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Wellsy4HullFC

National Stadium for Rugby League

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With England looking to get the FIFA World Cup for 2018, and a redeveloped Elland Road to be one of these stadiums, would it not possibly be a good idea to try and latch onto this development? From what I gather, the stadium needs more funders for its expansion.

The RFL have had some good success at Elland Road (despite it being a dump at the moment). It's right in the middle of the heartlands. If you keep the two major finals (Challenge Cup Final and Grand Final) where they are, we could use the New Elland Road as a base for international games, World Club Challenges, maybe even have the Challenge Cup games there as Magic Weekend-style rounds.

I think RL would benefit from a base for its major events. The RFL could offer season tickets for their events there which could boost attendances for our major games all-round. Would only be worth doing though if we could get a certain amount of events there per year, and so far I can only think of:

World Club Challenge

Mid-Season Test

Challenge Cup 5th Round (MM-style 8 games in two days)

Challenge Cup QF (4 games in two days)

Challenge Cup SF (Double Header)

Championship Finals Day

3-4 End of Season Tests

I am not too certain that I agree with Elland Rd as being the best situated stadium I have ever attended but I do believe that you could be spo on with your other suggestions, especially with regards to the CC.

I am one of those that believes the CC could even become a comp for the National League sides, I admit. But your suggestion for a magic weekend style occasion sounds very good, it could be the solution to breathing something back into what the final apart has become a pretty poor competition overall, well done it ought to warrant some thought.

PS; your other aspects also look very meritable.

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If the England bid gets accepted, Elland Road will be upgraded to 50,000 capacity IIRC.

51,240 according to a letter from the council on this forum. There are also some very interesting comments regarding investment into the ground, etc. on there.

There are some artist impressions, etc. on there for the proposed redevelopment as well, although just sketchy at the moment.

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I am not too certain that I agree with Elland Rd as being the best situated stadium I have ever attended but I do believe that you could be spo on with your other suggestions, especially with regards to the CC.

I am one of those that believes the CC could even become a comp for the National League sides, I admit. But your suggestion for a magic weekend style occasion sounds very good, it could be the solution to breathing something back into what the final apart has become a pretty poor competition overall, well done it ought to warrant some thought.

PS; your other aspects also look very meritable.

Thank you for the feedback. Whether anything I have mentioned would work or not is another question, but it is too easy to just dismiss something out of hand. Nothing gets done that way.

I just believe that the game needs more events for the sport as a whole in this country and not just for select clubs. I think the Challenge Cup needs some kind of rejuvenation as it is just being left to fend for itself at the moment. It is the one competition that brings the game together as a whole and would be a terrible loss. Would moving the Magic Weekend to the Challenge Cup help? Possibly. Look at the attendances this year:

Fifth Round:

Bradford vs Leigh - 4,250

Leeds vs Blackpool - 5,316

Huddersfield vs Warrington - 6,641

Widnes vs Wigan - 5,504

Barrow vs Hunslet - 2,241

Crusaders vs Catalans - 1,817

Harlequins vs St Helens - 3,381

Swinton vs Batley - 633

Total - 29,783

Quarter Final:

Batley vs Catalans - 2,132

Leeds vs Wigan - 9,242

St Helens vs Barrow - 4,972

Bradford vs Warrington - 7,092

Total - 23,438

Semi Final:

Leeds vs St Helens - 15,267

Warrington vs Catalans - 12,265

Total - 27,532

For the quarters and semis definitely, I reckon you could easily get more than that in one stadium, especially with the extra neutrals. The 5th Round is a push, but still a possibility. 15,000 people on each day shouldn't be too difficult.

You can't complain that it would look bad on TV because the ground is empty as the ground is empty at pretty much all the earlier CC games. If they're all in the same ground as well, then all the games could be televised (or highlights would at least be in better quality!). You could have extra games on BBC3, etc.

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My computer crashed when replying to this as I got to the very end! Nightmare.

Apologies for the long response! It's a good debate though.

Like I said at the start, Leeds City Council are looking for investment for the redevelopment as they haven't found enough yet. I'll try and find the article I read about it later. Terms for the investment would be negotiated to suit us obviously. We'd be more efficient with our money sharing a facility than we would going it alone. It's the same for SL clubs sharing with soccer clubs in a way. You could look at the RFL annual events diary in a similar way as a SL clubs season fixtures.

leeds city council may well be but the ground is owned by Leeds United Football Club Ltd.. they dont have the money so want the council to help who are happy to with regards to the world cup possibilities.. but they also want others, becuase its very very expensive.. I just dont see a good deal being done without owning part of the ground becuase othewise it is a lease (25 years is the norm I belive) and you would have to make the money back byu then.. i cannot see that being possible myself.

