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Arena to be part of major South Yorkshire project

Question: Is it true Europe’s largest entertainment complex (that will include an arena) is gojgn to be built in South Yorkshire?

Answer: Yes!
It may be a few years before they get to play in it. But it appears the Sheffield Stellers are getting a new home rink. And this is not just any arena. It’s going to be located in what backers call "Europe’s largest covered leisure, entertainment and sports complex."

The Steelers play in the 10-team European Elite League. Play started in early August and into late March. Sheffield currently plays at Sheffield Arena, which can hold rouhghly 12,000 spectators for hockey. Organizers have not offered specifics on what the size of the new arena would be.

But it is likely to be huige. Everything else in this project seems to be. Oak Holdings and Rotherham Council’s Development Agreement signed at Rotherham Town Hall calls for the YES! project to be built on a 327-acre site at Pithouse West adjacent to Rother Valley Country Park.

In addition to the arena, attractions will include a four star spa, a theatre complex set to be the largest outside the West End, a conference hotel, exhibition centre, golf range, hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes and shops. There will even an Olympic-scale white-water kayaking course that can be used when London hosts the Summer Olympics in 2012.

And the cost of this little enterprise? Roughly £390 million. (Translated to current U.S. currency: roughly $725 million.) For that kind of money, the organizers understandably want a little stability. They may get it, too. If the agreement stays as currently written, leasees would be bound to the area for 250 years.

Work is expected to start around the end of this year and be complete by 2012.