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Headingley chiefs apply to host boxing and wrestling events

Emerald Headingley Stadium’s operator has applied for permission to host boxing and wrestling events welcoming up to 25,000 fans.

Leeds Cricket Football and Athletic Co Ltd wants the complex’s Rugby Bowl – home of Leeds Rhinos – to be able to stage two such events each year. The events would take place on a Friday or Saturday between the hours of midday and midnight.

The application will be considered at a meeting of Leeds City Council’s licensing sub-committee next Tuesday (April 20). The plans follow a decision last year to allow the stadium to host up to four music concerts per year, with up to 19,999 spectators at each event.

The new application reads: “The events will be served by bars and toilets within the north, south and extentia stands, where both alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments are available.

“We anticipate that the ring will be set centrally on the pitch, with spectators occupying the rest of the pitch, the terraces and the stands.”

According to submissions to Leeds City Council, the plan is opposed by many local residents, while concerns have been raised by councillors and local police.

A letter signed by six councillors stated: “We are gravely concerned that the license application outlines that people will be leaving the Stadium up to 12.30am which is much later than current finishing times. We object to this in the strongest terms.”

An objection to the plans from West Yorkshire Police stated that the application contained “insufficient information” on how organisers would prevent crime and disorder and improve public safety.

It went on to suggest tighter safety measures, including improved CCTV, a check 21 alcohol scheme, a search policy, and a commitment to no glass drinking receptacles.

Image: Emerald Headingley Stadium