Leading Sports Venues in Leeds
6 July 2016
Attend World-Class Sporting Events in Outstanding Venues During a Four-Star Stay at 42 The Calls
Boasting a variety of leading sports venues, an outstanding year-round events line-up and a range of activities to try, Leeds is the perfect destination for sports fans. Take the opportunity to watch football games at Elland Road or rugby and cricket matches at Headingley, take part in water sports or try climbing at Leeds Sailing & Activity Centre...and enjoy the atmosphere at international sporting events in the award-winning First Direct Arena. Find out more about these historical venues and cutting-edge spaces with our guide to sports venues in Leeds and plan an unforgettable day out during a stay at 42 The Calls.
Headingley Carnegie Stadium
St Michael’s Lane, Headingley, LS6 3BR
Many will know this leading sports complex as simply ‘Headingley’, however its official title since 2006 has been the ‘Headingley Carnegie Stadium’ due to sponsorship from Leeds Metropolitan University, whose sports department is called the Carnegie School. Its two stadiums are home to Yorkshire County Cricket Club and both codes of rugby – rugby league team the Leeds Rhinos, and rugby union team, Yorkshire Carnegie. Both Headingley Carnegie Cricket Stadium and Headingley Carnegie Stadium are currently in the process of redevelopment, but remain open and functioning for a variety of matches and events throughout the year.
The capacity of Headingley Carnegie Cricket Stadium is set to increase from 17,000 to 20,000 via the rebuilding of stands and the vision is to become ‘…one of the finest cricket venues in the world’. Established in 1888, it became home to Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 1891, which are known as the most successful team of all time in English cricketing. Test cricket was first played here in 1899, and since then, the stadium has hosted The Ashes many times, alongside three matches in the 1999 Cricket World Cup. The club's one-day team, the Yorkshire Vikings, also reside here and their matches can offer a fun day out for all the family partly thanks to their ‘Vinnie the Viking’ mascot.
Headingley Carnegie Stadium will see redevelopments of both its North and South Stands; the latter of which was condemned in 2011. These works will mean the stadium’s capacity will momentarily be reduced to 13,000, however once rebuilt should return to its current figure of 22,000. The team now known as Leeds Rhinos built the stadium in 1889, and the first match here saw Leeds beat Manningham in 1890. Since then it's hosted many international and domestic games, including the likes of rugby league’s first Challenge Cup final in 1897 and a whole host of rugby league World Cup matches including the 1970 final. With the Rhinos playing from February to September, and Yorkshire Carnegie playing from September to May, there’s bound to be a nail-biting match to catch whenever you plan to visit Leeds.
Elland Road Stadium
Elland Road, LS11 0ES
Boasting a 39,000 capacity, Elland Road Stadium is the 12th largest football ground in England. Home to Leeds United FC since 1919, it regularly hosts home matches, alongside national and international friendlies. However it’s also known as one of eight venues selected to host England International fixtures during Euro 96, and has also hosted a variety of rugby union and league matches over the decades, including the 2005 Tri-Nations final and two matches in the Rugby World Cup 2015. Not to mention the occasional concert by acts such as Queen, U2 and local indie band, Kaiser Chiefs too.
The stadium itself has undersoil heating, and its 15,000 capacity East Stand was the largest cantilever stand in the world when it opened in 1993. Away from its more technical features, the ground also offers insight into Leeds United’s rich history. The West Stand was renamed in 2004 as the ‘John Charles Stand’ after the former Leeds United footballer, who is also regarded by some as the greatest British footballer of all time. Meanwhile, statues commemorating former midfielder and Captain Billy Bremner, alongside former player-manager Don Revie, stand outside the ground. Those interested in finding out more about the club’s history can also take part in guided tours every matchday, which include a visit to the Trophy Room, a chance to walk down the players’ tunnel and see the kits laid out in the dressing room.
Despite primarily being known for football, the site’s roots actually lie in rugby. Bentley’s Brewery sold the ‘Old Peacock Ground’ – named after a local pub – to Holbeck Rugby Club in 1897. The semi-professional rugby league club began transforming the ground’s open fields into a stadium by adding a stand, however, the club went under, and the site was taken over by a newly formed football club called Leeds City in 1904. The club developed the grounds further, and even hosted an FA Cup Semi Final with 36,000 in attendance, however, as a result of financial issues, Leeds City was expelled from the Football League in 1919. The stadium hung in the balance until Leeds United was created and took over in the same year, bringing about many changes and to date, a more permanent resident. Whether you opt to watch a match, go on a tour…or both, Elland Road Stadium can provide the perfect day out for any football fan during a stay in Leeds.
First Direct Arena
Arena Way, LS2 8BY
Though primarily known as an entertainment venue, First Direct Arena has hosted many outstanding sports events since opening in September 2013. It boasts the ‘best sound experience in the UK’ and a ‘super theatre’ layout with all seats facing the stage…which has not only impressed crowds watching the likes of Elton John and Bruce Springsteen, but also lends itself to fans of WWE, boxing, Europe’s Strongest Man and Premier League Darts. The BBC chose to host its 60th anniversary edition of BBC Sports Personality of the Year at the 13,000 capacity venue in 2013. While it also saw 22 of the world’s leading cycling teams gather for the Opening Ceremony and Team Presentation for the Yorkshire Grand Départ of 2014’s le Tour de France.
Those hoping to catch one of its many unique, and in some cases one-off, sporting events can also look forward to accessing a range of facilities. Its onsite bar and catering stands offer a variety of hot food and refreshments. While those looking for a more exclusive experience can opt for upgraded tickets for certain shows to gain access to the premier lounge, which provides pre and post show fine-dining and breath-taking views over the crowds via floor-to-ceiling windows.
Alongside being voted the ‘Best New Venue in the World’ in 2014 at the Stadium Business Awards, it has also been awarded the Silver level of the Charter of Best Practice from charity ‘Attitude is Everything’, which works towards improving deaf and disabled people’s access to live music. Advantageously located in the city centre, a mere 15 minute walk from 42 The Calls, it’s definitely worth checking out this contemporary venue’s line-up when visiting the city.
Leeds Sailing & Activity Centre
Cemetery Road, Yeadon, LS19 7UR
Those seeking a more active approach to sports in Leeds can opt for a visit to Leeds Sailing & Activity Centre. Though located a little out of the city centre, approximately a 35 minute drive from 42 The Calls, its outstanding list of facilities is definitely worth the journey. Enjoy the opportunity to try archery, bush craft, raft building, canoeing, abseiling, kayaking, off-road biking, orienteering, rowing and windsurfing. Hire a boat and try your hand at sailing, or climb walls to explore indoor caves. Open to all ages from eight years upwards, the centre offers a range of experiences from taster sessions, to courses from the likes of the Royal Yachting Association, British Canoe Union and British Cycling.
Activities at the centre are accessible to all, with adapted equipment such as canoes and dinghies - as are facilities including heated changing rooms. All equipment is included in the activity’s price, making it ideal for both the individual and a group, with special packages available for schools, youth and community groups. With such a wide range of activities on offer, visiting Leeds Sailing & Activity Centre is a must for sporty types seeking an exciting day out during a weekend away. While, if you’re visiting Leeds for business, the centre also offers team building activity days.
Home to a variety of venues that offer the chance to both watch and take part in a range of sports, Leeds can provide a fun-filled experience for both sports fans and the simply curious during a stay at 42 The Calls.
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