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The big move? (No don’t mention THAT word) WARNING long.
Elland Road (Leeds FC)
Member Name: HerbVoid
Elland Road (Leeds FC)
Date: 02/08/01, updated on 24/10/01 (4190 review reads)
Advantages: Crowd noise, Location, Cost
The ground is situated in the Beeston area of Leeds. This is around 30 mins walk from the city centre or 5 mins in a cab. On a match day there are special buses running from the railway station in the centre of town to the ground. It costs £1.50 return or £1.00 single.
The ground is also very close to the motorways A1/MI and runs by the side of the M62. The parking provision is excellent. Parking space is provided for approx. 4000 cars around the stadium and there is plenty more space within walking distance at the top of Beeston hill. Coaches for away supporters can park in the main car park opposite the stadium (with good police protection just in case).
Its one of the most accessible football stadiums around and very easy to find whichever part of the country your coming from. Surrounding the stadium is mainly industrial buildings and some houses at the south side across the main road.
Close to the stadium
Shops outside Elland road – Very close to the stadium is a United Chippy, two Newsagents, five pubs within 5 mins walk, a travel shop, and around 15 burger / food bars on match days. Add to this the Leeds United superstore, which is absolutely massive and is open 9-6 each day including match days.
As you can guess, getting food or drink outside the stadium is not a problem. Rarely do you encounter long queues here and with plenty of choice, people seem to be rather happy with the current set-up.
Recently Leeds United added a statue of Billy Bremner in the SE corner just outside the ground. This seems to be a
meeting point to many and a photo opportunity for visitors (The East stand looming behind the statue is such a great site and one Billy would be proud of).
Elland road holds 40,000 people when full to capacity. The breakdown of each side is as follows:
North stand – Otherwise know as the KOP. A Once famous all-standing area it is now seating only. This is where the hardcore Leeds supporters sit. The songs normally start in the Kop and some see this area as the most important in the stadium. It can lift the team so much when the Kop starts chanting, sucking the ball into the goal. The capacity for this stand is now around 7,000. The facilities have improved a lot here but its still remains a shabby stand with dirty toilets and concrete everywhere! I must take my hat off though; I did notice a few TV’s around the stand for spectators to watch at halftime.
East stand – The biggest cantilever stand in Europe with a capacity of 15,000. The front section is the clubs family stand. This area is great for the family and a non-swearing policy is always enforced so beware. The family stand offers great value for family tickets; typically 2 adults and 2 children can watch a league game for less than 60 pounds. The top of the east stand is very high up. Over 300 steps and you reach the top section where you are greeted with one of the best views around. This stand was built in the 90’s and funded by Leeds United bondholders. It shows because the facilities and toilets are A+ standard, merchandise outlets, food shops, betting booths can all be found here along with a sit down restaurant.
South Stand – 6,500 capacity and normally reserved for the away supporters. No wonder, it’s the poorest stand in the ground and relatively unimpressive. Rebuilt through the 90’s the facilities are basic but adequate for a football stadium (and those away supporters he he). The main feature of
this stand is the rows of executive boxes at the top of the stand.
West stand – 12,000 capacities and the main stand. This is where the players enter the pitch from and where all the important people sit (with lots of money). The cost of tickets for this stand can be rather pricey and the atmosphere can tend to be rather poor. The facilities are average much like the kop. On the back of this stand is the banqueting suit, which is actually very large. This plays host to many functions and always popular for charity events and after dinning speakers
Each stand is covered with a roof. But it seems at the front of the stands you can still get wet if the wind blows the wrong way. Poor them. The lighting for the stadium is excellent. Gone are the traditional floodlights in come a new lighting system that has small lights placed around the roofs of the stands.
The stands are very close to the pitch, which is typical of many other English stadiums. This means the atmosphere can be electric, the noise can radiate around the ground and because there are very few gaps (apart from the SW corner where the scoreboard is) in the stadium.
There are two scoreboards at Elland road. The main one is in the SW corner and cost around 750,000 three years ago. It is basically a massive TV, which shows interviews, replays and match stats for everyone to see. The other scoreboard hangs over the Kop and brings back nasty memories from the 70’s. Basically it can display the score and that’s about it.
I have briefly mentioned the cost to get to watch Leeds United, but it’s worth summarising. Match day tickets range from £20-£35. Leeds often reduces ticket prices for cup competitions. Early Champions league games were £10 and this year initial UEFA cup games will be priced at 12 pounds. Very reasonable for those unable to go to the league games. A pint of beer in the ground is £1.90 and a burger cost me £2.
70, a large snicker bar set me back 65 pence. The Leeds United program was priced at £2.50 last season but expect a small increase this season.
Other bits and bobs (The Move)
The current stadium has many excellent features, great location, 40,000 capacity and lots of history. The average attendance for a league game last season was 38,000. Just under the capacity. So why is there talk of moving away?
Well to move to a location further away from the city would make financial sense. The current location would sell for a great deal of money and go along way to funding the next stadium. Sponsorship of a new stadium (Elland 'Toys’r’us Road!) Is being talked about similar and again this would generate vast sums. The current whisper is of a location at East Leeds close to Gartforth within spitting distance of the new A1/M1 link and 6 miles from Leeds city centre.
To his credit the chairman has always kept the supporters informed of current talks and muted the idea around for some months now. The resistance is only natural by many of the fans. Me included, I love Elland road, watching Leeds winning promotion and then the First division, it makes me all shivery (is that a word?) just talking about it. But times are changing; football is more than a sport now. The money involved is massive and to keep up with the other big teams you need to generate as much income as possible through corporate sponsors and gate receipts.
If they built a 70,000 capacity stadium with excellent facilities just of the motorway and called it after a big company it would still be ‘our’ home. We would still cheer out team and support them with all the passion that Elland road can conjure up.
Other examples of such a move are Sunderland. Roker Park was famous and now who talks about anything but the great stadium of light? I don’t hear their fans complaining anymore.
Whatever happens I
will always love Leeds United and support them.
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