If there is something that they don’t teach you in history class, it’s that English people are very fond of football. Perhaps they’re proud of their heritage – the great majority of historians say that football actually originated in England. Perhaps they simply like the dynamics of the game.
Whatever it may be, the point is that football is very popular among the English, and nobody can take it away from them.
But fans are not proud only of the football game itself, but also of the multiple stadiums scattered across England, such as Old Trafford, Emirates Stadium, St James’ Park, etc.
However, the undisputed bread-and-butter venue of English football is the Wembley Stadium, where the England national football team plays. With a total capacity of 90,000 seats, the Wembley Stadium is the largest stadium in England, in the United Kingdom, and the second-largest in Europe, surpassed only by Camp Nou in Barcelona.
The stadium’s history is a little convoluted, so let’s narrow it down to a few key facts.
In 1880, Wembley had a mixture of both football and cricket pitches. In early 1889, the chairman of the Metropolitan Railway wanted to build a 350-meter four-legged tower to generate revenue to the area.
Unfortunately, because the project proved to be costly, it was abandoned. The final tower was around 61 meters tall.
In 1923, the first recognized stadium was built. It costed around $900,000, and was completed in less than a year. It was commonly referred to as the Twin Towers, thanks to the two big looking towers that were pretty much the distinctive feature of the initial structure. The stadium underwent very minor improvements until its 2003 demolishment.
The “New Wembley” was scheduled to be finished by 2003, but due to unexpected delays, it was not open until 2007. It also ended up costing double the original £450,000 budget. However, most fans agree that every penny was worth it, since the stadium boasts the second largest seat capacity in Europe, a large retractable roof, and the largest single arch in the world, known as the Wembley Arch.
Building upon the previous piece of trivia, it goes without saying that Wembley is an exceptional piece of modern architecture. Many football fans go to the stadium to explore its amazing features, which is something that the great majority of us take for granted.
Because of its being such a marvelous piece of architecture, the FA organizes 90-minute tours of the stadium open all year around for whomever wants to see more than the seats and the pitch. For less than £10, you can visit the England dressing room, hold a replica FAP cup, and even climb the trophy winner’s steps. Tickets are almost always available, and if you bring more people with you, prices are heavily discounted.
Many More Events
The pitch is not used only to play football, but also to host various other events, sometimes not even related to sports. Major bands such as Muse, Green Day, Coldplay, U2, Oasis, Take That, AC/DC, as well as the Foo Fighters, have all played successful concerts at the Wembley Stadium, which amass as many people as a hot football game.
How to Get There
Wembley is not shy of a few transport links. You can get to the stadium via the Jubilee line on the underground, which stops at Wembley Park. There is also a selection of 10 bus routes. We don’t recommend driving your car to the stadium, especially during a hot game – the traffic is insane.
Much More To See
Wembley is not only about the stadium. There are many more renowned sights and landmarks to explore, such as the SSE Arena, Sanatan Temple, and Little India.