Fans urged to arrive early for historic return to Emerald Headingley Stadium
Leeds Rhinos Head of Customer Experience Sian Jones in front of the new temporary stand at Emerald Headingley
Leeds Rhinos fans have been urged to allow more time than usual to arrive for this Thursday’s first game of the season at Emerald Headingley Stadium as the new look South Stand and the Temporary North Stand will start to be used for the first time.
The stadium is in the middle of a £40 million redevelopment of both the rugby and cricket facilities and this Thursday, the Betfred Super League Champions welcome Hull FC for the first major event at the stadium since work began last September.
Getting ready for the big kick off has been a logistical challenge for the stadium’s Head of Customer Experience Sian Jones. Jones, who has been at the club for over a decade, commented, “Ever since the final home game of last season, we have been preparing for Thursday night and making sure everything has been done to make the process go as smoothly as possible. We had a bit of a false start last week when the Catalans game was called off because of the snow but we are ready to go and looking forward to opening the doors on Thursday.
“This is the biggest construction exercise at the stadium since it first opened way back in 1890 so there has been painstaking plans put in place to try and think through of every eventuality. The fans can help us massively if they arrive early, especially those going into the new North Stand. Naturally fans will need to find their new seats and get used to their new surroundings and if people leave that until just before kick off, it will lead to congestion and potentially them missing the start of the game.
“We will have lots of staff on hand to help out and point them in the right direction and we are confident the night will go well and we can cheer the boys on to a win back here at Emerald Headingley,” added Jones.
Turnstiles will open at 5.30pm on Thursday with fans able to enjoy a whole host of new entertainment on ‘Amber Avenue’ – the stretch from the Kirkstall Lane turnstiles to the West Terrace and temporary North Stand, underneath the White Rose cricket stand. More than 2,000 fans will enjoy Thursday’s match from the new South Stand whilst another 2,500 will watch from a Temporary North Stand erected while construction continues on the new North Stand.
Steve Pitts, Project Manager at our lead contractor, Caddick Construction, says, “Fans at the match on Thursday will notice that the South Stand is well on its way. By the end of the season it will be fully completed and fitted inside and out.
“Meanwhile we began erecting the steel frame on the new, permanent North Stand last week so throughout the season fans will see that take shape week by week.
“I’ll be here on Thursday purely to observe from a safety point of view and ensure the construction site remains secure. However there is certainly a number of Rhinos supporters working on the site and I know plenty of them will be cheering from the sidelines,” added Pitts.
Tickets are selling well for Thursday’s game with availability for standing places in the Carnegie Terrace and limited amounts of seats available. Adult tickets start from £20 and £10 for juniors. Advance prices above valid until midnight on Wednesday 7th March, and prices increase by £2 on match day. To book call 03714231315 or online 24 hours a day at www.therhinos.co.uk
To date, the construction of the South Stand has seen the installation of 700 tonnes of steel and the placement of 1200 individual pre-cast concrete units. Meanwhile at the North Stand more than 2300 tonnes of concrete have been poured into the foundations, and 1200 tonnes of steel will be erected over the coming months.
For further information on Caddick Construction visit www.caddickconstruction.co.uk