Elland Road, located in Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, has served as the home ground for Championship club Leeds United since the club’s inception in 1919. It is the 14th largest football stadium in England.
The stadium has a history of hosting FA Cup semi-final matches as a neutral venue, England international fixtures, and was chosen as one of the eight venues for Euro 96. In the mid-1980s, Elland Road was utilized by the rugby league club Hunslet and staged two matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Comprising four stands – the Don Revie (North) Stand, also known as the kop, the Jack Charlton (East) Stand (formerly the Lowfields Road stand), the Norman Hunter South Stand, and the John Charles (West) Stand – it boasts an all-seated capacity of 37,792.
Elland Road reached its highest recorded league attendance on December 27, 1932, when a crowd of 56,796 watched Leeds face Arsenal. The overall attendance record was set on March 15, 1967, during an FA Cup fifth-round replay against Sunderland, with 57,892 spectators. However, this was before the stadium became an all-seater venue as required by the Taylor Report. The modern record attendance stands at 40,287, achieved during a Premiership match against Newcastle United on December 22, 2001. There are ongoing plans to increase Elland Road’s capacity to 50,000 by demolishing and rebuilding the West Stand.
Additionally, Elland Road has hosted various concerts, featuring bands like Queen, U2, Happy Mondays, and the Kaiser Chiefs.
Elland Road’s most prominent feature is the East Stand, which dominates one side of the stadium. This vast stand, accommodating approximately 15,000 fans, was unveiled in the 1992-93 season and is at least twice the size of the other three stands at Elland Road. The East Stand boasts a two-tier design, featuring a spacious lower tier with an elevated smaller tier above it. Nestled between these tiers, you’ll find a row of executive boxes, and the stand is crowned by an imposing roof.
A notable characteristic of Elland Road is that the rest of the stadium is entirely enclosed, with seating filling the corners of the ground. However, a drawback is that, in contrast to the East Stand, the other stands appear somewhat weathered and aged.
The remaining stands have several supporting pillars, and at the back of the West Stand (renamed the ‘John Charles Stand’ in March 2004 in honor of the legendary former player), you can spot some older wooden seats that seem to have been in place since the stand’s original opening in 1957. This stand also houses the team dugouts and television gantry. Additionally, there is an electric scoreboard situated in one corner of the ground, between the South and John Charles Stands.
Outside the stadium, statues pay tribute to Billy Bremner and Don Revie.
Although Elland Road had been standing since 1897, it wasn’t until 23 years later that Leeds United made it their home, and it only cost them £250! It’s important to note that in 1920, £250 held more value than it does in today’s football economy. The stadium served them well for many years, with very few changes or improvements until the 1950s when floodlights were added. However, in 1956, they faced an unexpected challenge when the West Stand, now known as the John Charles Stand, was destroyed by fire. Repairing it cost £100,000.
Twelve years later, after a record crowd of 57,892 attended a match, extensive redevelopment plans were put in motion. The Gelderd End was fully constructed, complete with a roof, and by 1974, improvements had been made to the other stands as well. The total cost for these changes amounted to £900,000. Fast forward 18 years, and the East Stand underwent further renovations, transforming it into a 17,000-seater stand. Three years later, Elland Road became a fully seated stadium. While there have been discussions about more significant changes since then, comprehensive renovations have yet to take place.