Bowlers and snooker players are leaving the sports ground at PPG Canalside rather than accept changes imposed by owners Huddersfield Town.
Some teams have already quit the site following an announcement that bowling and snooker facilities were to be reduced.
Others have received invitations to move to an array of clubs across the borough.
However whilst feelings are running high over the plans – which include allocating one bowling green for new use and removing half of the six-table snooker provision – players, particularly among the 16 teams that use the bowling greens, are still hopeful of reaching a compromise.
When the former Syngenta Rec Club was bought by Town chairman Dean Hoyle in 2010 it was viewed as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a multi-million pound training complex. Members were told that access rights and sports sections – including bowling, croquet and snooker – would be safeguarded and ring-fenced.
Members were told last month that three snooker tables were to be removed and the back bowling green, said to be the best in Huddersfield, would be closed as part of plans to transform the site into a Premier League-standard facility.
The changes also affect ladies hockey and croquet teams.
A spokesman for the bowlers urged members, some of whom are already playing at alternative venues, to be patient.
He said: “There was a resigned apathy among some bowlers once news broke about the back green going. Some people immediately gave up. However there’s always something that can be put on the table that everyone will find acceptable. There is still a long way to go.”
Disappointed players claim that they are being cast aside in favour of the Terriers’ Premier League aspirations, a stance rejected by Town’s chief executive Julian Winter who said the recent promotion “has a relevance but doesn’t take over the thinking.”
He added that security considerations and media scrutiny means there is a need to move things forward at Canalside as a professional, public and shared environment and that there were plans to improve the front green and provide a better pavilion.
He also stressed that Canalside was not closing memberships or washing its hands of its responsibility.
Among those struggling to see a bright future is 83-year-old Mervyn Williams, who captains one of the six-man veterans’ teams. He is hoping to stay at Canalside but says he has been invited to play at several out-of-town venues.
“One team has gone to Crosland Moor . Another has gone to Bradley. Only my team is left,” he said. “Unless we can get more members registered at Canalside my team will just fall apart. We are trying to salvage enough to play where we are. There is a lot of uncertainty.”
Huddersfield Town did not respond to a request to comment.