Leeds United’s Elland Road expansion: Andrea Radrizzani claim, plan hold-up, Paraag Marathe promise
All the latest information surrounding Leeds United’s Elland Road expansion plans as home fixtures continue to sell out.
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Elland Road sells out most weeks when Leeds are in the Premier League or even challenging in the Championship, and the Whites have a fanbase that could fill a significantly bigger stadium than Elland Road. But the famous old ground is going nowhere any time soon, so the club instead hope to expand the stadium.
The big question is when an expansion will actually get going, and it’s a question Whites fans continue to ask amid ongoing uncertainty over the club’s ownership situation.
With that in mind, we have rounded up all the latest surrounding the Elland Road expansion.
It was agreed in 2021 that Leeds would build a new training ground, as well as expanding Elland Road. But those plans were later withdrawn, with Leeds instead opting to expand the stadium to 55,000 seats, up from the current capacity of 37,608.
Further investment from the 49ers investment group will likely be required, but Whites CEO Angus Kinnear has said: “If we stay up this year, then construction wouldn’t start next year, but the process would.”
Leeds’ Premier League status will undoubtedly be a key factor in any plans, with an expansion not likely if the Whites go down.
Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani spoke about the possible epxansion of Elland Road during an interview in 2022.
“I always said to Angus Kinnear, we’ll look at the expansion of the stadium when we’re in the third year of the Premier League,” he said. “The chance to go back in the Championship is very high in the first and second year but much lower after. Now we can move on. Angus has initiated some activities to finance the project. It will be over £100million to renovate the West Stand and build it to a 55,000 capacity. We’re going step by step but, hopefully, we move soon with a financial partner.”
Speaking to the BBC, Leeds vice-chairman Paraag Marathe has 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.”
Amid reports of the Elland Road expansion, a fresh report has emerged from The Athletic claiming the uncertainty over a takeover is holding up the plans.
The Athletic’s Phil Hay wrote: “It’s been apparent for a while now that Leeds could fill a much bigger ground. You only have to look at the waiting list.
“It’s a frustration on two fronts. First, because a lot of would-be match-going fans cannot get tickets. And second, because the commercial advantages of a larger, more modern stadium would make a big difference to the club’s accounts.
“To answer this succinctly, stadium development will not start or move any further forward until a takeover goes through. It would be an expensive project. But a major upgrade is very much at the centre of 49ers Enterprises’ plans. It wants an improved ground and it wants to gradually push annual revenue much closer to the £400m mark.”