Elland Road

Elland Road

Infobox Stadium
stadium_name = Elland Road
nickname =

caption = The East Stand façade, bearing the club's name and crest.
fullname = Elland Road Stadium
location = Elland Road (A643)
West Yorkshire
coordinates = coord|53|46|40.04|N|1|34|19.80|W|type:landmark
broke_ground =
built = 1897cite web |url=http://www.wafll.com/elland-road/elland-road-stats.html |title=Elland Road - Information |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=wafll.com]
opened = 1897
renovated = 1920s, 1953, 1971, 1994, 2006
expanded = 1905, 1920s, 1957, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1989, 1991, 1994
closed =
demolished =
owner = Teak Trading Corporation Ltd.
operator = Leeds United
surface = Grass
construction_cost =
architect =
structural engineer=
services engineer =
general_contractor =
project_manager =
main_contractors =
former_names = Old Peacock Ground
tenants = Leeds City (1904–1919)
Leeds United (1919–present)
Huddersfield Town (1950 "2 games")
Hunslet Hawks (mid-1980s)
Bradford City (1985 "3 games")
seating_capacity = 40,242 [cite web |url=http://web.archive.org/web/20040529005321/www.leedsunited.com/history.asp?article=General_Facts&title=General+Facts&navlid=Club+Information+and+History&inttype=4 |title=General Facts |accessdate=2007-05-06 |work=LeedsUnited.com (via web.archive.org)]
dimensions = 115 x 74 yd
(105 x 68 m) [cite web |url=http://www.leedsunited.com/page/RecordsDetail/0,,10273,00.html |title=Club Records |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=LeedsUnited.com]

Elland Road is an all-seater football stadium situated in the Beeston area of the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It is the home of Leeds United A.F.C. and is the largest stadium in Yorkshire. [cite web |url=http://www.blurtit.com/q581138.html |title=What Is Elland Road Football Ground Like? |accessdate=2008-04-03 |date=15 April 2007 |work=blurtit] It is currently the largest ground in League One and indeed the largest outside of the Premiership.

On a national scale, the stadium is the 11th largest football stadium in England. Elland Road has been Leeds' permanent residence since the club's foundation in 1919 and it was previously occupied by their predecessors, Leeds City.cite web |url=http://www.wafll.com/leeds-records/ |title=Leeds United - Records, Achievements & Tidbits |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=wafll.com]

The ground has frequently hosted FA Cup semi-final matches as a neutral venue, as well as a number of England international fixtures, [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2002/1218645.stm |title=Elland Road beckons for England |accessdate=2008-04-03 |date=13 March 2001 |work=BBC Sport] and it was also selected as one of the eight Euro 96 venues. [cite web |url=http://archive.thisislancashire.co.uk/1996/6/14/850943.html |title=The things TV commentators have said about Euro 96 |accessdate=2008-04-03 |date=14 June 1996 |work=This Is Lancashire] Previously, Elland Road was home to Holbeck Rugby Club and although it has been used primarily for football since the early 20th century, rugby league has since made a return, most notably when the ground was used by the Hunslet Hawks for several seasons in the mid-1980s.cite web |url=http://www.hunslethawksrl.co.uk/clubinfo.htm |title=About The Hawks |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=This Is Lancashire] Aside from sport, the stadium has hosted several concerts, including performances from rock bands Queen, U2, Happy Mondays and the Kaiser Chiefs. [cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/leeds/content/articles/2005/05/17/music_look_north_archive_feature.shtml |title=Rewind: music |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=BBC] cite web |url=http://www.u2-vertigo-tour.com/Elland_Road_Stadium-l152.html |title=U2 Vertigo Tour 2005/2006 |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=U2-vertigo-tour.com] cite web |url=http://www.funtrivia.com/en/Music/Happy-Mondays-1728.html |title=Happy Mondays - Questions, Answers, Fun Facts, Information |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=funtrivia.com] [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7125173.stm |title=Kaiser Chiefs plan homecoming gig |accessdate=2008-05-29 |date=3 December 2007 |work=BBC News]

