Yorkshire has a proud sporting history and the first association football club, Sheffield F.C, was recorded in the White Rose County. In 2014, Yorkshire played host to the Tour de France Grand Depart and in the process created the most successful ever start to the race. If it’s music you’re after Leeds – Reading and Bingley Music Live have both become popular events with festival goers. We have compiled a list of ten biggest events that have taken place over the years. Have a look and discover a few surprises.
#10 – Valley Parade
Number of Attendees – 39,146
Valley Parade is home to Bradford City F.C. It was built in 1886 and was the home of Manningham Rugby Football Club on of the original 22 clubs to leave the Rugby Football Union and form the Northern Rugby Football Union in 1895. Manningham became the first Northern Union side to win the Championship Shield finishing top of the league in 1896. After seven seasons the club switched codes and became Bradford City Association Football Club in 1903. Owned by former chairman Gordon Gibb’s pension fund, the stadium also been home to Bradford Park Avenue for one season, Bradford Bulls Rugby League for two seasons as well as hosting a number of England Youth team fixtures.
The club’s promotion to the second division in 1985 was overshadowed by the tragic fire of May 11,1985 in which 56 fans lost their lives. After the Bradford City fire, the stadium was redeveloped and reopened in December 1986. The ground underwent significant changes in the 1990s and early 2000s and now has an all-seater capacity of 25,136. The record attendance of 39,146 was set in 1911 for an FA Cup tie against Burnley, making it the oldest surviving attendance records at a Football league ground in the country.
#9 – Croft Circuit
Number of Attendees – 48,287
Croft Circuit is a motor racing track is near Dalton on Tees. The Tarmac circuit is just over two miles long and is located on the lands of an ex-airfield that have long since moved on from being a basic airfield circuit. The circuit holds meetings of the British Touring Car Championship, British Rallycross, and Pickup Truck Racing race series.
During the late 1940s and into the 50s, Darlington & District motor club held motor race meetings on various layouts utilising the runways and perimeter road and then in 1962 Bruce Ropner and fellow enthusiast bought half the venue at public auction, completing a track on the site in July 1964. The first meeting on August 3rd 1964 attracted a crowd of 48,287.
#8 – Boothferry Park
Number of Attendees – 55,019
Boothferry park was a football stadium in Kingston upon Hull and was home to Hull City F.C for over 50 years from 31 August 1946 until December 2002 when they moved to the Kingston Communications Stadium. In the later years, financial constraints forced Hull City to allow Kwik Save and Iceland supermarkets to embed themselves into part of the stadium’s structure. Parts of the ground were finally demolished in early 2008 more than five years after the last game was played there.
The highest attendance before the new stand was built was 40,179 in 1948 when Hull played Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.1949 witnessed the largest crowd when 55,019 turned out to see Hull play Manchester United. It was at this point the height of the terracing was increased.
#7 – Elland Road
Number of Attendees – 57,892
Elland Road is a football stadium located in Leeds. It has been home to Leeds United F.C since the club’s formation in 1919 and it was previously occupied by Leeds City and Holbeck Rugby Club. The stadium is the twelfth largest football stadium in England and the second largest outside the Premier League. The ground has hosted FA Cup semi-final matches as neutral venue and England international fixtures and was selected as one of eight Euro 96 venues.
Elland Road comprises four main stands the Revie Stand, the East Stand, the South Stand and the John Charles Stand. Which together with the corners, bring the total capacity to 39,460. A record attendance of 57,892 was set on March 15, 1967, in an FA Cup fifth round replay against Sunderland. This was before the stadium became an all-seater venue by the Taylor report.
#6 – Tour De France
Number of Attendees – 60,000
The Tour De France is the world’s biggest cycle race. Held over three weeks in July each year, the race takes the riders through the most stunning and often gruelling terrain over the course of 21 stages. Although the race takes place mainly in France it does occasionally start and pass through other countries. The race was first organised in 1903 to increase paper sales for the magazine L’Auto. The papers pages were printed on yellow paper, the colour was chosen for the race leader’s famous yellow jersey. Today the Tour is run by the Amaury Sport Organisation.
