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Official Review by Gary Foxall, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Headingly Carnegie Stadium complex is home to both Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos Rugby League Club. Both clubs have their own stadium within the complex with the two sided North Stand housing common facilities. The cricket ground is all seated with a capacity of 20,000 whilst the rugby stadium has a capacity of 21,062 with one end being open terracing.
Both stadiums have undertaken major redevelopment over the last ten years and more is planned once both parties can agree on the future of the North Stand. The most notable part of the cricket stadium is the newly built Carnegie Pavilion which now houses the majority of the stadium’s facilities.
Headingly has been home to some of England’s most gifted cricketers but it will always be remembered for the famous 1981 Third Ashes Test Match against Australia when Ian Botham inspired one of sport’s greatest ever comebacks.
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Unlike football stadiums, going to a Test Match is a different experience in terms of catering and the food and drink experience will be more akin to that of a baseball game in the States. A wide range of different stalls sell burgers, Chinese, Indian, fish & chips, and sandwiches. In addition, there are ice cream stalls and specialist coffee outlets. The local beers are also worthwhile tasting and Headingly is cheaper than most Test Match venues in England for eating and drinking.
Headingly has the best Test Match atmosphere around and when both England and Yorkshire are doing well there is no better place to be. Despite the stadium's continuing rebuild it has managed to retain its atmosphere. The addition of floodlights in 2015 will certainly make it a place to be for night time cricket.
There is not a lot within the vicinity of the stadium. However, the city of Leeds itself has plenty to offer. It is a major sporting city with its football, cricket and rugby teams in addition to its theatres and Roundhay Park concert venue. The Royal Armouries Museum is also located in the city centre and is free to visit. The city has all of the High Street shops and offers many hotels and restaurants. The White Rose Shopping Centre is also located on the outskirts of the city not far from the Elland Road Soccer Stadium. The nearby Yorkshire Dales offers scenic views and plenty of country towns to visit.
Yorkshire County Cricket Club has a good fan base and possess one of the highest membership bases in County Cricket. Things on the pitch have also improved recently and the team has recently been crowned County Champions for the 2014 season. Yorkshire supporters are renowned for being vocal and enjoy their beer whilst watching the action.
Leeds is served by good transport links with regards to road and rail. The city can be reached by taking the M621 from the M62 and M1 motorways into the city centre. Exiting the M621 at junction 2 will take you to the Cricket and Rugby stadiums. Regular buses run from the City Centre Railway Station to the stadium. Leeds is well served by rail from and has direct links to most major cities within the United Kingdom. Nearest airports are Leeds/Bradford, Doncaster and Manchester.
Tickets for cricket matches vary depending on which form of the game you are watching. Best value will be the shorter limited overs version of the game of cricket. Test match tickets can be expensive and will set you back a minimum of Ł35 for a day watching England.
There is a good club shop located outside the stadium near to the main entrance. Inside there is also a stall selling a good range of old and new sports books and cricket memorabilia. The East Stand houses a cricket museum and opening times are available at The Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Betting Kiosks are also available inside the stadium and as ever with cricket stadiums the score is kept updated on the electronic scoreboard.
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Leeds, England LS10 1LT
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