Elland Road currently comprises four main stands – the Revie Stand, the East Stand, the South Stand and the John Charles Stand – which, together with the corners, bring the total capacity to 40,242. The record attendance of 57,892 was set on March 15 1967 in an FA Cup 5th round replay against Sunderland. However, this was before the stadium became an all-seater venue as stipulated by the Taylor Report and the modern record is 40,287 for a Premiership match against Newcastle United on December 22 2001. [cite web |url=http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/park/yfh45/leeds.htm |title=Leeds United |accessdate=2008-04-03 |date=6 September 2007 |work=footballgroundguide.co.uk]


Early history

Prior to its construction, Elland Road was a large plot of land at the foot of Beeston Hill, situated beside the main road (A643) to the neighbouring town of Elland. It was owned by "Bentley's Brewery" and was originally called the "Old Peacock Ground", after the "Old Peacock" pub which faced the land, hence the nickname "The Peacocks" that would be associated with both Leeds City and United in the years to come. The first occupants were rugby league side "Holbeck Rugby Club", who moved from their previous home, "Holbeck Recreation Ground", and purchased the Old Peacock Ground from Bentley's for £1,100. They built a new stand for the forthcoming season and the ground soon became widely known as "Elland Road".

Local football side "Leeds Woodville" of the Leeds League shared Elland Road with Holbeck in the 1902–03 season, however, Holbeck went under in 1904 after losing a crucial play-off against St Helens RFC and the ground was put on the market. Following a meeting at the "Griffin Hotel" in "Boar Lane" the following August, a new club, Leeds City, was formed and it was agreed that the Elland Road ground should be rented for their use in the upcoming season. The lease was signed on October 13 1904, for a rent of £75 per year. The club had an option to buy the ground for £5,000 in March 1905, although when the lease was signed fully in November, the price was reduced to £4,500.

After the club's first season in the Football League, the Leeds officials built a new 5,000-seater covered stand on the west side of Elland Road at a cost of £1,050. City's attendances were steadily rising, culminating in over 22,500 people cramming into the stadium to watch the local derby with Bradford City on December 30, bringing in £487 worth of gate receipts. The expansion programme continued and the club's directors ensured that this initial success was built upon, employing a "ground committee" to oversee the developments. In February 1906, some 3,961 square yards of land on the Churwell and "Gelderd Road" side of the ground was bought from the "Monk's Bridge Iron Company" at a cost of £420. The Committee had plans to build a 4,000-seater grandstand and these were fulfilled, with the Lord Mayor, Joseph Hepworth unveiling the structure before a match against Chelsea on November 17. The project cost £3,000 and over half a mile of steel was used for the girders. It had a training track for the players that ran the length of the stand, dressing & officials rooms and even a motor garage. Drainage work had been carried out on the turf too, to prevent it from becoming waterlogged after excessive rain.

City gradually began to experience financial hardships that would jeopardise their future and after much uncertainty as to the club's future, an offer of £1,000 plus a yearly rental of £250 for Elland Road was accepted. The ground had even been used during the Great War, when the army used the venue for drill & shooting practice, and when the war ended in 1918, the 1919–20 season commenced. City started brightly, however, an astonishing scandal arose, involving alleged illegal payments to players during the war years and the club was expelled from the Football League after only 8 games, bringing yet more concerns for Elland Road. This led some local businessmen to contemplate making use of the rich clay deposits below the topsoil of the pitch by turning Elland Road into a brickyard. Nevertheless, Yorkshire Amateurs became the tenants and the club played there for a brief spell. Keeping the ground exclusive to football in this manner theoretically saved it from extinction.


The advent of newly-formed Leeds United brought with it big changes for Elland Road. During the 1920s, the South Stand terrace was covered with a wooden barrel-shaped roof that stretched the length of the stand and it came to be known as the "Scratching Shed". Another stand was built on the terracing that ran the entire length of the pitch down the east side of the ground, called "The Lowfields". Behind the goal at the north end of the pitch stood a huge terrace known as the "Spion Kop", or simply "Kop" for short. This name originated from a hill in South Africa on which 322 British soldiers lost their lives in the Battle of Spion Kop, in January 1900, during the Boer War.

