Leeds Rhinos v Wakefield Trinity: Key stadium dates starting to be ticked off calendar – Gary Hetherington

Emerald Headingley Stadium.Emerald Headingley Stadium.
Emerald Headingley Stadium.
TONIGHT’S VISIT of Wakefield Trinity is the first of three significant dates for Leeds Rhinos and new-look Emerald Headingley Stadium this year.

The new South Stand will be fully open for the first time at a Betfred Super League game and there will also be a small number of spectators in the as-yet incomplete North Stand.

Rhinos are at home for the first time this season after four successive away fixtures and chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “It is a big night for us.

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“Everything is on track in terms of the whole development and there are three big dates this year.

Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington.Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington.
Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington.

“The first of those is March 1 when the refurbished pavilion suites will be open for the first time.

“There will be a limited number of seats in the main [North] stand which can be accessed only from the pavilion and will be occupied by people who have membership in the pavilion.

“The next date is May when we will have completion of the North Stand. That will be all the seating areas, new hospitality boxes, Emerald Suite, new entrance to the pavilion and all the interior.”

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Rhinos’ new North Stand is expected to be fully open for the derby against Castleford Tigers on Thursday, May 16.

Peter Fox.Peter Fox.
Peter Fox.

England face Pakistan in a one-day cricket international at Headingley three days later.

Hetherington added: “Total completion of everything will be in August.

“That’s when the new changing rooms will be finished and ourselves, Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds City Council will celebrate the official opening of the redeveloped complex.”

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Meeting tonight’s deadline has been a “terrific effort by everybody concerned”, according to Hetherington.

He added: “We’ve had a lot of people working seven days a week for the last few weeks, the contractors, sub-contractors and our staff and we hope people will come along and have a really good experience.”

Meanwhile, a minute’s silence will be held before tonight’s kick-off in memory of former Leeds and Wakefield coach Peter Fox who died this week, aged 85.

His brother Neil and members of his family will be guests at the game.