Leeds United aims for “world class venue”

Leeds United’s Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, told Beeston Forum tonight that the club’s ambitions to develop the Elland Road stadium were still on track.

Mr Harvey was updating the Forum on the situation following the recent takeover of the club by GFH Capital, a Dubai-based private equity group. He said that residents wouldn’t see much change in the coming months, except for greater engagement with the local area, particularly with the Asian community.

He then addressed the issue of the proposed Super Casino, explaining that Leeds had a licence to build one and that Elland Road was one of a number of bidders. If it goes ahead the casino will form part of a redeveloped West Stand, raising the capacity of the ground. He said:

“The Club’s aim is that the stadium is fit for world class events. That can only be good for the city and good for Beeston. Everything is up for debate if this redevelopment goes ahead – that is your chance to resolve a range of issues.”

Answering questions, Harvey confirmed that there would be no music concerts at the ground this summer, but that these were on the agenda for the future.

Not surprisingly car parking was the residents’ greatest concern. Harvey explained that all the land around the ground was owned by the City Council who operate the match day car parks. He understood that the Park & Ride scheme was unpopular, but felt it might encourage more fans to use the shuttle bus service from the city centre on match days. He confirmed that the club had looked at a rail link in the past, but this proved too difficult on the main London express line.