No significant changes were made regarding the structure of Elland Road during the 1930s and 1940s, although it did see some uncharacteristically large attendances. On December 27 1932, 56,796 people came for the visit of eventual champions Arsenal – a record that would last for almost 35 years. Ironically, the last game of that season saw Leeds play Middlesbrough at home in front of a mere 9,006 spectators. The stadium was also chosen to host the Rugby League Championship Final between Leeds and Hunslet in 1938, where a crowd of 54,112 saw Hunslet win the title. These figures serve to prove how far the stadium had improved since its initial opening. During the Second World War the ground was requisitioned by the War Office for administrative purposes.

Floodlit football first came to Elland Road on November 9 1953, when Hibernian provided the opposition for the big switch-on of the £7,000 lights which were said to be the most expensive in the country at the time. The game pulled in 31,500 spectators who saw two goals apiece from John Charles and manager Raich Carter as Leeds beat the Scottish side 4–1. It was the first of several Monday night games against teams from north of the border and in successive weeks, Dundee and Falkirk were the visitors to Elland Road.

During the early hours of Tuesday September 18 1956, a huge fire swept through and gutted the West Stand at Elland Road with such a ferocity that it scorched large sections of the pitch. The blaze consumed the entire structure, including offices, kit, club records, physiotherapy equipment, dressing rooms, directors' rooms, the press box and the generators for the floodlighting system. The roof of the stand collapsed into the seating area before the fire brigade arrived and the total damage was estimated to be £100,000, but the club's insurance cover was woefully inadequate to fund such a high sum. The players helped to clear up the rubble and wreckage during the week, but the 2,500-seater stand could not be salvaged. After a five-hour board meeting, the directors decided to launch a public appeal to build a new stand with assistance from Leeds City Council. The appeal eventually raised £60,000 and a new £180,000 West Stand was unveiled at the start of the following season.

The new West Stand consisted of 4,000 seats mounted behind a paddock, which could house a further 6,000 standing. Lightning almost struck twice though two years later, when another fire started at Elland Road after a Central League match against Preston North End. Incidentally, it was the West Stand once again that was affected. Fortunately, this time Cyril Williamson, the club secretary, and several directors were on hand and they improvised by assuming the role of firemen. The fire was soon extinguished, without the use of hoses, and no significant damage was caused.

The 1960s saw the arrival of Don Revie as manager and the club were soon promoted into the First Division. Following this initial success, the club consistently finished in the top four places for the next ten seasons and Elland Road hosted its first ever televised game – a league fixture against Everton on March 20 1965 – and Leeds ran out 4–1 winners. Great advances were made on the stadium during Revie's reign and a new attendance record of 57,892 was set on March 15 1967, in a fifth round replay of the FA Cup against Sunderland. Towards the end of April in 1968, the old Spion Kop terracing was stripped away to make way for a new stand at a cost of £250,000. In no less than six weeks the roofed structure had been built and it became known as the "Gelderd End". When completed it left around convert|60|ft|m of spare land behind the goal. The committee simply ordered the land to be turfed, which meant that the pitch was moved convert|30|ft|m north.

Further improvements in 1970 included the coupling of the West Stand and the Kop with a £200,000 corner stand simply known as the "North-West corner". To complement the new upgrade, an almost identical stand was built, linking the Lowfields and the Kop, which came in at another £200,000. Leeds stepped further into the commercial world in 1972, when the well-stocked "Leeds United Sports and Souvenir Shop" was opened, which would soon feature a comprehensive programme collection. In 1974, the year that Leeds won the league for the second time, the ageing yet popular Scratching Shed was dismantled and was replaced by the "South Stand" for £500,000. This new state of the art development comprised a standing paddock at the front capable of holding 4,000 fans, a row of 16 executive boxes, and above that an all-seater 3,500 capacity stand. There were plans to link the South Stand with the Lowfields as well, but this commission was cut short when Leeds ran out of money. In the same year, the old floodlights were replaced by the tallest floodlights in Europe, which measured a huge convert|260|ft|m. Initially only three floodlights were erected – two at either side of the Kop and another in the South-West corner – and the other was put up four years later.

