties. Should they decline to enter into a new arrangement their tenancy will expire on June 1, 2011.
"We have given them a couple of proposals around a future lease and their response will be back to us by September 3," Watford chief executive Julian Winter told The Hillingdon Times. "I think we have to know where we are. That is what we have agreed. We need some certainty with Saracens so we can crack on and plan with or without them."
Saracens chief Edward Griffiths is seeking to boost the club's average attendance to 15,000 in order to lift their commercial viability. With their Wembley outings last season they were able to record an average of 24,000, but in reality their crowds at Vicarage Road were regularly below the 10,000 mark.
"There is no guarantee that you can get 15,000 fans anywhere else either," Griffiths said. "An average crowd of 15,000 would lead us towards a commercially viable state so that's what we're aiming for. Last year in the Premiership our average crowd was actually 24,000 but that was based on the matches at Wembley. Now whether the combination of Wembley and a fuller stadium can provide the answer for what we're looking for is something we are looking at."
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