Monday, 9 April 2007

Stadium Review #19 - Elland Road

Ground Information: Elland Road (Leeds United FC) Capacity 40,204

Appearance: A mixed bag of architecture, from the modern imposing space framed main stand through the multi storey car park-esque south east corner to the industrial unit West Stand and old brick built run down 60s odd bits. Inside the ground is fully enclosed, with 4 stands of blue seats and the (what seems small, away end) adorned in yellow sticking out like a sore thumb. The East and north stands seem to go on forever. 7/10

View: Stuck in the corner near the back is not ideal, and 4 pillars holding up the roof obscure some of the view. There are obscured view prices, but we didn't pay them so I'd hate to think what constitutes a poor view. 4/10

Getting there: Elland Road is right next to the M621, though the signs will take you past the ground and back around even though there's direct access right next to the stadium. Coming by train means a 35 minute walk or a bus ride, which stop off at the stadium's "bus terminus". 5/10

Facilities (toilets, TVs etc): The refreshment bar is located underneath, and slightly behind the stand serving both tiers, however it seemed big enough to cope and I didn't have to queue at all. Unlike at Turf Moor the pies were of good quality. There were two sets of toilets, but queues quickly formed at both at busy times. 5/10

Food and Drink: Good pies, even if there was no steak and kidney, and the usual selection of other food and beverages. Whether because everyone else had already eaten, I was served straight away by the girls, who seemed very keen and quick. An in-out queuing system operates that avoids a scrum and distributes the queue into several small ones instead of the usual long one. 7/10

Stewarding/Police: Mounted police in Elland Road, and stewards who were keen to evict people for standing in spite of home fans doing so, which wound up the supporters (but what goes around comes around - how many times do Argyle complain that away fans stand at Home Park?). 5/10

Surrounding area (what's there to do outside the ground): Not much, apart from near the ground itself with its McDonalds, the nearby area is typical northern back-to-back terracing. Finding a pub is worthwhile for the cheap prices though. 5/10

Home fans (their contribution to the atmosphere etc): The atmosphere was great, but you can only hear the fans flanking the away end, and likewise Leeds cannot hear you at the far end. Leeds have much better songs from their past than Argyle will ever have, but the did give up trying to out-sing Green and White Barmy Army. 7/10

Total score: 45/80

Stadium League Table:
Pride Park (Derby): 65
Hillsborough (Sheffield Wednesday): 58
Poltair Park (St Austell): 57 [non league]
Stadium of Light (Sunderland): 55
= Portman Road (Ipswich): 51
= Ricoh Arena (Coventry):51

= Carrow Road (Norwich): 50
= Walkers Stadium (Leicester): 50

Underhill (Barnet): 49
= St Andrews (Birmingham): 48
= Molineux (Wolves): 48
= Loftus Road (QPR): 46
= The Hawthorns (WBA): 46
= Elland Road (45)
= Turf Moor (Burnley): 45

Deepdale (Preston): 43
Ninian Park (Cardiff): 42
Roots Hall (Southend): 41
London Road (Peterbrough): 36

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