Modern redevelopment & fruitless regeneration plans

The first game televised live from Elland Road was the rugby league Challenge Cup final replay between Hull FC & Widnes played on May 19 1982, this was the first & only time a major sporting final has been held at the stadium. In the summer of that year, Leeds sold Elland Road to the council for £2.5m, with the council granting the club a 125-year lease. Ambitious plans to improve the stadium and neighbouring sporting facilities were designed in 1987 by a Newcastle upon Tyne-based firm of architects and put forward by developers "Baltic Consortium" and "W.H. White". The estimated costs were between £50 million and £75 million to re-build the Lowfields with a 7,500 all-seater stand and construct a peripheral 2,000-seater sports stadium that would lie adjacent to the stand. Other plans for the stadium complex also included a shopping centre, ice rink, cricket hall, cinema, nightclub, café, restaurant, waterpark, leisure centre and shops. Nevertheless, none of the designs were acted on and that particular development proposal became a thing of the past.

In September 1991, the "South-East corner" was built, attaching the South and Lowfields Stands together, thereby providing a full corner stand for the away support. This new section was also temporarily used as the "family stand" until the swell in membership proved too big for its 1,710 capacity, so they found a new home in the East Stand at a later date. Nowadays it is prominent because of its yellow seats, which have given rise to its nickname, the "cheese wedge". A banqueting suite attached to the rear of the west stand, complete with a conference centre, was opened in April 1992. [cite web |url=http://www.leedsutd-mad.co.uk/news/loadfeat.asp?cid=EDZ5&id=117560 |title=Elland Road |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=Leeds United Mad] The biggest renovation project to date began in 1992, when the Lowfields was to be replaced by a new East Stand – a mammoth 17,000-seater stand with two tiers and no restricted views. On completion in 1993, at a cost of £5.5m, it boasted 25 extra executive boxes, 10,000 seats in the bottom tier, part of which formed the members-only family section, and a further 7,000 seats in the upper tier. This set a new record with the East Stand becoming the biggest cantilever stand in the world. In the close season of 1994 Elland Road became an all-seater stadium, with 7,000 seats being added to the Kop, as directed by the Taylor Report. The new-look Kop was officially opened in October by the club's president, George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood KBE and Mrs E Revie, the late Don Revie's widow. The Gelderd End was renamed after the great manager himself and the stand is now known as the "Revie Stand".

In December 1997, pictures were shown in the match day programme of £11.3 million plans to improve the West and South Stands, which would have brought capacity up to around 45,000. The new structure mirrored the East Stand but would have seated around 12,000 people. The three-tiered structure would also focus on VIP hospitality and include a 15,000-seater indoor arena on the back of the West Stand. This additional venue would have accommodated basketball, ice hockey, pop concerts and other entertainment events. However, after naming a new ice hockey team, the "Leeds Lasers", to play at the arena during the half-time interval of a match, the project never got off the ground for various reasons and was quickly forgotten about. Leeds received the ownership of Elland Road once again in 1998, when the new owners "Leeds Sporting PLC" agreed to pay £10m to buy back the stadium from Leeds City Council.

On August 16 2001, the club's chairman, Peter Ridsdale, sent a letter to all season ticket holders and shareholders regarding the future of Elland Road. In summary, he outlined two options with regard to the furure of the club's home, claiming that the club needed a better stadium in order to "remain competitive at the top of the Premiership". The choice was to either try and improve Elland Road or to build a new state of the art stadium. The letter enclosed a ballot so that the recipient could vote for their preferred choice, however, it was biased in favour of a relocation. Unsurprisingly, just under 13% of the electorate voted to stay at Elland Road, with 87.6% of the 18,500 club shareholders and ticket holders who voted being in favour of the move. Ridsadale commented "I am overwhelmed by the amount of people who are in favour of this move. I thought it would be a lot closer than that". Nonetheless, the plans never came to fruition as Ridsdale, the figurehad of the PLC, resigned in March 2003, leaving his 'dream' in financial tatters and the PLC was soon to follow in March 2004.

