Wembley Stadium is, after Camp Nou, the second largest stadium in Europe and the standard playing venue of the English national team. It also hosts, among others, the annual League Cup final, FA Cup final, and the Community Shield. The stadium has a capacity of 90,000 seats.
Wembley Stadium, or New Wembley Stadium, replaced the old stadium with the same name that had stood in its place since 1923, and had been host to many finals. The original Wembley got demolished in 2003, after which construction of the new stadium started. After several delays, postponing the opening of the stadium for almost two years, the stadium finally got completed in 2007.
The stadium officially opened on the 19th of May 2007 with the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United (1-0). Earlier other official football matches had already been played at the stadium, of which a match between the English and Italian U21 sides was the first.
The new stadium was designed by architecture firms Foster and Partners and Populous and is estimated to have cost a total of £757 million. Most iconic feature of the stadium is its 133 metre tall arch, that, with its span of 315 metres, is the longest single span roof structure in the world.
The stadium furthermore has a sliding roof that sits 52 metres above the pitch. Even though the roof does not completely close, it does cover every seat in the stadium, which makes Wembley the largest fully covered stadium in the world.
The stadium hosted the 2011 Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United (3-1), and will again host the Champions League final in 2013 to mark the 150th anniversary of the FA.
Wembley Stadium is located in the north-west of the city of London, about 6 miles from Paddington station, 7 miles from Marylebone station, and 8 miles from Kings Cross St Pancras and Euston stations.
The stadium is served by trains from London Marylebone station. The trip to Wembley Stadium station takes about 8 minutes.
Wembley Park tube station, a 5-minute walk from the stadium, is served by the Jubilee and Metropolitan metro lines. Both lines connect the stadium with London’s city centre, though the Metropolitan line does so with fewer stops.
The stadium is also within walking distance (10 to 15 minutes) from Wembley Central metro station, which is served by the Bakerloo line and the London Overground metro.
Finally, local buses 18, 83, 92, and 224 connect the stadium with local destinations as well as other parts of the city.
It is advised not to arrive by car on matchdays, or only if parking is booked in advance.
On non-matchdays the stadium can be reached by car from the A406 which connects with the M1 slightly further north. The exits toward the stadium are signposted from the A406.
From central London the stadium can be reached by driving up Harrow Road (A404) in north-western direction. Harrow Road branches off the A40 at the altitude of Paddington station. At Wembley Rail Station turn right onto Wembley Hill Road to reach the stadium (follow the signs).
Address: Wembley, London HA9 0WS
Ticket sales for games of the English national team go through the FA. Tickets can be bought online, or by phone +44 (0) 844 847 2010.
Tickets for FA Cup and other finals can only be bought through the clubs involved.
Wembley Stadium offers guided behind-the-scenes stadium tours that include the changing rooms, press room, players’ tunnel, and royal box. The tour lasts about 75 minutes.
Tour run every day of the week between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, at least every hour, but on many days more often. Tours do not run on days of major events or a number of public holidays.
Walk-ups are allowed but subject to availability. Tickets can be booked online, or by calling +44 (0) 844 800 2755. The tour costs £15.00.
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Relevant Internet links:
Wembleystadium.com – Official website of Wembley Stadium.
Visitlondon.com – Official London city guide.
Tfl.gov.uk – Website of the London Underground and other London public transport.
Journeyplanner.org – Plan your journey around London (public transport).
Nationalrail.co.uk – Check train times and fares.