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Shedding Light On The 92 Year Old Wembley Stadium
The citadel of football, Empire Stadium, commonly known as The Wembley Stadium is one of the most famous hollow grounds for the modern sport. Being the birthplace of football, England largely contributed towards the promotion of the game along with Scotland. Consequently the Wembley Stadium evolved into the national stadium of England and gained worldwide recognition of being the pioneer of football, with the famous twin towers on the entrance becoming iconic all over.
Back in 1920 when a government-formed enterprise planned on holding an exhibition in the vacant Wembley garden to promote trade, the land was purchased and the event was scheduled to be held in 1924. The Prince of Wales presided the committee & was eager to include a “great national sports ground” in the scheme as well. The construction of the stadium was completed in April 1923 opening a window of opportunity for England to host their Cup Finals.
However, in 1999 the stadium was chosen as a site to build a new stadium by the Sports Council. The Wembley Stadium with its worldwide popularity and the twin towers maintaining their charm and beauty certainly was the ideal site. However, to provide modern facilities to the sport fans the design of the stadium had to be changed and the twin towers seemed to come in the way.
Despite several protests, the twin towers were demolished in 2003. After several delays and planning the architecture was carefully constructed, keeping in mind the historical significance as well as the impeccable provision of facilities to the sports fans to enjoy the ecstasy and thrill of the game. The New Wembley Stadium therefore, came into existence in 2007.
Wembley Stadium: Other Than Football
- The stadium has been a host of sporting event where in 1963 which was one of the most talked about events in the history of British sports and athletics.
- Since 1929, Wembley has been hosting the Rugby League’s Challenge Cup Final, with the glamour and charm of NFL has stunned the crowds beginning from the 80s.
- The Wembley Stadium has also featured other awesome events including speedway, American Wrestling, Greyhound racing, Evel Knievel as well as American Wrestling over the course of 92 years. Even Pope John Paul II made a visit to the stadium in 1982.
- Besides, it has also been a focus of musical concerts. One of the most sensational events of Live Aid was hosted at Wembley back in 1985 which was inaugurated by Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Apart from that, music icons like Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones, Robbie Williams and Roger Waters have performed in the Wembley ground.
Interesting Facts About the Wembley Stadium
- The actual construction of the magnificent Old Webley Stadium took less than a year to complete costing approximately £750,000. Resources included 2500 tons of concrete with 600 tons of steel to build the terraces, whereas, 1250,000 tons of clay was dug out in order to create the ground.
- The first event to take place in the Wembley Stadium was the FA Cup Final, held between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United on the 28th of April 1923. The official attendance of 126,047 set a record for any football game in England, however, the number of people estimated to have entered the stadium was around 200,000.
- Making an international debut, football game was hosted at Wembley where England and Scotland drew with 1-1. After that, Wembley managed to host 78 FA Cup Finals, the 1966 World Cup, 258 England senior internationals, six European Cup Finals, 40 League Cup Finals and Euro 96.
- The Old Wembley’s last football match was a World Cup Qualifier between England and Germany, held on 7th October 2008. The ever excited football lovers experienced the buzz with Hamann’s free kick on 14 minutes making the Germans win by 1-0.
- The winnings teams are presented with trophies on the the Royal Box which is still preserved in its original position.
- The new stadium has the capacity to seat 90,000 spectators. Hence, it is known to be the second largest stadium in UK.
- The distinguishing Wembley Arch is about 1000 feet wide and 440 feet in height. Therefore, it is recognized as the longest “single span roof” in the world.
- Currently the Wembley Stadium consists of 8 restaurants, 98 kitchens and 688 food & drink service areas.
You can always surf through the official Wembley Stadium website to get the latest updates about the events being held in the stadium. Minicabs and executive car hire services are available through various cab companies that operate in London. The place certainly has an architectural and historical significance, providing its visitors with thrilling matches and magical moments to remember since over ninety years with more emotional and victorious flashes yet to come.