Later that year, Elland Road was sold on a 25-year lease deal with a buy-back clause to raise the required funds to pay the latest instalment of a loan to Aston Villa shareholder and former Watford chairman Jack Petchey. It emerged on December 27 2006 that the stadium had been sold to the British Virgin Islands-based "Teak Trading Corporation Ltd." some 15 months before. [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/l/leeds_united/6212495.stm |title=Leeds give fans stadium assurance |accessdate=2007-06-28 |date=27 December 2006 |work=BBC Sport]

The most recent redevelopment at Elland Road came in the summer of 2006, when the South Stand was updated and closed for the first few games of the 2006–07 season while work was completed. The refurbishment included new sidings to box in the concrete columns and alcoves to give the stand a more modern exterior; an overhaul of the kitchen concourse area, a new mezzanine-level office area, a total modernisation of the corporate facilities above and a new restaurant called "Billy's Bar", named after former captain Billy Bremner, which is open to the public seven days a week.

More recently, there have been plans for a development scheme at Elland Road which would include two hotels, a shopping centre and a health club. These ideas featured in the programme for the match against Huddersfield Town on December 8 2007. There would be a budget hotel and a four star hotel which would be constructed on the site of the club's current souvenir shop. Possible developments adjacent to the stadium could also include an arena, casino, police headquarters, cafés, bars and parking for 2,700 cars.cite web |url=http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/sport/Ken-Bates-plans-two-hotels.3571165.jp |title=Ken Bates plans two hotels at Elland Road |accessdate=2008-04-13 |date=10 December 2007 |work=Yorkshire Post]

Current layout

Revie Stand

Capacity: 7,000 "(including North-East & North-West corners)"

The Revie Stand is situated at the north end of the ground. It was previously known as the "Gelderd End" or the "Kop" and was a standing terrace, until it was renamed in the close season of 1994 in honour of the club's most successful manager, and former player, Don Revie. The new-look Kop was officially opened in October by the club's president, George Lascelles, 7th Earl of Harewood KBE and Mrs E Revie, the late Don Revie's widow. The new design included the introduction of 7,000 seats, as stipulated by the Taylor Report, making Elland Road an all-seater stadium. There is a "ground control box" situated in the north-west corner which is the most advanced in Europe.cite web |url=http://www.leedsutd-mad.co.uk/news/loadfeat.asp?cid=EDZ5&id=117560 |title=Elland Road |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=Leeds United Mad] It is where the videos and photos that are taken of everyone entering the ground are monitored and any security operations are synchronised. All images and video footage are obtained by the many security cameras that are located all around the ground. This stand also houses the majority of the hardcore supporters and most of the chants start here.cite web |url=http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/sports-locations/elland-road-leeds-fc/294430/ |title=Elland Road Review |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=dooyoo.co.uk]

East Stand

Capacity: 17,000

The East Stand runs the length of the east side of the pitch and is the most recent stand in the stadium. The two-tiered structure was built in the 1992–93 season to replace the ageing "Lowfields" stand and was opened during the 1993–94 season at a cost of £5.5 million. On completion it was the largest cantilever stand in the world, holding 10,000 spectators in the lower tier and a further 7,000 in the upper tier. The family area was moved from the South Stand when the work on this new stand was finished. It originally spanned the full lower tier, however this was altered by Ken Bates and there are now two sections, one at either end of the lower tier for club members and season ticket holders attending matches with juveniles. Sandwiched in between the two tiers are 25 executive boxes and a large concourse complete with merchandise outlets, food shops, betting booths and a sit-down restaurant.

outh Stand

Capacity: 5,000 "(including South-East & South-West corners)"

The South Stand is situated behind the goal at the south end of the ground. It was built in 1974 at a cost of £500,000 to replace the Scratching Shed, which had been there since the 1920s. It comprises two small tiers intersected with a row of 32 executive boxes and an executive restaurant. There are a few seats in the South-West Corner, as well as an electronic scoreboard, though it is not currently functioning. The South-East Corner seats 1,710 fans and is usually used to house the away fans but, if the demand is sufficient, the away fans are given either this corner and part of the South Stand, the entire South Stand or in extreme cases both the South-East Corner and the South Stand. In the summer of 2006 the stand underwent redevelopment, forcing the club to close it to fans for the first few games of the 2006–07 season. The refurbishment included new sidings to box in the concrete columns and alcoves to give the stand a more modern exterior; an overhall of the kitchen concourse area; a new mezzanine-level office area; a total modernisation of the corporate facilities above and a new restaurant called Billy's Bar, named after former captain Billy Bremner, which is open to the public seven days a week.cite web |url=http://www.wafll.com/elland-road/elland-road-history.html |title=A Brief History Of Elland Road |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=wafll.com] There is also a statue in honour of the club legend located outside the south east corner of the stadium, which was erected in 1998, following his death on December 7 1997. The club's superstore is situated outside this corner too.

