Leeds’ Headingley ground to undergo redevelopment

Leeds Rhinos have unveiled plans to redevelop Headingley with the aim of retaining its status as a Test match ground ahead of the 2019 World Cup and a regular venue for major rugby league fixtures.

The proposals, to be aired at a series of public meetings in February, include two replacement stands in the rugby stadium and will increase the capacity and improve facilities of the cricket ground.

The new South Stand will include seats for the first time while increasing the standing capacity.

Leeds Rhinos intend to secure public and private funding while the Rhinos will provide the majority of the remaining investment through the proposed sale of two sites for housing development in Weetwood and Tingley.

Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “We have been working behind the scenes with Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds City Council for many years and now the vision of a completely redeveloped Headingley is a reality.

“For rugby fans, we will be providing significantly more comfort with much better seating, yet retaining the uniqueness and character of our home.

“Our overall capacity will not increase but that has never been our aim. We have a 90-year-old main stand and a south stand that was condemned six years ago and is in constant need of repair.

“It will present a major construction challenge and inevitably cause some disruption for all teams during that period. Our stadium capacity will reduce to just over 13,000 for a period during the 2017 season but we are determined to ensure all our ticketed members are guaranteed access to all games.

“Headingley has been a wonderful asset of the city for 125 years with a worldwide reputation for sporting drama and excitement and this latest development is another great news story for Leeds and Yorkshire.”