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Top facts about Elland Road, Home to Leeds United Since 1919

Sun 20 March 2022 | 17:30

The Elland Road stadium has been up since 1897, therefore it has quite a history to tell and facts that many Leeds United fans would like to know of. That’s what this article is meant for. We’ll try to give you a summary of the stadium’s history and information surrounding it throughout the years.

Elland Road is a football stadium in Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, that has been home to Premier League club Leeds United since 1919. The stadium is England's 14th largest. As a neutral venue, the stadium has held FA Cup semi-finals and England international matches, and it was chosen as one of eight Euro 96 venues.

Hunslet rugby league club utilized Elland Road in the mid-1980s, and it hosted two Rugby World Cup matches in 2015. Elland Road features four stands with a total seating capacity of 37,792 people: the Don Revie (North) Stand, the Jack Charlton (East) Stand, the Norman Hunter (South) Stand, and the John Charles (West) Stand.

On March 15, 1967, in an FA Cup 5th round replay against Sunderland, the stadium set a new attendance record of 57,892. The modern record is 40,287 for a Premiership match versus Newcastle United on December 22, 2001, which occurred before the stadium became an all-seater arena as mandated by the Taylor Report.

Elland Road's capacity is expected to be increased to 50,000 by demolishing the West Stand and rebuilding the area. Queen, U2, Happy Mondays, and the Kaiser Chiefs have performed at the stadium. Elland Road was chosen in 2021 to host the 2022 Challenge Cup triple header, which will feature the men's semi-finals and women's final.

Leeds Rhinos' World Club Challenge matches have also been played at Elland Road. A three-day gathering for 15,000 Jehovah's Witnesses was held at Elland Road stadium in Leeds in 1985. Until 2013, when the yearly Jehovah's Witness conventions were transferred to the new First Direct Arena, Elland Road was host to these religious events.

Top facts about Elland Road You’d Like to Know

We begin by providing a summary of the history of the venue and then talk about all the different events it has held.

Elland Road History – Very Early On

The Old Peacock Ground was owned by Bentley's Brewery and was named for the pub that faced the ground, hence the nickname the Peacocks connected with both Leeds City and United. It was located at the foot of Beeston Hill beside the A643 road to Elland.

Holbeck Rugby Club (rugby league) were the first tenants, having moved from Holbeck Recreation Ground after purchasing the Old Peacock Ground from Bentley's for £1,100. In preparation for the 1898–99 season, the club built a new stand. The area was later named Elland Road.

A new club, Leeds City, was formed after a meeting at the Griffin Hotel in Boar Lane in August, and it was agreed that the Elland Road ground would be rented for the forthcoming season. The lease was signed on October 13, 1904, for a yearly rent of £75.

City spent £1,050 building a 5,000-seat covered stand on the west side after their debut season in the Football League. Attendance was increasing, culminating in nearly 22,500 fans squeezing into the stadium on December 30 to watch a local derby with Bradford City, bringing in £487 in gate receipts.

City's financial difficulties threatened the club's viability, but after considerable uncertainty, an offer of £1,000 and a £250 annual rental for the ground was approved.

Until the 1919–20 season, the ground was used for drill and shooting practice during the First World War, one of the Top facts about Elland Road. The stadium was sold to the newly formed

Leeds United

for £250 in 1920 by Yorkshire Amateurs.

Elland Road History – The Developments

The Scratching Shed was a wooden barrel-shaped roof that was installed on the South Stand terrace in the 1920s. The Lowfields, a new stand on the east side terracing, was also built.

The Spion Kop, or simply Kop, was a terrace behind the north end goal that was named after a hill in South Africa where 322 British soldiers died in the Battle of Spion Kop during the Boer War in January 1900.

Elland Road saw no dramatic alterations in the 1930s and 1940s, though it did see some big crowds.

One of the Top facts about Elland Road is that the £7,000 floodlights, which were reported to be the most expensive in the country at the time, were turned on for the first time on November 9, 1953, for a match against

Hibernian

.

Don Revie took over as manager in the 1960s, and the club was promoted to the First Division.

For the next ten seasons, Leeds finished in the top four, and Elland Road hosted its first televised game, a league match against

Everton

on March 20, 1965, in which Leeds won 4–1.

During Revie's tenure, the stadium saw significant improvements, with a new attendance record of 57,892 achieved on March 15, 1967, in a fifth-round replay of the FA Cup versus Sunderland, another one of the

Top facts about Elland Road.

The Spion Kop terracing was demolished in April 1968 to make room for a new stand, which cost £250,000. The Gelderd End was the name given to the roofed structure that was completed in less than six weeks.

