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Is Elland Road a forgotten Ground?

March 18, 2014

Elland Road football stadium the football ground home to Leeds United

Elland Road football stadium the football ground home to Leeds United

I have watched Leeds United twice this season and sat in two opposite ends of the stadium. So here goes the Chris Marsden Online review of the home of Leeds United – Elland Road.

I remember when Leeds United were a top Premiership team, a contender in Europe and a stadium that rocked every week. Although the crowds have dwindled the passion amongst fans still remains and too many that’s why they are still a big club and worthy of investment.

Elland Road is what you call a cantilevers stadium meaning that the main stand stands proud and dwarf those around it. The upper tier within the cantilevers stand does not get used that much these days following the demise of the club though some were sat within the stand during both games.

The main cantilever stand at Elland Road, the football stadium which is the home of Leeds United

The main cantilever stand at Elland Road, the football stadium which is the home of Leeds United

The ground seats in excess of 44,000 people though Leeds United today usually have an attendance just over 20,000 spectators.

The ground itself is vibrant, especially as you approach the ground from the neighbouring motorway. The modern facade of the main stand dwarfs over the M621 that runs alongside it. The rest of the ground has to be said shows its age, the ground is no shiny, glitzy stadia like that of the Emirates. The appearance – especially once close up is probably not a number one priority for the club as efforts are focused on keeping the club going than looking fancy – the pot holes outside around the ground are shocking

The ground itself is certainly not poor, far from it. I’d say that the age adds to the beauty. The ground oozes character and history – something newer modern grounds lack. There was certainly nothing out of place – weather damaged, dirty or disappointing when I visited. All catering and hospitality facilities were spot on although very expensive and the wooden seats in the west stand were certainly more comfortable than the plastic ones in the east stand. Of course new development was evident to see, the facade of the main stand, new club shops etc – they are of course going to be in a different architectural style to that of a ground build many, many moons ago.

Pillars in a stand is a bug bare of mine especially when you pay £36.00 for a ticket. But what do you expect when the ground and more accurately the stand you sit in is of certain age?

Getting to the ground is no problem. Located to the south of the city along the M621 enables easy access from the motor way and the ground is a short bus ride from the city centre. Travelling by bus was certainly no chore, buses were plentiful and supporters were not waiting an age for a bus once the match had finished. Additional buses were also laid on to nearby Morley as well.

In respect to catering they were plenty of outlets throughout the ground. As a captive audience prices were expensive though efforts were made to promote packages (chocolate bar, drink and a pack of crisps). Patrons had a selection of refreshments though be warned beer is served extremely cold.

From a stadium used in Euro 1996 and housing one of the largest fan bases in England Elland Road is home to a sleeping giant. I hope the ground now owned by Leeds City Council can be used for more than Leeds United games so that Leeds don’t get into a situation like Bradford City and Doncaster Rovers who make an annual loss on their home. Once off the field battles are won I’m sure Leeds United and Elland Road will be back in the top tier of English football and Elland Road will be restored as a leading football ground.

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From → Football Stadia

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