Capacity: 90,000 (all seated)
Address: Empire Way, London, HA9 0WS*
Telephone: 0844 980 8001
StadiumTours: 0800 169 9933
Pitch Size: 105m x 68m
Year Ground Opened: 2007**
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Well, it may have been late in opening and over budget, but the new stadium has certainly been worth the wait and the extra expenditure. To say that it looks superb is really an understatement. ‘Fantastic’, ‘tremendous’, such words probably still don’t do it enough justice. But what is really great about the stadium, is that it has its own individual identity and character. From the moment you see the Arch towering over the stadium in the distance, then you know that this is going to be something special, and special it is. Plus unlike a number of other stadiums around the world that host a number of sporting events including football, Wembley is primarily for football and is the home of the England team. No wonder that it is labelled the ‘Home of Football’.
The old Wembley closed its doors in 2000 and was due to re-open in August 2005, but delays meant that the new stadium was not ready until March 2007. Designed by Foster & Partners and HOK Sport, the stadium which was built by Multiplex cost £737m to construct.
The stadium is totally enclosed and comprises three tiers, with both sides of the stadium being slightly larger than the ends. These sides are semi-circular in construction and although on a larger scale are reminiscent of the similar designs at the Emirates & City Of Manchester Stadiums. Both these side stands have large upper and lower tiers, with a smaller middle tier sandwiched in-between. This middle tier overhangs the large lower tier and has a row of executive boxes at the back of it. At each end there is a large video screen, which is moulded into the third and hence is an integral part of the stadium. The stadium has a complicated looking roof, that initially appears retractable and could if necessary be used to enclose the stadium from the outside elements. However, just over one third can be moved, so that the pitch will always be open to the elements. Unlike the old stadium whereby the players would enter the field of play from a tunnel at one end, the players now enter the field in a conventional way, onto the half way line from the North Stand, where the Royal Box is situated.
The most striking external feature of the stadium is ‘The Arch’, towering some 133 metres above it. It comprises of white tubular steel, that can be seen for many miles across London and looks particularly spectacular at night when it is lit up. Oddly you can’t see much of the Arch from inside the stadium. It does though have a practical use in being a load bearing support frame for the roofs of the stands. It reminds me of some sort of theme park ride and I half expect to see people being propelled over it…. now that would be interesting to watch at half time!
A bronze statue of Bobby Moore, is situated in front of the stadium. The legendary England World Cup winner gazes down on fans coming up Wembley Way.
Seeing Wembley for the first time, you can’t help but be impressed with the sheer quality of the place. From escalators to transport fans up to the top tier to the ‘landscaped concourse, you can see that no expense has been spared. Although not the most generous of leg room that I have come across, it is still more than adequate and there is good height between rows. Add to this that there literally is not a bad seat in the house (even seats at the very top of the upper tier have excellent views) and with the roofs of the stadium being situated very close to the crowd, then a full house should generate an excellent atmosphere. The top tier (Level 5) is particularly steep, which may cause a few to be a bit short of breath as they reach the top, but at least this angle ensures that the spectators are kept as close to the playing action as they possibly can be.
Whereas most concourses in new stadiums so far built in this country are normally rather drab affairs, with a combination of breeze blocks and cladded piping, being predominantly on view, at Wembley it is different. For once someone has had the vision to hide these ugly features, with timber rafting and well positioned lighting, giving a modern stylish look. The concourses themselves are spacious, so much so that entertainers and other attractions are brought in to help entertain the crowd, The stadium has plenty refreshment tills (apparently one per 100 spectators in the stadium) and these are supplemented with a number of ‘pop up’ units serving everything from real ale to Krispy Creme doughnuts (Why is it that whenever I think of beer and doughnuts, Homer Simpson always springs to mind?). Prices have always been historically expensive at Wembley and the new stadium certainly follows in the same tradition, but probably no more now that what most London Premier League Clubs charge, although £7.30 for a Pulled Pork Hot Dog does seem rather steep. A ‘normal’ Hot Dog with Onions costs £6 and there is a smaller Kids Hot Dog at £5.20. Most of the refreshment outlets take card payments, which is probably a good job considering the prices. The concourses also have betting facilities, a number of flat screened televisions, as well as programme kiosks and merchandise outlets.
