Elland Road World Cup stadium revamp

LEEDS United are planning a major redevelopment of two stands at their Elland Road ground if they win the right to join the World Cup party in 2018.

United confirmed that, should Leeds be chosen as a host city for the soccer jamboree, they intend to completely rebuild the stadium's Revie and John Charles stands.

The work would increase the famous old ground's capacity to 50,000.

If Elland Road were to stage a World Cup game today, the tournament's media and corporate needs mean it would only have 33,000 spectator seats with unrestricted views.

That is 7,000 less than the total demanded by Fifa, football's governing body.

It is thought the massive income streams generated by a World Cup would help Leeds raise the cash needed for the project.

The Yorkshire Evening Post understands the aim is to have the new look ground ready by 2015, when Elland Road will be one of the venues for the Rugby World Cup.

United are keen to stress, however, that the stadium improvement scheme would be just a small part of the multi-million pound boost the city would receive from the 2018 tournament.

The club's chief executive, Shaun Harvey, said: "The benefits would be huge in terms of tourism.

"The number of people visiting the city and hopefully returning in later years would be a great legacy."

Leeds is one of 15 English cities competing for the right to stage matches in 2018.

The FA is due to announce its chosen candidates before the end of the year.

Fifa will select the 2018 host nation 12 months later.

Leeds's bid is being spearheaded by United, the city council and Marketing Leeds.

To register your support, visit the www.backthebidleeds.com website.

* United are continuing to work on separate plans for a hotel and shopping complex adjoining Elland Road's East Stand.