I'm not quite sure what you mean here? Staging a game at a bigger ground doesn't necessarily make a difference to the crowd. It's like saying we sell out DW Stadium, so take games to a bigger ground such as Ewood Park. Result? A smaller crowd in a bigger stadium outside of the RL heartlands. You're totally ignoring the impact that a ground in a good location for its market has on the customer. Even in the RL heartlands it can make a difference. Look at 83k in Sydney and 53k in Brisbane. Which one gets the better crowds on a more regular basis?

Leeds is slap bang in the middle of the RL heartlands. It is also slap bang in the middle of the biggest RL market in the country. It is the perfect location for international RL IMO. It's like our version of Brisbane. IMO, we'd get far better crowds for games against NZ and Australia at Elland Road than we would anywhere else in the north on a regular basis. The only thing that puts people off is the state of it, but with redevelopment on the cards that hopefully wouldn't be the case.

When Elland Road is redeveloped, they're looking at a capacity of 51k. Now, I can't see the international game getting regular 51k crowds any time soon so it's hardly an issue. If they do, then what's wrong with keeping at 51k for a while? Why do we need to move? If we want to make more money, and we have the customers, then increase the ticket prices like every other sports club would. We're currently giving them away as it is. And that hasn't ruled out further redevelopment in the future.

my point is when did we last sell out elland road? the arguiment put forward is to get a bigger ground.. well move if we need a bigger ground there are plenty around.. yes not in leeds but manchester etc which is just as easy to get to from the heartlands.. but we are not needing to becuase we are not getting the bigger crowds. we have options lets use them i dont see that we need a national stadium for any of the reasons above. plenty of grounds meet the above.

IMO.. if we were to own bricks and mortar then it would be different but if we have to invest and only get the good deal and gurantees from a short time then i dont see the advantages.. we could be kicked out of our own "national stadium" at the whim of the owner in 25 years time.. with life being made very difficult before hand..

Neither of us are really in a position to say. It's all part of negotiating a good deal, our plans for the number of events there, projections, etc. But I think we'd have far more success with our events there than we would if we kept moving them to different places, paying individual rent costs, different marketing strategies used each time, etc. We would also have an asset that we could sell if needed.

what assets.. are leeds selling us the stadium? they would be idiots.. we may get a lease but thats it.. unless they really are the strapped but its the council asking for support for their bit of funding not the football club who owns the ground.

a permanent place i do see being a good thing to an extent but it does limit you. and personaly i think the RFUand FA are limited and woul dbe better taking games around the country especially smaller ones. national stadium would stop us using the challenge cup and taking it to say newcastle which would be good if you do a magic style weekend.. it limits all movement etc

The profit we make is spent on other areas straight away. We could earmark money if needed, as well as get potential investors on board for the project. I think Leeds City Council would be very happy to have the national Rugby League stadium in their city, with the amount of extra income it would bring to the economy from these extra events. I'm sure they would be very supportive. I would mention Carnegie, but I think we've almost bled them dry now! :lol:

but what do we not put this into to get the money, what project should go by the way side for something we really dont need?

But the people that will be benefiting directly from these investments aren't the RFL, it will be the clubs in them areas. Only if the RFL own these clubs would they be directly benefiting. And with past examples, it's hardly a money making exercise for them. This is why they are trying to get investors in, rather than pay for it themselves. It also leads to ethical problems with their governance of a sport if they own certain clubs.

so the extra supporters that go to the games (internationals etc) that you are wanting at a national stadium do not contribute to the RFL.. so how exactly do the RFL get their money back from greater attendances caused by the new stadium and its marketing?

New speccies either contribute to the RFL or they dont.. yes they also pay into the clubs but its getting them involved and getting them to games which is where the RFL benefit.

