English Super League champion Leeds Rhinos will play two high profile matches at Elland Road next year as the rugby league club seeks to attract more fans and potentially set a new attendance record for the league.
The current record for a single match in the Super League, England’s top division of rugby league, was set in 2005 when 25,004 spectators were in attendance for a game between Wigan Warriors and St Helens at the now-DW Stadium in Wigan.
However, Elland Road, the home of English Championship second-tier football club Leeds United, has a total capacity of 37,890, meaning there is scope for the Rhinos to smash this record.
The Rhinos will face off against Hull KR on February 8 in round two of the Super League season, before returning again on March 23 for a game against Castleford Tigers.
The team has played at Elland Road on a number of occasions during the World Challenge, most recently in 2010.
Paul Bell, executive director of Leeds United, said: “Everyone at Leeds United is delighted to welcome Gary Hetherington (Rhinos chairman) and his Leeds Rhinos side to Elland Road next year and we are incredibly proud of the new partnership we have formed with the Super League side in recent months.
“Playing at Elland Road gives the Rhinos the chance to create two major events here and we are sure that we can help them create memorable experiences for their fans and hopefully break their highest Super League home attendance record for a game played in Leeds. Elland Road is one of the finest sports stadiums in the UK and we will look to host other non football events here in the future.
“I’d like to thank Gary and his team for the hard work and effort they have put in this summer in preparation for this announcement.”