Elland Road expansion should be a priority for Leeds United TSS July 27, 2020 Leeds United 8 Comments Flying high off the back of a Championship winning campaign which put an end to Leeds United’s sixteen year Premier League exile, the Whites are hot property right now. So much so, that when stadiums do finally reopen, ticket demand is expected to further exceed the already saturated market non-season ticket holders had to contend with over the past two years as Bielsaball took Leeds by storm and renewed interest in a resurgent football team who’d done little to attract sell-out crowds for many years previous. It’s the inevitable consequence of waking a giant. A few rumblings will shake enough supporters to increase demand, but only when he’s stretched his legs and set his sights on trampling Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge will the chaos really start to unfold. With Leeds United, Andrea Radrizzani is in a position most other football club owners can only envy. His Premier League football club was already selling out the ground long before the club finally achieved promotion. Demand has increased so much in recent years, fans can no longer apply for season tickets and instead have to join a waiting list, which they’ll be charged £10 for the privilege of being listed on. With no guarantee they’ll ever get a ticket. While demand exceeding supply certainly has upsides (the ability to increase prices being the most obvious), it also comes at a risk of upsetting fans who’ve been attending games throughout our 16 years in the wilderness. Where once they could simply buy tickets on a whim, even a gold membership (£50 a year) didn’t guarantee a ticket last season. That situation is only going to become more common as the Whites embark on a new era in the Premier League, leaving a lot more fans feeling short-changed. Radrizzani and Angus Kinnear have spoken of stabilising in the Premier League before undertaking expansion, which sounds like a sensible and pragmatic approach. It does, however, risk making fans who’ve been around throughout the darker years increasingly bitter as they struggle to obtain tickets and are denied an opportunity to enjoy the rewards of so many year’s suffering. Success and demand will no doubt lead to disgruntled fans arguing with other fans, particularly those they believe only returned once we reclaimed Premier League status. And while that all sounds very petty, it’s also understandable. Expansion and improvement works are decades overdue at Elland Road, delayed by our demise and near-decade long suffering under Ken Bates. Leeds is an enormous, one-club city with a catchment area very few clubs should be able to compete with. Increasing the capacity to at least 50,000 is a no-brainer. It pays for itself. Even if we were to go straight back down, Leeds fans will turn up so long as the club shows the right vision and doesn’t spend 8 years insulting them, hiking prices above most Premier League clubs (while in League One!) and selling every half decent player for peanuts. Promotion shouldn’t result in fans being bitter about returning fans filling up the stadium, it should be a time when we welcome them back with open arms by making sure we have enough capacity to please (and profit from) everyone who wants to come and enjoy our success. To continue on our upward trajectory, we need every fan we can get. Let’s not shut them out for too long by delaying the expansion everyone knows we need.