Leeds Rhinos have revealed ‘exciting’ proposals for the redevelopment of Headingley Carnegie Stadium.
The Super League champions and treble winners of 2015 will officially reveal the plans in February at a series of public exhibition.
These plans are in the hope of readying the stadium for the hosting of the 2019 Cricket World Cup in which could bring a huge amount of social and economic benefits to the city of Leeds and the county of Yorkshire.
For the improvement plans to go ahead, funds will be provided from a combination of public and private funding from both Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos. The Rhinos will provide most of their funding through the sale of two sites for housing development around Headingley Carnegie Stadium.
Whilst the Cricket stadium will increase in capacity, the rugby stadium will have a new North and South Stand that will enhance the club’s facilities for all involved. The infamous Rhinos South Stand will incluce a seating area for the first time, but the standing capacity of the two tiered stand will exceed the size of the current one.
Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington has revealed his excitement at the plans finally being published, and was quick to give thanks to the co-operation given by the council and the cricket club.
“We have been working behind the scenes with Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds City Council for many years and now the vision of a completely re-developed Headingley is a reality,” he said.
“For Rugby fans, we will be providing significantly more comfort with much better seating, yet retaining the uniqueness and character of our home. Our overall capacity will not increase, but that has never been our aim. We have a 90 year old Main Stand and a South Stand that was condemned 6 years ago and is in constant need of repair.”
Hetherington admitted that the plans will initially cause disruption, but says its necessary for the beneft of Leeds Rhinos and for the city of Leeds.
“It will present a major construction challenge and inevitably cause some disruption for all teams during that period,” he said.
“Our stadium capacity will reduce to just over 13,000 for a period during the 2017 season but we are determined to ensure all our ticketed members are guaranteed access to all games and thats why the 2016 will have priority for 2017.
“Headingley has been a wonderful asset of the City for 125 years with a worldwide reputation for sporting drama and excitement and this latest development is another great news story for Leeds and Yorkshire.”