In 2014 Yorkshire was chosen for the Tour de France Grand Depart with the first stage starting from Leeds. The second stage of the Tour ended in Sheffield and a total of 2.5 million people lined the route around Yorkshire over the two days. The Police command centre reported 60,000 people at Holme Moss, the highest point of the race in Yorkshire.
#5 – Bramall Lane
Number of Attendees – 68,297
Bramall Lane is a football stadium in Sheffield. It is the home of Sheffield United. As the largest stadium in Sheffield during the nineteenth century, it hosted most of the city’s most significant matches including the final of the world’s first tournament, first floodlit match and several between the Sheffield and London that led to the unification of their respective rules.
The record attendance stands at 68,287 for the Sheffield vs Leeds United FA Cup fifth round tie played on February 15, 1936, the record since the 1994 introduction of all spectators being seated is 32,604 at the Sheffield United v Wigan Athletic game in the premier league on May 12, 2007.
#4 – Hillsborough Stadium
Number of Attendees – 72,841
Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield has been the home of Sheffield Wednesday since it opened in 1899. it is a 39,732 capacity, making it the largest club ground outside of the premier league. It is located in the Sheffield suburb of Owlerton and takes its name from the parliamentary constituency in which it lays.
The highest attendance recorded at Hillsborough was in the FA Cup fifth round on February 17, 1934, when a total of 72,841 turned up to see a 2-2 draw with Manchester City. The highest attendance recorded since work to convert the stadium to an all-seater venue was completed in 1993 was for a Premier League match against Manchester United on February 2, 2000. The game was watched by 39,640 fans.
#3 – Leeds Festival
Number of Attendees – 90,000
The Leeds festival runs as a pair with the Reading festival as an annual rock music festivals. The events take place simultaneously on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the August bank holiday weekend, sharing the same bill. The Leeds held at Bramham Park near Wetherby, the ground of a historic house. Campsites are available at both sites and weekend tickets include camping. Day tickets are also sold.
In 2012 Leeds festival introduced a ticket instalment plan this was part of a plan to increase the capacity to 80,000 which they did, however, this was only the start as this was part of a long term plan to increase the capacity to 90,000 by 2014. Since this was completed there has been no planned announcements increase the capacity for the 2016 Leeds Festival.
#2 – Odsal Stadium
Number of Attendees – 102,569
Odsal Stadium is a sports stadium in South Bradford. It has been home to Bradford Rugby League Club since opening in 1935. Firstly to Bradford Northern and then Bradford. It was also the home of speedway team the Bradford Dukes and even the short term home for Bradford City following the Valley Parade fire. Odsal has also been the venue for Baseball, Basketball, tennis and international Rugby League.
The stadium holds the British attendance record for a rugby match when 102,569 people attended a Rugby League match between Warrington and Halifax in the Challenge cup final replay. The record for a domestic non-final rugby league match was 69,429 at a third round challenge cup tie between Bradford Northern and Huddersfield in 1953. While its capacity has been reduced significantly, it remains one of the largest stadiums in rugby league.
#1 – York Racecourse
Number of Attendees – 150,000
York Racecourse is a horse racing venue in York. It is the third biggest racecourse in Britain in terms of total prize money offered and second behind Ascot in prize money offered per meeting. It attracts around 350,000 racegoers per year and stages three of the UK’s 31 Group one races the Juddmonte, International Stakes, The Nunthorpe Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks.
York’s Highest attendance for a race meeting was recorded in 1851, when a crowd estimated at 150,000 saw The Flying Dutchman, winner of the Derby and St Leger in 1849, beat Voltigeur who took both races the following year, in the so called great match. The modern era record is 32,586 who attended one Saturday in July 2010.