John Charles Stand

Capacity: 11,000

The John Charles Stand runs the length of the west side of the pitch. It was formerly known as simply The West Stand until the fans demanded a tribute to former player and club legend John Charles, following his passing on February 21 2004. It is currently the oldest stand at Elland Road, having been built in 1957 after the previous stand burnt down. The corporate seats are located here and there is a commentary gantry and walkway for TV personnel who may be asked to film here on a match day. The radio and press also have facilities in this stand so they can commentate directly to the public and make notes for match reports. The West Stand also houses the tunnel and the Directors Box, where both the home and away team directors may sit to enjoy the match, along with the club doctor. There are many suites incorporated within the stand and a banqueting suite, complete with a conference centre, is attached to the rear, having been opened in April 1992.

The pitch

The pitch measures approximately convert|115|yd|m long by convert|74|yd|m wide, with a few metres run-off space on each side. [cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/leeds/sport/clubs/leeds_united/administration.shtml |title=Leeds United in crisis - administration |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=BBC] There is also an under-soil heating system installed beneath the surface, consisting of convert|59|mi|km of piping. This, together with a good drainage system, means that only heavy fog, a blizzard, or flooding would force the club to cancel a match. There are wells sunk approximately convert|70|ft|m beneath the West Stand and the North Stand and a pumping system is situated under the South Stand, meaning that Leeds can draw on their own supply of water, should the need arise. However, the first time the club used it, the pitch turned black as the water was too cold.

Other uses


Elland Road has been chosen to host FA Cup semi-final matches as a neutral venue on nine occasions, with the first being a tie between Barnsley and Everton on March 26 1910 and the last coming on April 9 1995 in a game between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur. The ground has also been the venue of choice for a number of England international fixtures in the past, the most recent of which was a friendly match against Italy on March 27 2002 while the new Wembley was being built. [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/world_cup_2002/1218645.stm |title=Elland Road beckons for England |accessdate=2008-04-03 |date=13 March 2001 |work=BBC Sport] When England were picked to host Euro 96, the most recent international tournament held in country, Elland Road was selected as one of the eight venues. It staged Group B of the qualifying rounds, which included Spain, Romania, France and Bulgaria. [cite web |url=http://archive.thisislancashire.co.uk/1996/6/14/850943.html |title=The things TV commentators have said about Euro 96 |accessdate=2008-04-03 |date=14 June 1996 |work=This Is Lancashire]

Two of Leeds' West Yorkshire rivals have also used Elland Road as their temporary "home". The first club to benefit from the facilities was Huddersfield Town, when a fire struck their ground on April 3 1950. [cite web |url=http://www.htafc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/HistoryDetail/0,,10312~1062704,00.html |title=Club history |accessdate=2008-04-03 |date=18 July 2007 |work=htafc.com] Leeds offered their services and they played their last two games of the 1949–50 season there before returning to Leeds Road the next season, following extensive work to revamp the burnt main stand in the close season. Bradford City were the next unfortunate victims, suffering the same fate on May 11 1985. A flash fire consumed one side of Valley Parade during a match against Lincoln City and they played three games at Elland Road. [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/b/bradford_city/4506597.stm |title=Bradford remembers fire disaster |accessdate=2008-04-03 |date=11 May 2005 |work=BBC Sport] Two months after the Bradford City Fire Disaster, the 1966 World Cup Final teams from England and West Germany met in a rematch at Elland Road and raised £46,000 for the "Fire Disaster Fund", with England winning the game 6–4. [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/sports_talk/ask_albert/2865527.stm |title=Ask Albert - Number 96 |accessdate=2008-04-03 |date=19 March 1993 |work=BBC Sport]

