No plans to move more Leeds Rhinos games to Elland Road says Gary Hetherington

Elland Road.
Elland Road.
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LEEDS RHINOS’ temporary move to Elland Road is proving popular, but will not be repeated.

Rhinos are to stage two home Betfred Super League fixtures at Leeds United’s ground this year as Emerald Headingley undergoes a major redevelopment.

Gary Hetherington.

Gary Hetherington.

They will face promoted Hull KR at Elland Road on Thursday, February 8 and return there to take on Castleford Tigers in a Grand Final rematch on Friday, March 23.

That has led to speculation Rhinos could switch other fixtures away from Headingley, where the capacity will be reduced this year as the South and North stands are rebuilt.

But chief executive Gary Hetherington confirmed building work is on schedule and all other home games will go ahead at Headingley as announced.

“We have no plans to move other games there,” he insisted.

“The South Stand is due to be open at some stage during the season.

“Initially, for the first game at Headingley, it will be 2,000 season ticket holders who have already secured their ticket for that stand.

“Later on it will accommodate another 1,000 and the next phase is the opening of the full terrace, which is around 5,700, plus 2,300 seats. It will be fully open by the end of the season, for sure, but we haven’t got a specific date yet.”

A temporary stand is due to be installed on the north side of the ground and Hetherington said that is also on schedule.

“They have just about completed the ground works now,” he said.

“The temporary stand is not needed until March, but it will be up at the end of this month or early next month.”

He added: “That is sold out. We still have season ticket memberships available in the Carnegie Terrace, but we plan to sell out all three [home] sides of the ground with memberships by the first game of the season at Headingley, against Catalans Dragons [on March 4].”

Rhinos are hoping for a new Super League record attendance of more than 25,000 for the game against Hull KR at Elland Road.

“That has added some spice to our pre-season,” Hetherington said.

“It has been really well received, which we are really pleased about.

“We’re hoping everybody can rally and get behind it.

“Leeds United have been terrific in terms of cooperation and support and we’re hoping to get the season off to a bang with a big occasion and a big crowd.

“The fact we are playing there is creating a lot of interest and it [ticket sales] has got off to a really good start.”