Leeds Rhinos: Fans group to protest against new seating plan

A PROTEST group has been established to oppose plans for seats in Headingley's new South Stand.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 30th January 2016, 7:39 am
Updated Saturday, 30th January 2016, 7:44 am
Artist's impression of the new South Stand at Headingley
Artist's impression of the new South Stand at Headingley

Leeds Rhinos this week unveiled proposals which would see the stadium’s South and North Stands replaced with new purpose-built structures.

The club plan to include a seated section in the currently all-standing South Stand and that has angered some fans, who feel it would ruin the stadium’s famous atmosphere.

Christian Floyd, a founder member of Leeds Rhinos – We Stand, has described the proposals as a “nightmare” in a letter to the club.

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His letter adds: “Putting a seated area in the famous South Stand is completely going to kill what is currently the best atmosphere created at any rugby league game in the country.

“As a match-going supporter for 18 years I have seen grounds all over the country go from atmospheric terracing to a dull, boring match day experience just by adding seats into the venues.

“I don’t want to see this happen at Headingley, which is what your current plans are risking.”

Floyd told the Yorkshire Evening Post he has not seen any comments in favour of the plan for seats and he added: “There’s people out there willing to challenge it.

“We are happy for the club to move on, we agree they are a bit behind with facilities, but it is one of the biggest covered terraces in the world and to lose that would be a big thing.

“We would like it to remain all-standing, or there is safe-standing [which involves seats being installed on a standing terrace]. We’re not saying don’t do anything to it, but there are other options.”

Floyd said the group are planning to launch a petition against the proposals and intend to hold a protest at a Sky-televised game this season.

Rhinos insist the standing capacity of the new South Stand will be greater than the number of current season ticket holders for the terrace.

The club say seats are needed in the South Stand to replace ones lost when the North Stand, which backs on to the cricket pitch, is redeveloped.

And they are holding a public consultation – including an exhibition at the stadium – during which fans and members of the public can have their say over the proposals.