Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley Stadium is one of the most historic stadiums not just in British rugby league, but the sport in general.
Home to some huge international fixtures as well Challenge Cup Finals of the past, the famous old stadium has been standing since 1890 and in the last decade or so has played host to New Zealand’s greatest stars, those of Australia, Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys and players like Billy Slater, Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Johnathon Thurston.
Now though the home of the Rhinos will host a special event as part of the City’s Year of Culture – a year-long celebration of the city and its culture with hundreds of events planned.
The year of culture “wakes up” at the home of Leeds Rhinos on Saturday, with 15,000 people invited to a live show promising a free celebration of Leeds’ cultural past, present and future.
Hosted by BBC Sport’s Gabby Logan and BBC Radio Leeds’ Sanchez Payne, the event will see performances from singer Corinne Bailey Rae, Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and LYR, The Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North and others.
Emma Beverley, Leeds 2023 director of programmes, says the eclectic opening will reflect the richness on offer throughout the 12 months ahead.
“A year about culture should be about culture in its broadest sense – that includes art, sport through to food and how we communicate,” she says.
“One of the things I’ve always loved about this programme is Leeds is a city which speaks 175 languages, so we can be local and international just by who we are as a place.”