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History Stadium

Wembley Stadium history


Although it was only in March, 2007 that the 'new' Wembley held its first official fixture, it really does seem to be well-established as a fabulous football venue.

All of the unforeseen delays and doubts can be set aside and we can concentrate on enjoying what is now widely recognised as one of the world's finest stadiums.

It was an unenviable task trying to fill the place in the nation's heart that was held by the old 'Empire Stadium' that had been hosting cup finals and internationals since opening for the British Empire Exhibition in 1923.

There were some unforgettable matches in the old ground but supporters would regularly bemoan the poor view from many of the seated areas, the dreadful quantity and quality of the toilets and the fact that you often paid a lot of money to get absolutely soaked to the skin.

Wembley Stadium now is a venue worthy of staging the greatest games in the world. Its 90,000 capacity means that only the Camp Nou in Barcelona holds more spectators but here every single seat is under cover. Additionally, the famous 'roof' offers even more protection against the notorious English weather.

From the minute you walk along Wembley Way, the stadium will impress you. The enormous Wembley Arch an awesome sight when seen from the air has successfully taken over from the much-loved Twin Towers as the iconic representation of the stadium and the redevelopment around the stadium has led to much improved access for spectators.

It's inside the stadium that you'll notice the greatest differences, though. Those old toilets, for instance, have long gone there's more than enough now 2,618 to be exact; apparently that's more than at any other stadium anywhere!

The variety of food and drink available is also immeasurably improved and the prices are comparable with most other sporting venues. The seats also are far more comfortable and offer good views of the pitch from all areas.

For many people, the only downside of the new stadium apart from the quality of the pitch in the early days is the loss of the famous '39 Steps'. It's now a painful 107, at the mercy of backslapping fans which can't be a lot of fun if you've just lost a final after a penalty shoot out.

Car parking at Wembley is limited and strictly controlled and the stadium recommends that people use public transport. The stadium is linked by Olympic Way to Wembley Park station, on the Metropolitan and Jubilee Underground lines, and by the White Horse Bridge to Wembley Central, which is on the Bakerloo line and also served by London Overground and Southern Train services. Wembley Stadium Railway station is less than a quarter of a mile away and is only a 10-minute journey from Marylebone Station.