Bright white diamonds set to light the Beeston skyline once again
22 Oct 2020 12:17 pm, by YorkshireSquare
When I was a young lad following Leeds United there were four bright white diamonds lighting the skyline, leading fans from across the city to Beeston on their pilgrimage to watch the might Leeds United. The four diamond floodlights stood proud atop their giant towers from 1973 (Well three of them did, the South East was erected in 1978) shining bright over the Elland Road pitch. They were our claim to fame, costing £50,000 and at 79.2m they were the tallest in Europe.
Each tower weighed twenty tonnes and held 55 100 kilowatt triple halidine lamps. The bulbs alone weighed two tonnes and each one produces as much heat as a two bar electric fire. They were relatively short-lived though, lasting only twenty years, as construction of the new 17,000 seater East Stand in 1993 lead to their removal. First on the east side of the ground then with the final pair on the west side of the ground removed ahead of the 1993-94 season. Since then the floodlights have been mounted on the stadium roof, far more practical but much more boring.
Image from original planning applicaton
But with our return to the Premier League Leeds United have to improve certain aspects of Elland Road in order to meet the leagues requirements. As part of those improvements the flood lighting at Elland road needs to be upgraded to satisfy the minimum specification for hosting Premiership football and 4K TV broadcasts. Eagle eyed viewers may have noticed that Elland road was already brighter for Monday’s night visit of Wolves, with the light on top of the North, South and East stands having been upgraded.
But Leeds are also installing two new 44m feature lighting columns behind the West Stand in order to comply with the specifications. Anyone who has visited Elland road recently will have seen the two rather large holes dug behind the West Stand awaiting the installation of the new lights. So floodlight towers are returning to Elland Road once again. Not quite as impressive or iconic as those record breaking diamonds that used to shine bright across the South Leeds, but bright white diamonds showing us the way home nonetheless.
Floodlight facts courtesy of Jon Howe's, rather brilliant book The Only Place for Us, An A-Z History of Elland Road.