Leeds United is a massive football club with a wealth of history. Elland Road, Leeds’ stadium, is iconic in Europe as being one of the oldest and most formidable on the continent. However, the stadium's historical prowess isn’t enough and, in recent years, there have been many critiques of the stadium's current lackluster quality.
Especially when compared to the likes of Anfield, Old Trafford, and the Emirates Stadium, Elland Road lacks the features required to compete at the highest level. Thankfully, the club can learn lessons from their peers and hopefully transform Elland Road into something special in the future.
Keep the Atmosphere
Building a new stadium won’t cut the mustard. Look at West Ham when they moved from the Boleyn Ground to the Olympic Stadium. The latter has state-of-the-art facilities, as you would expect of a stadium built for the 2012 games. However, fans regularly complain about the lack of atmosphere due to the setup.
Liverpool is a football club that has managed to modernize its stadium without losing any of its soul. Anfield has been extended, meaning that 61,000 fans will be able to cheer on the Reds from the 2023/2024 season, with access to in-game Wi-Fi, audio headsets to listen to commentary, and a sensory room that caters to people with sensory needs.
Improve the Location
Elland Road isn’t in a terrible location. Situated on the outskirts of the city, it’s a compromise between ensuring it’s relatively easy to access and relieving the pressure from the local community. Non-football fans don’t want thousands of people descending on the center twice a month. On the flip side, a central location makes the football club the beating heart of the city. Consider Turf Moor in Burnley and St James' Park in Burnley and Newcastle, respectively.
Although the two teams don’t boast the same resources of a Manchester United, Newcastle has the same average attendance rating as the Red Devils. Burnley, meanwhile, has one of the lowest average attendances, but that doesn’t tell the whole story since the region’s population is around 80,000. Therefore, the club has one of the top attendances per capita. The passion for the clubs comes from the fans who can attend matches regularly due to the stadiums’ locations. If Leeds United invests in improved transport links, such as putting on subsidized bus and rail travel like cities in Australia do, it could enhance its significance within the community.
Put the Fans First
Whatever Leeds does to improve Elland Road, the club must put the supporters first if the changes are going to be accepted. A high level of credibility among the people who use the facilities the most is essential because it highlights Leeds’ commitment to boosting the experience. Paying customers aren’t afraid to voice their displeasure any longer, especially not with the introduction of reviews that let people rank products and services.
When businesses get it right and the reviews are glowing, it serves to improve the brands’ reputations in the eyes of consumers. This is something we can see evidenced by the online gambling industry, which has utilized online ranking systems to produce comprehensive breakdowns of the best betting sites. A simple and trusted review site breaks features down into easy-to-read chunks, making the decision-making process more straightforward.
The hospitality industry backs this up since statistics show that 49% of consumers won’t choose hotels if they have no reviews. Therefore, Leeds must impress its followers not only to encourage them to leave feedback but to leave positive feedback. Otherwise, any alterations could go down like a lead balloon and the entire process will be counterproductive. Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium is a prime example as it has all the trimmings, yet the club’s supporters call it a library, despite the fact it cost the Gunners over $500 million.
Judging by these factors, it’s safe to say that Leeds United has a big task ahead of it regarding improving Elland Road!