For England International games, away supporters are housed in part of the lower tier of the East Stand.
One slight disappointment now when going to Wembley is that due to the amount of building that has gone on, especially along either side of Wembley Way, then views of the stadium are rather obscured as you walk up to it.
New Bag Policy
Please note that Wembley Stadium have introduced restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken into the stadium. This applies to all supporters. Bags that are larger than A4 in size (Height 297mm, Width 210mm and Depth 210mm), will need to be dropped at a dedicated bag drop at the stadium at a cost of £5 per item. Bags can then be collected from the bag drop after the match has finished.
Although there are a number of bars and pubs located within the general area around Wembley Stadium, they certainly combined do not have the capacity to house all the fans who would like a drink before the game. So bear this in mind when planning your arrival time. The closest bars to the stadium such as J.J. Moons (Wetherspoons), the Green Man (both near Wembley Stadium station) and the Torch (near Wembley Park tube station), are usually heaving many hours before kick off.
In recent years for Cup and Play Off Finals the Police normally allocate pubs in a specific area to one team’s supporters. This is based on which side of the stadium the fans are housed, on either the East or West side. For the 2020 Caraboa League Cup Final on 1st March 2020; between Manchester City and Aston Villa, then Manchester City have been allocated the East side of the stadium, whilst Aston Villa have the West side. Not all of these venues are pubs as such but also include some night clubs, cafe bars and restaurants. These venues throw their doors open when there is a big event going on at Wembley. So you may wish to do a little homework beforehand as to where you wish to head for. A list of the allocated pubs is below, please also check out a map showing the location of these pubs further down this page. Alcohol is also available inside the stadium. Also, Wembley Stadium have now started having fan zones, one each outside the East and West sides of the stadium for respective Club’s fans to use. Although fairly small they do serve alcohol and these may well be developed further for future events.
Pubs on the East side include:
Blue Check Cafe – 12/13 Empire Way, Wembley, HA9 0RQ
Crock of Gold – 23 Bridge Road, Wembley, HA9 9AB
Crystal Club (Silverspoon) – South Way, Wembley, HA9 0HB
Double 6 Sports Bar – 125 Wembley Park Drive, Wembley HA9 8HQ
Flyer’s Bar – 45 Blackbird Hill, NW9 8RS
St Joseph’s Social Club – Empire Way Wembley HA9 0RJ
The Parish – 120 Wembley Park Drive, Wembley, HA9 8HP
The Torch – Bridge Road, Wembley, HA9 9AB
Watkins Folly – 1 Empire Way, Wembley HA9 0EW
Wembley Tavern – 121 Wembley Park Drive, HA9 8HG
Pubs on the West side include:
The Arch, 324 Harrow Road, Wembley, HA9 8LL
Blue Room – 53 Wembley Hill Road, Wembley, HA9 8BE
Copper Jug – 10 The Broadway, Wembley, HA9 8JU
Corner House – 313 Harrow Road, Wembley HA9 6BA
Flannerys – 610 High Road, Wembley, HA0 2AF
Fusilier Inn – 652 Harrow Road, Wembley, HA0 2HA
Green Man – Dagmar Avenue, Wembley, HA9 8DF JJ Moons – 397
High Road, Wembley, HA9 6AA
Liquor Station – 379 High Road, Wembley, HA9 6AA
Masti’s – 576 – 582 High Road, Wembley, HA0 2AA
Moore Spice – Wembley Retail Park, Unit 2, Engineers Way, HA9 0EW
Station 31 – 299 -303 Harrow Road, Wembley, HA9 6BD
Thirsty Eddie’s – 412 High Road, Wembley, HA9 6AH
In addition, there are a number of outlets selling alcohol in the nearby London Designer Outlet and Arena Square. These tend to be frequented by supporters of both teams. Further down this page, there is a map showing the location of all these pubs and areas.
