Emerald Headingley Stadium North/South Stand

A unique home for sport

Headingley, Leeds
Headingley, Leeds
Leeds, Cricket, Football & Athletics and Yorkshire County Cricket Club

In support of the aspiration to maintain International Test Cricket in Leeds, the new main stand provides seated terraces for both rugby and cricket spectators in a world unique “back to back” configuration with various levels of high-quality new facilities and circulation between.

We have worked with this world class sporting facility over a number of years, ensuring its longevity by meeting future standards, whilst maintaining the special Headingley atmosphere. 

01 Site history

The world famous Headingley grounds, complete with stables for the horses that used to pull the pitch roller, was formally opened on Whit Tuesday 1890, with a cricket match against Scarborough. The site is the shared home of the elite level Yorkshire County Cricket and Leeds Rhinos Rugby Super League clubs and has hosted international sports for over 110 years.

A 145 foot long double sided stand was the first part of the ground to be built. Designed by Smith and Tweedale, the stand straddled the centre line of the football pitch on the north side and was approved by Leeds Council in December 1889. Originally planned as a member’s only stand, it held approximately 2,000 standing spectators on 18 terrace steps, of which 10 were under cover. Constructed in brick and timber, with screen ends, it had a large dormer in the roof which was used as a press box, overlooking both the cricket and football pitches. 

02 Project Narrative

The redevelopment of the north/south stand ensures that world-class sport can continue to be played at Headingley. 

The new stand has been designed to complement the individual nature of the two sporting arenas. 

The rugby north stand accommodates a total of 3,800 seated spectators. The stands have been designed to be fit for purpose, appropriate and accessible by all potential users. Removing obstacles for disabled users we considered people of different age groups, genders, ethnicity and stamina/fitness levels. All areas of the building that are publicly accessible have been meticulously thought out, to provide the best access arrangements for all. The new developments have dramatically increased the number and options for disabled spectators.  

Cricket side, seating is provided across 3 tiers holding up to 7,700 supporter, continuing the seating profile around the remaining portion of the stadium, to complete the bowl. New facilities including bars, toilets and concession units are provided on multiple levels and a mid-level continuous viewing suite provides panoramic viewing of the pitch.  

A distinctive vaulted roofscape has been designed above the cricket stand, providing prominence to this world class cricketing facility.  

03 Passionate about delivery

Programme and sequencing were a key consideration, with the venue remaining operational through the period of regeneration and continuing to host both elite level and international competitive events. Careful sequencing was employed to ensure the public remained segregated from ongoing work and that emergency access and egress routes were maintained. 

Work which unavoidably intruded into areas essential for operation was programmed to take place out of season, and consideration was given to routing contractors access through cricket or rugby areas depending on time of year and seasonal programme of events. 

Mark Arthur Chief Executive, Yorkshire County Cricket Club said, “I am truly amazed by what has been achieved at Emerald Headingley Stadium. So much thought and creativity has gone into the planning and design process by DLA Architecture that we now have one of the best cricket grounds in the World”.

Project team

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