Again, you're mistaking a bigger crowd in a larger stadium for meaning more money. Why pay more for a bigger stadium and cheaper tickets when you can pay less for a smaller stadium and dearer tickets? In some cases, even tickets of the same price would see us get more in the smaller ground if the larger ground costs too much.

no i;m very much not mistaking that see my posts ad infinitum to lobby about london i dont mistake that at all.. everything is relative.. i wouldnt move for 60k wanting 50k tickets.. tough that 10k is going to want them next time building up want.. but if you are looking at 100k wanting 50k then you are in the wrong place and need somewhere bigger.. so i understand the economics but i still believe we can do better and leave ourselves flexible over time.

as for the other posts.. i dont think you are saying a ground and tahts it.. of course there is more to do with it.. but do that without spending the tens of millions it will cost and keep the money for other things.. yes we cant use the 30m sport england money thats obvious.. but that 30 million going into england frees up some money to go elsewhere..

yes participation does not mean more speccies and vice versa but the whole point is IMO this

We do not need a national stadium,it would be lovely yes but we do not NEED one.. we certainly dont have the money to spend on the luxury of one when in and around the areas there are quite a few nice grounds to be used for events, taking the sport closer to people each time, but the money taht could be spent in the investment for no tangible gain that could be lost on the whim of one man who doesnt like the sport is better spent in other areas that will direclty affect the game.. a better spread of the game can help better coverage and interest as a whole.. than having a national stadium.

a 25 year lower cost lease is great but without bricks and mortar the money is down the drain from that point onwards and we could have a national stadium for 25 years then back to what we have now.. and i think the money can be better spent elsewhere for a better more sustainable return that would advance the game so that in 25 years time the game could look very very different.

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Thank you for the feedback. Whether anything I have mentioned would work or not is another question, but it is too easy to just dismiss something out of hand. Nothing gets done that way.

I just believe that the game needs more events for the sport as a whole in this country and not just for select clubs. I think the Challenge Cup needs some kind of rejuvenation as it is just being left to fend for itself at the moment. It is the one competition that brings the game together as a whole and would be a terrible loss. Would moving the Magic Weekend to the Challenge Cup help? Possibly. Look at the attendances this year:

Fifth Round:

Bradford vs Leigh - 4,250

Leeds vs Blackpool - 5,316

Huddersfield vs Warrington - 6,641

Widnes vs Wigan - 5,504

Barrow vs Hunslet - 2,241

Crusaders vs Catalans - 1,817

Harlequins vs St Helens - 3,381

Swinton vs Batley - 633

Total - 29,783

Quarter Final:

Batley vs Catalans - 2,132

Leeds vs Wigan - 9,242

St Helens vs Barrow - 4,972

Bradford vs Warrington - 7,092

Total - 23,438

Semi Final:

Leeds vs St Helens - 15,267

Warrington vs Catalans - 12,265

Total - 27,532

For the quarters and semis definitely, I reckon you could easily get more than that in one stadium, especially with the extra neutrals. The 5th Round is a push, but still a possibility. 15,000 people on each day shouldn't be too difficult.

You can't complain that it would look bad on TV because the ground is empty as the ground is empty at pretty much all the earlier CC games. If they're all in the same ground as well, then all the games could be televised (or highlights would at least be in better quality!). You could have extra games on BBC3, etc.

i would put the quarters at one ground and the semis.. i think thats a good idea but i would use it as similar to a magic weekend and take it around grounds not just at one.

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i would put the quarters at one ground and the semis.. i think thats a good idea but i would use it as similar to a magic weekend and take it around grounds not just at one.

Just depends on what ground is used. Unlike the Magic Weekend, we don't know what teams will be playing in them so they would have to be fairly local IMO in order to be a success. They're just examples of an increased number of events to maximise use of a national stadium if we went down that path (and again, if we keep moving events to different grounds it gets hard to build up stability and event familiarity so could affect its growth). I suppose it's a different topic of conversation really.

The good thing about it (CC rounds being used as Magic Weekend style events) is that they are outside the football season so we'd be better placed to use football grounds without disrupting their seasons. There are a number of grounds we could use around the heartlands that are of a good size: Anfield, Goodison Park, Elland Road, Hillsborough and Bramall Lane spring to mind.

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I think our own national stadium would be a big boost to the image of the sport, it's just getting the money for it. Then again I can think of some large stadiums that have been built at a relatively low cost, I think the Stadium of Light (48,000) was built for 23 million.

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I think our own national stadium would be a big boost to the image of the sport, it's just getting the money for it. Then again I can think of some large stadiums that have been built at a relatively low cost, I think the Stadium of Light (48,000) was built for 23 million.

