Rochdale Football Club can confirm that Dale’s Carabao Cup Round One tie against Huddersfield Town, originally due to be played at home, will take place at The John Smith’s Stadium.
The match will be played on Saturday 5th September, 3pm kick-off.
We had always anticipated having to move our first round Carabao Cup tie had we been drawn at home, so since last week’s cup draw, we have been in constant dialogue with the EFL and the Terriers to request a change of venue to give the pitch at the Crown Oil Arena more time to fully establish.
The dates of lockdown (March), the season being ended (June) and the new start date (September) as well as delays due to the weather, have proved to be a perfect storm, with the result being that the pitch ideally needs until September 19th before it is used.
The advice from contractors and our groundsman is that September 5th is too soon for a game to be played at the Crown Oil Arena as the pitch is immature (just over four weeks from seeding) and it will sustain damage that will impact later in the season. At this early stage, it is also a danger for players and officials.
It should be noted that we are very happy with the progress of the pitch and there are no concerns over the works. We are confident that it will be fully ready for the first home league game of the 2020/21 campaign.
We would like to thank the EFL and Huddersfield Town for their assistance on this matter.