Wembley Stadium, Football's New Home
Wembley Stadium (often called "Wembley") is a football stadium in Wembley, London. With 90,000 seats the stadium has the second largest capacity in Europe. By area it is the largest roof-covered football stadium in the world, and stands opposite Wembley Arena.
The previous Wembley Stadium (originally known as the Empire Stadium) was one of the world's most famous football stadiums, being England's national stadium for football, and because of the geographical origins of the game was often referred to as "The Home of Football". It hosted the European Cup (now the UEFA Champions League) final a record five times, and is one of seventeen stadia to have held a FIFA World Cup final. In 2002, the original structure was demolished and construction began on the new stadium, originally intended to open in 2006. This was later delayed until early 2007. The final completion date of the stadium came on 9 March 2007, when the keys to the stadium were handed over to The Football Association.
Wembley is the most expensive stadium ever built at a cost of £798 million and has the largest roof-covered seating capacity in the world.
The design of the stadium is an all-seated 90,000 capacity bowl stadium (unless it is athletics or concerts) protected from the elements by a sliding roof. The stadium's signature feature is a circular section lattice arch of 7m internal diameter with a 315m span, erected some 22° off true, and rising to 140m tall. It stands 140m above the pitch and supports all the weight of the north roof and 60% of the weight of the retractable roof on the southern side. According to "Guinness World Records 2006", the archway is the world's longest unsupported roof structure.
The initial plan for the reconstruction of Wembley was for demolition to begin before Christmas 2000, and for the new stadium to be completed some time during 2003, but this work was delayed by a succession of financial and legal difficulties. It was scheduled to open on 13 May 2006, with the first game being that year's FA Cup Final. However, worries were expressed as to whether the stadium would actually be completed on time. The new stadium was completed and handed over to the FA on 9 March 2007.
Facts and Figures
With 90,000 seats, the new Wembley is the largest stadium in the world with every seat under cover.
The stadium contains 2,618 toilets, more than any other building in the world.
The stadium has a circumference of 0.62 miles.
At its peak, there were more than 3,500 construction workers on site.
4,000 separate piles form the foundations of the new stadium, the deepest of which is 115 feet.
There are 35 miles of heavy-duty power cables in the stadium.
3.2 million cubic feet of concrete and 23,000 tons of steel were used in the construction of the new stadium.
The total length of the escalators is 400 metres (1310 feet).
Each of the two giant screens in the new stadium are the size of 600 domestic television sets.
The new pitch is 13 feet lower than the previous pitch. The pitch size is 105 metres (115 yards) long and 68 metres (75 yards) wide, slightly narrower than the old Wembley
The new 7,000 ton roof covers an area of over 11 acres, four acres of which are moveable and rise to 170 feet above the pitch. With a span of 1040 feet, the arch is the longest single span roof structure in the world and is 440 feet above the level of the external concourse.
There is more leg room in every seat than in the Royal Box in the old stadium.
Tour the Stadium
Fan's eye view - fan cam
Is it just a football ground?
The English national football team will be a major tenant of Wembley Stadium. Given the ownership by The Football Association as of March 10, the FA Cup Final and League Cup final will move back to Wembley from Cardiff. Other showpiece football matches that were previously staged at Wembley, such as the Football League promotion play-offs and the Football League Trophy final, will also return to the stadium. The Nationwide Conference play-off final will also be held at the stadium on 20th May 2007, and the League Cup final will return to Wembley in 2008. Additionally, the Rugby League Challenge Cup final will return to Wembley Stadium beginning in 2007.
The stadium will also serve various purposes during the 2012 Summer Olympics.
A Rugby Union Premiership doubler-header, usually held at Twickenham, could be played at Wembley during the 2007-08 season. The double header involves four clubs, London Irish, Wasps, Saracens and Harlequins.
Besides football, Wembley can be configured to hold many other events, particularly major concerts. In March 2007 it was confirmed the first music event at the newly opened stadium will be British singer George Michael, who will perform on June 9 and June 10, 2007. The following weekend will see Muse performing two concerts on 16 June and 17. Metallica have recently confirmed that they too will be performing at the stadium on July 8 as part of their 'Sick of the Studio '07' tour. The global movement concert Live Earth, modeled after the 1985 Live Aid concerts (one of which took place at the original Wembley Stadium) and the 2005 Live 8 concerts, is also planned to be held at Wembley on July 7, 2007.
The new Wembley is a significant part of the plan for the 2012 Summer Olympics to be held in London; the stadium will be the site of several games in both the men's and women's football tournaments, with the finals planned to be held there.
The Race of Champions also visited the stadium in December 2007.
Although not completed or opened at the time, EA Sports added Wembley Stadium into the video game FIFA 07.
On October 28th 2007 Wembley will be the venue for the first competitive NFL game ever to be played outside North America. This huge event will be played between the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins.
A statue of Bobby Moore - the captain of the England national football team when they won the 1966 Football World Cup at Wembley - was unveiled outside the stadium on Friday May 11, 2007.
Wembley from the West
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