Considering the KC Stadium cost

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Would Leeds Utd let the RFL take such a big stake in their ground? If they have ambitions to return to the Premiership I doubt they'd want too much RL being played there. Also, could the RFL afford it? Surely a national stadium should be entirely run and owned by the sport in question. Look at Cardiff - the WRU benefit from any event staged there, be it rugby, football, pop concerts or speedway meetings. If you're only looking at putting some money it to a development so you can stage 5 weekends worth of matches there, is it worth it?

I'd also suggest that the sport would also be considered even more of a 'northern' sport if the national stadium were a football ground in Leeds, and a shared ground at that. Most national stadiums are based in or near the capital. I'm not saying that it should be that way, but public perception could be negative.

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This idea has been touted before and it has never been a good idea. Rugby League does not have enough big day occasions to justify having a dedicated stadium, and if it is shared with another sport, who will be using it far more than we could hope to, it wont be our stadium and hence wont be a good choice.

The fact of the matter is, we don't need one at all and building one would be a real negative. I recall when the english football team were travelling about the country whilst wembley was being built. It really convinced me that, whilst no doubt Wembley is a beautiful stadium, it was totally unnecessary. For the first time English football fans were getting to see the club from all over the country, not just those prepared to travel to london or those in its vicinity. It benefited so many to have the national team travel. It just made sense. Now we have wembley again and we have lost that sense of fairness and support drummed up from the whole country not just the governing, most pampered part of it.

A RL stadium would be even more useless. What do we have now? The England team occasionally travelling to Wigan, occasionally playing in Huddersfield, occasionally Hull, occasionally elsewhere. Almost all of our fans get the chance to see them no matter how hard it is for them to travel long distances. All of the stadiums above, and the city of manchester, old trafford and elland road and all the places I've seen the country play in over the years are more than adequate in both size and facilities, so why build one that would take all of the games? We would lose the chance for all fans to see them locally, we would be sharing with a football team ingrained in the stadiums history and at the end of the day, it just makes no sense. Leave as is. Rotate the stadiums for internationals.

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Thank you for the feedback. Whether anything I have mentioned would work or not is another question, but it is too easy to just dismiss something out of hand. Nothing gets done that way.

I just believe that the game needs more events for the sport as a whole in this country and not just for select clubs. I think the Challenge Cup needs some kind of rejuvenation as it is just being left to fend for itself at the moment. It is the one competition that brings the game together as a whole and would be a terrible loss. Would moving the Magic Weekend to the Challenge Cup help? Possibly. Look at the attendances this year:

Fifth Round:

Bradford vs Leigh - 4,250

Leeds vs Blackpool - 5,316

Huddersfield vs Warrington - 6,641

Widnes vs Wigan - 5,504

Barrow vs Hunslet - 2,241

Crusaders vs Catalans - 1,817

Harlequins vs St Helens - 3,381

Swinton vs Batley - 633

Total - 29,783

Quarter Final:

Batley vs Catalans - 2,132

Leeds vs Wigan - 9,242

St Helens vs Barrow - 4,972

Bradford vs Warrington - 7,092

Total - 23,438

Semi Final:

Leeds vs St Helens - 15,267

Warrington vs Catalans - 12,265

Total - 27,532

For the quarters and semis definitely, I reckon you could easily get more than that in one stadium, especially with the extra neutrals. The 5th Round is a push, but still a possibility. 15,000 people on each day shouldn't be too difficult.

You can't complain that it would look bad on TV because the ground is empty as the ground is empty at pretty much all the earlier CC games. If they're all in the same ground as well, then all the games could be televised (or highlights would at least be in better quality!). You could have extra games on BBC3, etc.

I have said that the CC is dead in the water and ought to be abandoned in favour of allowing Rep games to prosper, ie, less games for top players etc.

My reasoning concerns the fact that so many top players seem to be getting injured too often and that the most portrayed excuse is, that they are expected to play too many games.

I believe the CC has become quite a burden and in its present format proves nothing in the context of a season any longer.

I would myself consign this comp to the lesser clubs and present them with a Wembley experience all to themselves, that is until I read your proposal.

It is innovative and well worth consideration. I believe that the support you say could be imagined could actually be achieved and it could give a much needed impetus to a competition which, despite Claire Baldings best efforts is slowly dying a death, final excepted. Yet that depends also upon which teams contest the final too.

