Everything you need to know about one of the most iconic football stadiums on the planet, England's Wembley Stadium.
England National Football Team
Saturday 17th March 2007
Wembley Stadium is the home of the English National Football Team, the stadium also plays host to the FA Cup Finals and Semi-Finals and English Football League Play-Off Finals.
The stadium also regularly hosts major sporting events across a variety of sports including Boxing, Rugby League, Rugby Union and NFL.
Alongside sports, the stadium is also a popular music venue with many headline acts performing sell-out shows at the stadium.
The stadium was opened on 17th March 2007 after several long delays, the first official competitive fixture was played on 19th May 2007, for the 2007 FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United.
The total estimated cost of the project was £1bn and took almost 5 years to complete, work started immediately upon the demolition of the old Wembley Stadium and the new stadium was built on the same site.
The old Wembley Stadium, originally known as the Empire Stadium, was the first home of English Football.
Built in 1923 it hosted the annual final of the FA Cup and was the home of the English National Football Team. The stadium was demolished in 2002 to pave way for a more modern venue.
Like its successor, the original Wembley played host to a variety of elite sporting and music events and was widely regarded as one of the greatest stadiums in the world.
No, surprisingly Wembley stadium isn’t even in the top 10 largest stadiums in the world, trailing significantly behind North Korea’s behemoth ‘Rungrado 1st of May Stadium’ which claims to hold up to 150,000.
It is however one of the largest football stadiums in the world, and the second biggest in Europe behind Barcelona’s Camp Nou.
The highest recorded attendance for a football match at Wembley is 89,874 for the 2008 FA Cup Final between Cardiff City and Portsmouth.
However, other sporting or musical events have drawn larger crowds, singer Adele performed before 98,000 at Wembley and Boxer Tyson Fury beat domestic rival Dillan Whyte in front of 94,000 fans.
The current playing surface at Wembley Stadium stands at 105 m x 68 m (115 yd x 74 yd), which is the maximum size allowed as part of UEFA’s governing regulations.
Wembley Stadium is built on Wembley Park which is located in North-West London in the London borough of Brent.
Wembley Stadium does not have a fully retractable roof like some other sporting venues. It features two partially retractable rooves which are used to allow sunlight in to help the growth of the grass playing surface.
Wembley Stadium is easily reachable via train, with three stations serving Wembley Stadium: Wembley Park Station, Wembley Stadium Station & Wembley Central Station.
Wembley also has an official coach supplier that offers direct services from many locations across the UK.
The stadium is accessible in the car with parking needing to be booked in advance, there are several official parking facilities on offer, but be aware of the difficulties of navigating the roads of the capital, plan your visit in advance!
Yes, Wembley offers a number of stadium tours available for purchase at varying levels, including an Exclusive VIP Tour and a VIP Matchday Tour Experience which includes a pitch-side visit to watch the players train before the match.
Wembley Stadium has hosted some of the most prestigious events in sport, both the new venue, and the original Wembley.
Football legend Pele said of Wembley:
“Wembley is the cathedral of football. It is the capital of football and it is the heart of football.”
The final of the 1966 World Cup, which England won, was hosted at Wembley. The stadium has also played host to the final of two European Championships, in 1996 & 2021 respectively.
Alongside football Wembley was also the venue for Live Aid in 1985, several high profile artists including Ed Sheeran and Adele have performed sold out shows at the stadium.