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Following on from the tremendous success of this year's GMB Union National Cup Final, BARLA is pleased to announce that Bloomfield Road,home of Blackpool FC, will hold the showpiece final until 2008.
After negotiations between BARLA and Blackpool FC, a three year extension to the current agreement, that was due to run out after next year's final, has been agreed.
BARLA can confirm that next years BARLA National Cup Final will be held on the weekend of Saturday 28th May 2005.
BARLA Chairman Maurice Oldroyd said, "We think this is a progressive move for the grass roots of the game. With the Rugby Football League now moving the Powergen Challenge Cup Final to the Autumn and the Super League Grand Final also being played at that time, this leaves the Spring Bank Holiday weekend free to stage BARLA's major showpiece final.
He added, "This will now give all rugby league enthusiasts the opportunity to attend the traditional BARLA end of season Family Festival Finale."
Blackpool FC Commercial Director, Geoff Warburton said, "My Chairman,Karl Oyston and the Board are very pleased that BARLA are happy to extend the deal to play the GMB National Final on May Bank Holiday weekend right through to May 2008. We have very much enjoyed hosting the final for the past three years and with crowds showing an increase year on year we firmly believe Blackpool is an ideal venue for such a prestigious final. This year's game was such a close affair, only decided in the last minute, which had the fans totally transfixed on the game. From a financial point of view Blackpool FC are please to open the stadium to BARLA and are fully aware that to fund our ongoing programme of re-development that is taking place we need to open the stadium far more than for 23 football matches a season."