Reigning Super League Champions Leeds will play two of their home games in 2018 at nearby Elland Road – and have declared they are looking to break the competition attendance figure in the first of those games, which will be against Hull Kingston Rovers.
Leeds will play former captain Danny McGuire’s new side on Thursday February 8 at Elland Road, before returning there for a game against Castleford on Friday March 23. However, they have said that they want to set a new attendance record for a home Super League fixture – beating the 23,035 that watched them play Bradford at Headingley in 2003.
The Rhinos will kick off their season at Warrington Wolves on Thursday 1st February before the clash with the Robins a week later. Leeds’ first game at Emerald Headingley Stadium will be on Friday 2nd March against Catalans Dragons.
“We are delighted to be able to announce these two showcase events for Leeds Rhinos and Rugby League at Elland Road,” said Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington.
“Under the leadership of chairman Andrea Radrizzani, we have been able to work closely with Leeds United on projects that will benefit both clubs but most importantly benefit our home city here in Leeds. This is a win-win situation for both clubs. As owners of Elland Road, Leeds United know, as we do ourselves, how it is important to generate income from the stadium by hosting a variety of events and we will be hoping to bring large numbers to both these games.
“For ourselves, we recognise that we have a duty to try and expand the game of Rugby League by creating bigger events for our own supporters and the wider public to enjoy. Whilst centrally, the game has grown events such as the Magic Weekend and Grand Final, it is important that the club’s play their part as we have seen in the Rugby Union Premiership over the last decade. That is why we are developing Emerald Headingley Stadium with a £40m project and why we have been working so hard to keep the World Club Challenge as an active part of our competition. These two games at Elland Road will be fantastic occasions and our aim is to break the Super League regular season attendance record with these events. Because of the redevelopment work at our home this season, it limits our ability to reach out to new supporters and these games are a perfect opportunity to do just that through our work in the community with the Leeds Rhinos Foundation.
“I am sure Danny McGuire will get a tremendous reception on his return to the city for the Hull KR clash and our first meeting of next season against Castleford will be eagerly anticipated. The reaction the players received at the recent home game against Reading was fantastic to see and I am confident there will be plenty of people keen to see them in action. By moving these games to Elland Road, we will also be able to offer extra capacity to Hull KR and Castleford fans, who traditionally travel in large numbers for their games against the Rhinos.
“I would like to thank Paul Bell and his staff at Leeds United for their help over recent weeks and we are looking forward to building towards the Hull KR game over the coming months,” added Gary Hetherington.