By Adam Vidler
16 August 2011 - Canterbury-Bankstown Express
THE Bulldogs are planning a return to the upgraded Belmore Sports Ground next year as the facility nears the end of a $7 million upgrade.
The club has scheduled a 2012 trial match against cross-town rivals the Sydney Roosters. Club CEO Todd Greenberg also said the Bulldogs' lower grades would compete at the historic ground for the full season.
Watson Federal Labor MP Tony Burke visited the site on Thursday to inspect the ongoing developments along with injured Bulldogs hooker Michael Ennis.
The developments to the ground include a training gym with a running track, player's lounge, barbecue area and even a theatre.
The Bulldogs are contracted to play their NRL home games at ANZ Stadium in Homebush until 2015, but after that it is possible they could return to Belmore, the 91-year-old ground that remains their spiritual home.
Back to Belmore president Luke Brailey said the impending return of the Bulldogs' NSW Cup team, and a cameo by the NRL squad, was a step forward. Mr Brailey said the work that had gone into upgrading Belmore should not be underestimated.
"When we started this (Back to Belmore campaign) nobody really gave it a chance," he said. "But it's looking a lot more likely now that the Bulldogs will come back to play here again."
Mr Brailey said the Belmore ground was an integral part of the history and culture of the club.