The University of Hull could host the White Rose Varsity tournament next year and are hoping to secure the KC Stadium as a potential venue.
Sam Asfahani, York Sport President, confirmed to Nouse that Hull are seeking to host the competition for the first time, having been York’s opponents for the last two years.
Asfahani said: “Hull have declared interest that they want to host Varsity next year.
“It’s great news and they are trying to get us the KC Stadium for the event which would be great.”
Hull are currently looking for an available weekend that does not clash with existing fixtures at the stadium. Asfahani confirmed that football could be played in the week leading up to the rest of the Varsity events, with YUSU providing transport for spectators to the stadium as they did for the rugby match in Roses 2011.
As well as the stadium, which has a capacity of over 25,000 and is home to both Hull City Football Club and the Hull FC Rugby League side, the University has a range of sporting facilities.
Alongside a recently refurbished health and fitness suite, Hull has a sports hall, studio, squash courts, a netball and tennis complex, hockey pitches, American football pitches, cricket circles; facilities that sound comparable to those currently available in York.
The jewel in their crown, however, is a full size, floodlit, third generation synthetic grass football pitch and an accompanying floodlit training pitch with the same high-tech surface, opened in 2006.
York will be able to boast a 3G pitch of their own from next year as part of the new Sports Village.
Next year is set to be Hull’s third competing in Varsity, with York prevailing in both of their previous meetings, 61.5-21.5 this February and 60-25 in 2011.
However, the event has become more competitive since Hull replaced York St John, and Asfahani stated at this year’s tournament that he expected that trend to continue, with Hull improving as a sporting institution.
York’s city rivals were replaced in 2011, having been on the end of heavy defeats in each competition since its inception in 2005.
This year, York placed 29 spots above Hull in the BUCS rankings and scored over 300 more points, but this still represents a closer rivalry than with York St John, who are currently 97th in the country.
At the time of the rebranding of the tournament, Asfahani cited a desire to make it more competitive and worthwhile as justification for the changes, saying: “If it isn’t beneficial to students and it’s losing money, then it’s not worth pursuing.
“The new structure means more clubs and more teams will be able to represent at the weekend, making it a larger spectacle.”
Despite the improved competition and the passion displayed by the large following Hull had at this year’s tournament, there is still a feeling among some York teams that Varsity struggles to measure up as a meaningful competition.
Tom Day, the University of York Football Club President, commented, “From my personal experience the Varsity tournament has been somewhat of a disappointment.
“There has been an obvious lack of effort on Hull’s part on the field and I do not believe a change in venue will result in anything different.”