In addition, when non-League side Farsley Celtic reached the First Round of the FA Cup in 1974, the game was played at Elland Road. Their opposition was Division Three side Tranmere Rovers and a crowd of 10,337 saw the League club win 2–0. [cite web |url=http://www.farsleytoday.co.uk/farsleyceltic/Memory-match-slideshow-Farsley-Celtic.3749975.jp |title=Memory match slideshow: Farsley Celtic v Tranmere Rovers 1974 |accessdate=2008-04-13 |date=6 February 2008 |work=Farsley Today]

Rugby League

Hunslet Hawks, a local rugby league side, shared the stadium for some time in the mid-1980s after their ground at the nearby greyhound stadium had been demolished.The 1982 Challenge Cup Final Replay between Widnes and Hull FC was also played there. The sport was also played at international level at Elland Road, with a Great Britain v New Zealand rugby league test match being staged there on November 9 1985. It also hosted the Tri-Nations final in 2004, when a capacity crowd saw Australia thrash Great Britain 44–4 [cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/leeds/content/articles/2004/11/27/sport_more_sport_tri_nations_final_feature.shtml |title=Great Britain humbled in the Tri-Nations final |accessdate=2008-04-13 |date=27 November 2004 |work=BBC Sport] and again in 2005, [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_league/international_and_australian/4680851.stm |title=Leeds to host Tri-Nations decider |accessdate=2008-04-03 |date=13 July 2005 |work=BBC Sport] in a match where 26,534 people watched New Zealand beat Australia 24–0. [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_league/international_and_australian/4466346.stm |title=Australia 0-24 New Zealand |accessdate=2008-04-13 |date=26 November 2005 |work=BBC Sport]

Local side Leeds Rhinos have played several matches at Elland Road too. In the 1988 Yorkshire Cup final they beat Castleford RLFC 33–12 and in more recent years they have won the World Club Challenge twice. On February 4 2005, they beat Australian side Canterbury Bulldogs 39–32 in front of 37,028 spectators [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_league/super_league/leeds/4209965.stm |title=Rhinos power to world club crown |accessdate=2008-04-13 |date=4 February 2005 |work=BBC Sport] and on February 29 2008, they were 11–4 winners over Melbourne Storm in the 2008 World Club Challenge in front of a crowd of 33,204. [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_league/7263513.stm |title=World Club Challenge |accessdate=2008-04-13 |date=29 February 2008 |work=BBC Sport]

Other Sports

American football made a brief appearance at the ground too, when the "Leeds Cougars", members of the British American Football League, switched from their old ground at Bramley to play at Elland Road in May 1986. [cite web |url=http://www.britballnow.co.uk/History/Britball%20Teams/LEEDSCOUGARS.htm |title=Leeds Cougars |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=britballnow.co.uk] However, the following year they had to relocate because improvements to the stadium were required. The ground even hosted a Gaelic football match between Dublin and Mayo, organised by the "Yorkshire County Board" of the Gaelic Athletic Association, in 1987cite web |url=http://members.lycos.co.uk/batty/history.html |title=History |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=http://members.lycos.co.uk/batty] and that same year 15,000 Jehovah's Witnesses made their way to the ground for a three-day convention.

There used to be a greyhound stadium to the south-west of Elland Road which regularly hosted meetings until its closure in 1982 [cite web |url=http://www.leodis.org/display.aspx?resourceIdentifier=20031030_10387820&DISPLAY=FULL |title=Aerial View, Elland Road with Football and Greyhound Stadiums |accessdate=2008-04-13 |work=Leodis] and a speedway track known as "Fullerton Park", which operated between the two world wars, attracted audiences in the range of 10,000 – 20,000 people. [cite web |url=http://www.leodis.org/display.aspx?resourceIdentifier=2002821_6606692 |title=Leeds Speedway Track Elland Road |accessdate=2008-04-13 |work=Leodis]


