Leeds United Elland Road update: 49ers' plan, new tram links and upgrade 'finished' ahead of Hull City clash

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The latest Elland Road expansion news as Leeds United look to bring an iconic stadium into the modern era.

Leeds United climbed to the top of the Championship for the first time this season after beating Millwall 2-0 last weekend. Daniel Farke's side had to win by two or more goals and did exactly that, with efforts either side of half-time from Wilfried Gnonto and Dan James.

An incredible run of 12 wins in a 13-game unbeaten run has seen Leeds go from promotion outsiders to serious title contenders, having clawed back 17 points on previous league leaders Leicester City. A return to the Premier League would mark an excellent first campaign for Farke and new majority owners, 49ers Enterprises.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As well as the obvious footballing benefit, being a Premier League team will see an influx of money at Leeds and so long-held plans to expand Elland Road could kick into gear. Talk of work on the stadium intensified after the 2020 promotion under Marcelo Bielsa but never materialised - something that won't be allowed to happen again.

There was plenty of interest and excitement among fans at the prospect of an improved Elland Road and work behind the scenes is already underway to try and get spades in the ground when needed. Below, the YEP has rounded up some of the key recent developments.

Upgrade almost 'finished'

Elland Road will have received a major update in time for the Easter Monday visit of Hull City, according to a recent report. Leeds Live reports that far more home supporters in the Don Revie Stand will have rail seating after Leeds received the green light to extend the current rails.

A trial of rail seating began at the back of the Don Revie stand in March 2022 and looks set to be extended across all areas of the upper section. Affected fans have been informed that work is expected to be complete in time for the Championship clash against Hull City.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Tram link plans

Fans heading to Elland Road on a matchday might soon be able to take the tram with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority recently announcing proposals for a new public transport network across the city. Phase one of the 'Mass Transit Scheme' is due to begin development in 2028 and would see two lines operating, one of which will go from St James' Hospital, through Leeds city centre and on to Elland Road.

The Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said: "This will be transformational for the North, helping our communities to thrive and our economy to flourish - benefitting generations to come with greater opportunity and prosperity. We know that mass transit systems have successfully helped to regenerate areas right across the country by boosting connectivity, opportunity and prosperity – and we will work tirelessly to make sure that happens here in West Yorkshire.”

Promotion the priority

The YEP understands that while those in charge at Leeds remain committed to developing and investing in Elland Road, plans to do so will be put on hold until promotion is achieved. The Whites are on course for a swift return but no one is getting ahead of themselves.

49ers Enterprises have experience of improving the match-going experience and have already appointed Morrie Eisenberg as the new chief operating officer. Eisenberg played a major role in the San Francisco 48ers' move to the Levi's Stadium a decade ago.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

New talks

Leeds United have reportedly held talks with an architectural firm to gauge what developing the current stadium would look like and cost. Hay told The Athletic at the time: "When 49ers Enterprises lined up its takeover in the summer, it was suggested that the fund might be in a position to unveil more concrete plans before the end of this year. Leeds are known to have spoken with at least one major architectural firm about redeveloping their ground.

"A larger, more modern home is seen as the most crucial way of giving United greater commercial strength; the key to pushing up the worth of a club that, at one stage, had a valuation of close to £500million ($630m) in the Premier League."

49ers thoughts

49ers Enterprises chief and Leeds chairman Paraag Marathe has already outlined his thoughts on the development of Elland Road, stressing the importance of keeping the stadium's unique and raucous atmosphere alive. In an interview with the BBC, Marathe said: “I’ll be honest with you, the main thing is to protect the magic and electricity that is in Elland Road. The answer then is [it] probably means that it’s more of a stadium expansion than a new stadium because I don’t want to take away from that.

“Players from the other 19 [Premier League] clubs, if they are going to list the three worst places that they want to play on the road for an away match, Elland Road is probably one, two or three for them. I don’t want to take that away.”