When it was finished, it left about 60 feet (18 meters) of turfed ground behind the goal and moved the pitch 30 feet (9.1 meters) north.

The connection of the West Stand and the Kop with a £200,000 corner stand, the North-West corner, was another modification made in 1970. An almost identical stand, costing £200,000, was built to link the Lowfields stand and the Kop as part of the refurbishment.

When the Leeds United Sports and Souvenir Shop first opened in 1972, it had a program collection. The Scratching Shed was demolished and replaced by the South Stand at a cost of £500,000 in 1974 when Leeds won the league for the second time.

This cutting-edge development included a standing paddock with seating for 4,000 supporters, a row of 16 executive boxes, and a 3,500-seat all-seater stand. When Leeds ran out of money, plans to connect the South Stand and the Lowfields were shelved.

The floodlights were replaced in the same year by the world's tallest floodlights, measuring 260 feet (79 m), one of the Top facts about Elland Road.

Three floodlights were initially installed, two on either side of the Kop and one in the South-West corner, with the fourth being added four years later.

Elland Road History – The 21st Century

Chairman Peter Ridsdale wrote a letter to season ticket holders and shareholders on August 16, 2001, giving two possibilities for the club's future: to improve Elland Road or to relocate. Although there was a ballot form included, the letter was heavily slanted in favor of relocation.

One of the Top facts about Elland Road is that only 13% of those who voted wanted to stay at Elland Road, with 87.6% of the 18,500 people who voted in favor of the move. Ridsdale revealed his desire to move the club to a 50,000-seat stadium in Skelton for the 2004–05 season on September 7, 2001.

The plans never occurred because Ridsdale left in March 2003, leaving financial chaos in his trail, and the PLC followed suit in March 2004. Chairman Ken Bates stated on the 28th of December 2009 that the South Stand would be expanded by 2–3,000 seats in the future.

This would be accomplished by removing the executive boxes and replacing them with seating; however, due to Ken Bates' sale of the club in 2012, this work was never undertaken.

The East Stand Development began phase one of a five-phase redevelopment project in March 2011, which included an extension to the East Stand Upper's main concourse, the addition of 25 executive boxes, and a modern upgrade to the stand's external appearance; while this created extra corporate facilities and more room on the concourse, it also reduced the East Stand Upper's capacity by around 2,500 seats, leaving the overall capacity of the ground at just under 38,000 seats.

The four additional phases were supposed to include an arcade, hotel, and megastore, but these plans fell through after the club was sold to GFH Capital, who later sold it to Massimo Cellino.

Andrea Radrizzani, the new owner of Leeds United, purchased the stadium from Jacob Adler's company Teak Commercial Limited for £20 million in June 2017, using his own company Greenfield Investment Pte Ltd.

The first game after regaining possession of the stadium was a pre-season friendly against

Oxford United

on Saturday, July 29, 2017, in which Leeds United won 2–0.

The club announced in July 2017 that a number of interior and external modifications to Elland Road were in the works to improve the stadium's overall appearance.

A partial new roof and cladding on the West Stand, as well as banners on either side of the East Stand, South Stand, and North East Corner of the ground featuring Leeds United stars past and present, were among the changes. In addition, the West Stand's interior, dressing rooms, and hospitality suites were all given a makeover.

One of the

Top facts about Elland Road

is that the South Stand was renamed "The Norman Hunter Stand" in April 2020, following the death of Leeds icon Norman Hunter.

The club revealed plans in January 2021 to convert the adjacent 'Centenary Pavilion' into a massive vaccination center to fight the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the UK's COVID-19 immunization campaign.

Elland Road Utilizations

Elland Road has hosted nine FA Cup semi-finals as a neutral venue, the first being a match between Barnsley and Everton on March 26, 1910, and the last being a match between Everton and

Tottenham Hotspur

on April 9, 1995.

Arsenal v. Hull City in 1930, Birmingham City v. Sunderland in 1931, West Bromwich Albion v. Bolton Wanderers in 1935, Charlton Athletic v. Newcastle United in 1947, Newcastle United v. Blackburn Rovers in 1952, Leicester City v. Sheffield United in 1961, and West Ham United v. Everton in 1980 were among the FA Cup semi-finals played at Elland Road.

In addition, when Sheffield Wednesday faced Sheffield United in the 1993 FA Cup semi-final the venue was originally planned to be Elland Road but was switched to Wembley Stadium following protests from both clubs and their supporters that the stadium was too small to host such a fixture, one of the Top facts about Elland Road.

