City bosses hail Leeds United's dramatic Premier League survival in vital boost for city businesses
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The Whites secured their Premier League status following an unforgettable final day victory over Brentford.
Goals from Raphinha and Jack Harrison sent the city into party mode but for some local businesses they were breathing a sigh of relief.
"It was a bit of relief to be honest as we waited so long for Premiership football to return and it does impact massively, even just the general atmosphere in the city centre as well." said, Chris Howard, owner of the popular Aire Bar.
"The big influx of people that it brings from out of town is just really beneficial especially after Covid, getting people back into the city centre at a weekend is so important."
Chris revealed that he and his wife Louise bought the bar in 2004, the year Leeds were originally relegated.
"Yesterday was one of our busiest days of the year so far. Full time brought utter relief and a few tears." he said.
"Typical Leeds really, we never make anything easy but I guess that's part of the attraction and frustration of being a Leeds United fan."
With Premier League attendances averaging out at around double that of the Championship, the Leeds Chamber of Commerce were quick to express the huge commercial benefits of the achievement.
“Leeds United’s dramatic Premier League survival will undoubtedly come as a boost to the local economy.” said, Jake Morris, Policy & Representation Executive at the Chamber.
“Firms working in a number of sectors, particularly those in the hospitality industry, will feel confident that matches at Elland Road will continue to draw in thousands of travelling fans from across the nation, to watch Leeds compete in what is arguably the world’s most elite and high-profile domestic competition.”
Coun James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council and a Leeds United season ticket holder, has hailed the impact the win could have not only on local businesses but on tourism.
“Having Leeds United staying where we belong in the Premier League has created a truly incredible buzz in the city." Coun Lewis, said.
“Not only will a Premier League return deliver a huge boost to Leeds in terms of its global profile and to tourism and local businesses, it will also support our continued work to attract future investment to the city.”
These were viewed echoed by Leeds BID who said having matches broadcast in over 185 countries was massive in terms of marketing and reach.
“It was a nail-biting Sunday afternoon and we are delighted that Leeds United FC survived." said, Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive, LeedsBID.
"Having a Premier League club in a Premier League city is vital to the local economy and business community; retail, hospitality, hotels and corporate business hospitality all benefit from Leeds’ premiership status."
For Martin Adamson, co-owner of Elland Road cafe & sandwich bar, he described watching the game as 'absolutely terrifying.'
"It's great for everybody that we have stayed up, it is absolutely fantastic. Watching the game was absolutely terrifying, it was a tough watch and very stressful." he said.
"But Leeds staying in the Premier League is such a great boost because it's a sell out every time. We sell matchday programmes and then get over to watch the second half and the atmosphere is always electric."
With much of Leeds's two year stay in the Premier League disrupted by Covid-19 restrictions, Martin is especially hopeful for the future.
"It's a nice big boost. We've got through the pandemic and are starting to enjoy ourselves now. I know times are hard and we have had to put our prices up as well but we will get through it." Martin said.
"You've got to have some positives and that is positive is that Leeds United are still in the Premier League."