Football, and indeed sport, has not been exclusive to Elland Road. The ground has also doubled-up as a concert venue on a number of occasions, the first being in 1982, when the supergroup Queen played in front of a packed audience. [cite web |url=http://www.pcpki.com/cgi-bin/setlist.cgi?q:820529 |title=UK, Leeds, Elland Road Football Stadium |accessdate=2006-09-25 |work=Queen Discography |work=pcpki.com] There was another rock concert in 1987, this time Irish rock band U2 played to a packed house, with lead singer Bono proclaiming himself to be a Leeds fan during the gig. [cite web |url=http://www.wafll.com/elland-road/elland-road-history.html|title=Elland Road History |accessdate=2008-09-14 |work=Elland Road, a brief history |work=wafll.com] The alternative band Happy Mondays played a gig at the stadium in 1991, which was later released as a live album. Self-proclaimed Leeds United fans and Leeds-based band the Kaiser Chiefs played a homecoming gig at the stadium on May 24 2008, with support from The Enemy, Kate Nash, Friendly Fires and Young Knives. [cite web |url=http://www.nme.com/news/kaiser-chiefs/36869 |title=Kaiser Chiefs play homecoming show at Leeds United's stadium |accessdate=2008-05-24 |date=24 May 2008 |work=NME.com]


The nearest train station is Cottingley railway station, although fans travelling on matchdays will be more likely to arrive at Leeds railway station, which is approximately convert|1.5|mi|km|lk=on from the stadium. [cite web |url=http://www.wafll.com/elland-road/elland-road-directions.html |title=Elland Road - Details for Visitors |accessdate=2008-04-03 |work=wafll.com] This is around a 35-minute walk, but there are many taxis and buses that run from just outside the station to the ground. There are many parking spaces within the vicinity, so visitors to the ground travelling by car can park in any of the ground's nearby car parks or make use of the limited facilities in the surrounding streets. On match days at Elland Road there are many special bus services which run direct to and from the stadium, usually departing from The Dark Arches underneath Leeds railway station, in addition to the usual local bus services which run near to the stadium.

Leeds City Council have also raised some initial plans on the Wakefield Line for a railway station to serve Elland Road stadium, but there are no time frames for such a scheme, especially since capacity issues on the Wakefield Line and funding for a new station would need addressing.


Leeds City

During Leeds City's brief history, their attendances were among the worst in the league. The club only competed in the league for 15 years, from the 1905–06 season until their expulsion shortly into the 1919–20 season, and it wasn't very well financed throughout that period. Association football was a new concept in the area, which had always traditionally been a rugby league region. Nonetheless, the club are still the highest-placed team not currently in the league in the all time average attendance figures for the Football League & Premier League. In total, 1,944,365 people attended Elland Road for all the matches played by the club, giving an average figure of 10,234.cite web |url=http://www.nufc.com/html/attendance-all-time.html |title=All Time League Attendance Records |work=Niall Mackenzie |work=Newcastle's Unofficial Fans Collaboration |accessdate=2008-04-03 ]

Leeds United

United were formed shortly after City's dissolution and they entered the league in the 1920–21 season. By this time, football had established itself with the locals and in their first season the average attendance was over 16,000. As of the 2005–06 season, 42,339,944 have attended all of Leeds United's matches combined, which gives an average of 25,689. This figure is the 10th highest average in England. The table below gives a summary of the attendance figures of all Leeds United's league games in every season since the turn of the century.

Other Pictures

Revie Stand filling up, taken from the West Stand.
Championship playoff semi-final against Preston on May 5 2006 (taken from the West Stand).
UEFA Cup semi-final against Galatasaray on April 20 2000 (taken from the upper tier of the East Stand).
panoramic view of the ground during a match, taken from the back of the upper tier of the East Stand.
Revie Stand from the top of the East Stand.
East Stand exterior and club shop.

Internal_view_of_Elland_Road_from_the_South_East_Corner.Image:Elland_rd2.jpg|John Charles and South Stands.


*cite web|url=http://www.wafll.com/elland-road/elland-road-history.html |title=Elland Road history |work=wafll.com |accessdate=2008-04-03


External links

* [http://www.leedsunited.com Official Leeds United website]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/leeds/360/elland_road_tunnel.shtml BBC Leeds 360 – Elland Road Stadium]
* [http://www.wafll.com/wafll-gallery/Elland_Road Photos of Elland Road] – wafll.com

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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