Three

England

international matches have been held at the stadium. England and Sweden tied 3–3 on June 8, 1995.

This was the first England home international played away from Wembley in 22 years, and the first time an England international game had been played at a new venue since 1946. 

While the new Wembley Stadium was being built, the second game was a friendly encounter versus Italy on March 27, 2002.

Furthermore, had Manchester won the bid to host the 2000 Summer Olympics as well as the unsuccessful English bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Elland Road would have been a prospective host stadium for the football tournament, another one of the Top facts about Elland Road

Elland Road was one of the eight locations chosen by England to host Euro 96, the most recent international event hosted in the country.

It hosted three Group B games, all of which included

Spain

. The first two games ended in 1–1 draws against Bulgaria on June 9, 1996, and France on June 15, 1996. The third came on June 18, 1996, when they defeated Romania 2–1.

Elland Road has also held 15 international rugby league matches. New Zealand's victory over Australia in the 2005 Tri-Nations Final was the Kangaroos' first series or tournament loss since losing 2–0 to

France

at the end of the 1978 Kangaroo tour.

When England faced New Zealand in the 2018 Baskerville Shield, it was the stadium's fifteenth international match.

Elland Road Records & Location Access

Cottingley is the closest railway station, however, fans are more likely to arrive at Leeds Station, which is around 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away from the stadium.

Although it is a 35-minute walk from the station to the ground, taxis and buses are available.

Visitors arriving by car can park in one of the ground's nearby parking lots or make use of the limited parking available in the surrounding streets.

On match days, special bus routes departing from Sovereign Street near Leeds Station, as well as normal local bus services, provide direct access to and from the stadium.

Leeds City Council has proposed a railway station on the Wakefield Line to serve Elland Road, but no deadlines have been set because the Wakefield Line's capacity difficulties and finance for a new station would need to be addressed first.

Leeds City's attendances were among the lowest in the league throughout its brief existence.

From the 1905–06 season until its expulsion in the 1919–20 season, the team was a member of the league for 15 years.

Throughout that period, the club was underfunded. In the area, which had always been dominated by rugby league, association football was a novel notion.

Despite this, until

Luton Town

's relegation in 2009, the club was the highest-placed non-current team in the Football League and

Premier League

's all-time average attendance records.

Elland Road hosted a total of 1,944,365 fans for all of the club's matches, with an average attendance of 10,234.

Leeds United was founded soon after City was disbanded, and they joined the league in the 1920–21 season. Football had established itself by this time, with an average attendance of over 16,000 in its first season.

As of the 2005–06 season, a total of 42,339,944 people had attended all of Leeds United's games, for an average of 25,689.

One of the

Top facts about Elland Road

is that this number is the tenth highest average in the United Kingdom.

Elland Road Used for other Purposes

When the Leeds Cougars of the British American Football League moved from Bramley to Elland Road in May 1986, American football made a brief appearance at the stadium.

They had to relocate the following year because the stadium needed to be renovated. In 1987, the Yorkshire County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association conducted a Gaelic football match between Dublin and Mayo.

There was also a speedway track called Fullerton Park, which existed between the two world wars and drew crowds of 10,000–20,000 people.

Greyhound racing was also featured at Fullerton Park from 1927 to 1938. On July 31, 2009, Elland Road was set to host a Twenty20 cricket match.

The match was supposed to be between a Leeds United International XI and the Lashings World XI, but it was canceled due to a lack of a suitable artificial pitch.

On January 23, it was announced that boxer Josh Warrington would face IBF world champion, Lee Selby, on May 19 in his first world title battle. On the 30th of January, Elland Road was confirmed as the fight's location.

One of the Top facts about Elland Road is that it has been featured in a couple of TV shows.

Older parts of the stadium were included in the 2009 film The Damned United, which was based on Brian Clough's (Michael Sheen) 44-day rule at the club in 1974.

Some scenes from the 1974 Elland Road were shot in other locations to give the picture a more period-appropriate vibe.

Elland Road was used as a stand-in for Wembley Stadium in the 2010 film The King's Speech, which received 12 Oscar nominations, three of which went to its stars Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter.

The ground was also featured in "Happy Release," a 1975 episode of the BBC sitcom Porridge, in which prisoners Fletcher and Blanco seek revenge on a fellow prisoner, Norris, by handing him a forged treasure map before his release.

Norris is apprehended by the police after being discovered digging up a portion of the Elland Road pitch in the middle of the night; the sequences were actually shot at QPR's Loftus Road stadium.

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