There is quite a good bit to be examined in what you propose and yes the game is in dire need of big time ventures and not solely for the S/L teams. The CC element of it offers such an opportunity

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When I visited Dublin for a getaway a few weeks back the GAA was holding a double header of the 'All Ireland' Gaelic Football semi-finals, runners-up & final at Croke Park on both the Saturday & Sunday. I think 1st match on the Saturday way semi-final 1 I guess a short break (half hour - an hour?) then the 2nd semi-final? I think the Sunday must have been the runners up game first then the Final afterwards? Why not have the quarter finals & semi-finals of the Challenge Cup over a weekend at somewhere like Brammel Lane or Elland Road, if it became a decent stadium? What's wrong with having a double header on the Saturday & Sunday for the Quarters? And the the semi-finals on the Saturday & Sunday 2-3 weeks afterwards?

Edited by HappyDave

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When I visited Dublin for a getaway a few weeks back the GAA was holding a double header of the 'All Ireland' Gaelic Football semi-finals, runners-up & final at Croke Park on both the Saturday & Sunday. I think 1st match on the Saturday way semi-final 1 I guess a short break (half hour - an hour?) then the 2nd semi-final? I think the Sunday must have been the runners up game first then the Final afterwards? Why not have the quarter finals & semi-finals of the Challenge Cup over a weekend at somewhere like Brammel Lane or Elland Road, if it became a decent stadium? What's wrong with having a double header on the Saturday & Sunday for the Quarters? And the the semi-finals on the Saturday & Sunday 2-3 weeks afterwards?

The problem is the RFL has little say in the scheduling of CC rounds past Round 4 because of the BBC. If they're showing football, golf, tennis, F1 or whatever, then the RL will just have to wait.

The double header idea for the cup is a good one though, much better than the Magic weekend in fact. 2 games on the one day is do-able. 3 or 4 is just overkill.

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Just depends on what ground is used. Unlike the Magic Weekend, we don't know what teams will be playing in them so they would have to be fairly local IMO in order to be a success. They're just examples of an increased number of events to maximise use of a national stadium if we went down that path (and again, if we keep moving events to different grounds it gets hard to build up stability and event familiarity so could affect its growth). I suppose it's a different topic of conversation really.

The good thing about it (CC rounds being used as Magic Weekend style events) is that they are outside the football season so we'd be better placed to use football grounds without disrupting their seasons. There are a number of grounds we could use around the heartlands that are of a good size: Anfield, Goodison Park, Elland Road, Hillsborough and Bramall Lane spring to mind.

i agree to an extent but i think that the ability to move it around makes it much more interesting.. not even trying to work on who gets there really because its about the occaion and the ability for it to be moved around keeps a novelty factor rather than a stability as such.. makes it more interesting to go to different places rather than "oh its leeds/newcastle/sheffield/manchester again." and for those outside of the clubs involved to want to go as its somewhere knew..

Just my thoughts but i think bringing them together definately has merit.. other sports do it to great success as well

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RU makes money as everything that comes through its turnstiles at Twickers/ Cardiff/ Murrayfield etc. goes straight into their pocket and as such- no renting of grounds/ etc.

Any way to make the reality of a National RL ground/ HQ should be explored as the Long Term benefits are wholly in the best interests of the entire game from juniors upwards!

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RU makes money as everything that comes through its turnstiles at Twickers/ Cardiff/ Murrayfield etc. goes straight into their pocket and as such- no renting of grounds/ etc.

Any way to make the reality of a National RL ground/ HQ should be explored as the Long Term benefits are wholly in the best interests of the entire game from juniors upwards!

If you own the bricks and mortar yes that does work, if you are getting a reduced rent etc then no that doesnt work like that as you are the ones paying in (granted a reduced amount) unto the pockets of Leeds United Football Club etc.. the RFU owns Twickenham, WRU Cardiff and SRU Murrayfield if memory serves..

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The problem is the RFL has little say in the scheduling of CC rounds past Round 4 because of the BBC. If they're showing football, golf, tennis, F1 or whatever, then the RL will just have to wait.

The double header idea for the cup is a good one though, much better than the Magic weekend in fact. 2 games on the one day is do-able. 3 or 4 is just overkill.

Ah! I didn't realise that about the Challenge Cup rounds. But if it's possible I think it would be good have the quarter-finals as double-headers.

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