Wembley Stadium, The pride of England

Wembly Stadium , stadium in the borough of Brent in northwestern London, England, built as a replacement for an older structure of the same name on the same site. 
The new Wembley was the largest stadium in Great Britain at the time of its opening in 2007.It has a seating capacity of 90,000. It is owned by a subsidiary of the Football Association .

It has since been a venue for a multitude of sports, including boxing, hurling, speedway, greyhound meetings, horse shows, and show jumping events. 
The Rugby League Cup Final has been played at Wembley Stadium every year since 1929 (except 1932). The greatest moments in its history were the hosting of the 1948 Olympic Games and the 1966 World Cup. It is also used for various musical events.

History of Wembley

The original Wembley Stadium, built to house the British Empire Exhibition of 1924–25, was completed in advance of the exhibition in 1923. It served as the principal venue of the London 1948 Olympic Games and remained in use until 2000. Construction of the new stadium began in 2002. The English firm Foster + Partners and the American stadium specialists HOK Sports Venue Event (now known as Populous) were the architects. Excavations to lower the elevation of the pitch (playing field) uncovered the foundations of Watkin’s Tower, a building project of the 1890s that would have been the world’s tallest structure had it been completed. The new stadium officially opened in March 2007.

Ownership

Wembley Stadium is owned by the governing body of English football, the Football Association (the FA), through its subsidiary Wembley National Stadium Ltd (WNSL). The FA headquarters are in the stadium.

Design

Designed by Populous and Foster and Partners, with engineers Mott Stadium Consortium, who were a collection of three structural engineering consultants in the form of Mott MacDonaldSinclair Knight Merz and Aurecon.  The stadium is crowned by the 134-metre-high (440 ft) . Wembley Stadium is almost round in shape, with a circumference of 3,280 feet (1 km). The most striking architectural feature is a giant arch that is the principal support of the roof. The arch is 436 feet (133 metres) in height and is tilted 22° from the perpendicular. The movable stadium roof does not close completely but can shelter all the seats.

  • The stadium contains 2,618 toilets, more than any other venue in the world.
  • The stadium has a circumference of 1 km (0.62 mi).
  • The bowl volume is listed at 1,139,100 m3 (1,489,900 cu yd), somewhat smaller than the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, but with a greater seating cpacity .
  • 4,000 separate piles form the foundations of the new stadium, the deepest of which is 35 m (115 ft).
  • There are 56 km (35 mi) of heavy-duty power cables in the stadium.
  • 90,000 m3 (120,000 cu yd) of concrete and 23,000 tonnes (25,000 short tons) of steel were used in the construction of the new stadium.
  • The total length of the escalators is 400 metres (14 mi).

Opening

The new stadium was completed and handed over to the FA on 9 March 2007. The official Wembley Stadium website had announced that the stadium would be open for public viewing for local residents of Brent on 3 March 2007, however this was delayed by two weeks and instead happened on 17 March.

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Sports Played in Wembley

Football

The first game in front of spectators was between the Geoff Thomas Foundation Charity XI and the Wembley Sponsors Allstars on 17 March 2007. The Geoff Thomas Foundation Charity XI won 2–0 (scorers Mark Brightand Simon Jordan).

The first official match involving professional players was England U21s vs Italy U21son 24 March 2007, which finished 3–3.

The first Football League teams to play at Wembley in a competitive fixture were Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury Town in the 2007 Football League Two play-off Final on 26 May 2007.The first FA Cup Final at the new Wembley (between Manchester Unitedand Chelsea) was on 19 May 2007, with a crowd attendance of 89,826. Chelsea won 1–0 with a goal by Didier Drogba, making him the first player to score in the FA Cup Final at the new Wembley.

Tottenham also used Wembley for their first nine home Premier League matches and all home matches from the group stage of the Champions League in 2018–19.

 

Rugby

The Rugby league Challenge CupFinal had been played annually at the old Wembley Stadium since 1929. In 2007, the cup final returned to its traditional home after the rebuilding of Wembley. When Catalans Dragons played St. Helens in the 2007 Challenge Cup Final, they became the first non-English rugby league team to play in the final. The result saw St Helens retain the cup by a score of 30–8 before 84,241 fans.

In 2011, International rugby league returned to Wembley for the first time since 1997 when Wales lost to New Zealand 0–36 and Australia beat host nation England 36–20 in the 2011 Rugby League Four Nations. The semi-finals of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup were played at Wembley Stadium where defending champions New Zealand beat England 20–18, and eventual tournament champions Australia defeated Fiji 64–0. 

American football

On 28 October 2007, in front of 81,176 fans, the New York Giants defeated the Miami Dolphins by a score of 13–10 in the first regular season NFL game ever to be played in Europe, and the first outside of North America.

On 21 August 2012, the Jacksonville Jaguars announced a four-year deal to become temporary tenants of Wembley by playing one regular season game each year between 2013 and 2016 and becoming the first team to return to Wembley in consecutive years.

On 30 October 2016, for the first time in an NFL game played outside the US, the game carried into overtime and subsequently ended in a tie (another first for both Wembley and a London Game) in a week 8 match between the Washington Redskins and the Cincinnati Bengals. The final score was 27–27.

Boxing

On 31 May 2014, Wembley Stadium hosted its first boxing event, featuring the rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves for the IBF and WBAsuper-middle weight titles. The contest was held in front of a crowd of 80,000 spectators, a British post-war attendance record for a boxing event, surpassing the crowd at the City of Manchester Stadium when it hosted Ricky Hatton vs. Juan Lazcano in May 2008.

Concerts and Music Shows

Besides football, Wembley can be configured to hold many other events, particularly major concerts but also private events like weddings and conferences.The first concert at the new stadium was given by George Michael on 9 June 2007. Bon Jovi, the last act to perform at the old Wembley, were scheduled to be the first artists to perform at the new Wembley but the late completion of the stadium saw the concerts relocated to the National Bowl and the KC Stadium.

95.8 Capital FM‘s Summertime Ball, which was previously hosted with 55,000 spectators at the Arsenal Emirates Stadium and slightly less in Hyde Park (as Party in the Park), was hosted at Wembley Stadium on 6 June 2010, and was headlined by Rihanna and Usher.

Wembley controversy

In April 2018, Shahid Khan, the owner of Fulham F.C. and the Jacksonville Jaguars, put forward an offer to purchase Wembley Stadium from the FA. The deal included not only the purchase of the stadium, but also providing the FA full rights to keep control of the Club Wembley business. On 18 July 2018, a parliamentary select committee was held to discuss the possible sale, with evidence being given by former player, Gary Neville, and Katrina Law of the Football Supporters’ Federation. The offer was withdrawn on 17 October 2018

Pride Of Wembley

While the stadium had hosted football matches since the handover in March, the stadium was officially opened on Saturday 19 May, with the staging of the 2007 FA Cup Final. Eight days before that on Friday 11 May, the statue of Bobby Moore had been unveiled by Sir Bobby Charltonoutside the stadium entrance, as the “finishing touch” to the completion of the stadium. The twice life-size bronze statue, sculpted by Philip Jackson, depicts England’s 1966 World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore, looking down Wembley Way.

 

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