The nine-acre Rodney Parade site is included in the £3,750,000 deal with the WRU set to assume operational control on the 1st of July.
Newport Gwent Dragons and Newport RFC CEO Stuart Davies said:
"This is a huge moment in the history of Newport Gwent Dragons. The decision is the result of two years of hard work and we must express our gratitude to everyone involved in the process. We now look forward to a bright future for the Dragons, as well as Newport RFC, and the continuation of rugby at this historic venue."
The vote, recorded at an Extraordinary General Meeting at Rodney Parade, was approved by 81% of the vote, in excess of the 75% required in the Company’s Articles of Association. A comprehensive circular explaining the proposal was produced and can be viewed here.
Newport Gwent Dragons Chairman Martyn Hazell, alongside fellow Principal Benefactor Tony Brown, will write off £4.4 million in debt as part of the agreement with neither wishing to be considered for a place on the reconstituted Boards. Both have made a huge contribution to rugby in the region through difficult times and leave a legacy of preserving professional rugby at Rodney Parade.
The proposed take-over was announced on 22nd of March, following which a number of interim supporter and shareholder meetings have taken place alongside press events and media interviews. Stuart Davies reflected:
"This was an incredibly complex take-over. It was important to explain to shareholders and supporters the intricacies of the deal, and to outline the extent of the debt as a driving factor. There was also a need to give as much detail as possible around our vision for Rodney Parade under the WRU’s ownership.
"We would like to acknowledge the contribution of shareholders and supporters in shaping the final detail, and we are grateful that enough of those involved have supported the ‘Yes’ vote."
The WRU offer was unanimously declared by the Newport Gwent Dragons and Newport RFC Board as a preferred route. The offer comes with significant investment in facilities that will be now be possible as owners of the site and work will start immediately with Rodney Parade’s Operations team.
WRU Chairman Martyn Phillips, in attendance at the meeting, said:
"This is an important day not just for rugby in Gwent, but for Welsh Rugby and we will be doing everything possible to ensure the long term success of the Dragons, but the hard work starts now. All parties recognise that from a Dragons perspective significant improvement is required on and off the pitch and that now is the time for a new approach."
"Our investment is equally designed to safeguard Newport RFC and its rich history at Rodney Parade."
Rodney Parade staff will migrate over to the WRU on 1st of July at which point a new subsidiary company will be formed. Davies continued:
"I’d like to personally thank the staff at Rodney Parade for their efforts throughout this 12 month journey. These have been uncertain times through which they have worked tirelessly. I have no doubt they will be mightily relieved and excited at what the future now holds and the opportunities ahead."
Newport RFC will benefit from autonomy and appoint new Board of Directors alongside a possible management committee. Newport RFC Chairman Will Godfrey said:
"This separation of entities means Newport RFC will benefit from an ability to restructure and a new found autonomy."
"This decision also guarantees that we can continue playing at Rodney Parade, and building on our proud 140 years of history and tradition here."