However, most fans tend to either drink in the centre of London before the game or have a drink near one of the London Underground stations located north of the stadium such as Harrow on the Hill or further afield such as Watford Junction or Ruislip. I have tended to drink in Harrow on the Hill, which is three stops away from Wembley Park on the tube and has a handy Wetherspoons and an O’Neills outlet, plus a number of other pubs and eating outlets. The good thing too is that if you park out in this direction, then after the game you are heading away from the masses who are normally heading back in the direction of Central London. Alternatively, alcohol is sold within the stadium, including Budweiser at £5.90 for 500ml bottle or can.
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The stadium has been labelled as a ‘public transport’ destination, meaning that there is limited parking available at the stadium itself and there is also a residents only parking scheme in operation in the local area. The pricing and availability of stadium parking varies per event. More information and bookings can be made on the official Wembley Stadium Parking website. There is also the option of renting a private driveway near Wembley Stadium via YourParkingSpace.co.uk.
The stadium is well signposted from the end of the M1 & M40. Basically the stadium is just off the A406 North Circular Road.
From the M1:
At the roundabout at the end of the M1, turn right onto the A406 (North Circular/West Wembley). Continue along the A406 for a couple of miles and then after crossing a metal suspended bridge, you will pass a McDonalds on your left. At the traffic lights with an Ikea Store on one corner bear left onto Drury Way. Keeping the Ikea store on your right go straight across the next two roundabouts. You will pass a Tesco petrol station on your right and then at the traffic lights turn left into Grand Central Avenue (B4557). The stadium is at the end of this road.
I would recommend parking at one of the tube stations at the end of the Metropolitan line such as Uxbridge, Hillingdon or Ruislip or at Stanmore on the Jubilee line and then take the tube to Wembley Park.
London Underground tube map (takes you to the Transport For London website).
The nearest London Underground station is Wembley Park which is around a ten minute walk from the stadium. This is served by both the Jubilee & Metropolitan lines, although it is best to take the latter as it has less stops. Wembley Central is slightly further away from the stadium and has both rail & underground connections. This underground station is served by the Bakerloo line, whilst the railway station is on the London Euston-Milton Keynes line. The nearest train station is Wembley Stadium which is on the London Marylebone-Birmingham line.
For travelling across London by public transport I recommend planning your journey ahead with the use of the Travel For London Plan your journey website.
Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:
Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.
Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.
Click on the trainline logo below:
There are 310 places for wheelchairs located throughout the stadium, including each of the levels. There is also space for each wheelchair user to have a companion helper.
If you require hotel accommodation in London then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Just input the dates below that you wish to stay and then select from the map the hotel of interest to get more information. The map is centered to the football ground. However, you can drag the map around or click on +/- to reveal more hotels in the city centre or further afield.
The stadium offer tours on most days of the year. The 90 minute tour costs: Adults £19, Under 16’s £12, Family tickets (2 Adults & 2 Children) are also available at £54.
Tours can be booked online at Ticketmaster or by calling 0800 169 9933 (or Group Bookings +25 in a party: 0800 169 7711).
The cost of programmes vary from match to match, but expect to pay in the region of £5-£10.
126,047* West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers FA Cup Final, April 28th, 1923.
Modern All Seated Attendance Record
89,874 Portsmouth v Cardiff City FA Cup Final, May 17th, 2008.
* This was the official recorded attendance. But as so many more people had got into the stadium without paying, it is estimated that the crowd was nearer 200,000.
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: [email protected] and I’ll update the guide.
Special thanks to:
Owen Pavey for providing the ground layout diagram and photo of the Bobby Moore Statue.
The Awaydays video of Wembley Stadium was produced by the Ugly Inside and made publicly available via YouTube.