“ The Emirates Stadium is a football stadium located on Ashburton Grove in Holloway, north London, and the home of Arsenal Football Club since it opened in July 2006. The stadium has an all-seated capacity of 60,432, making it the second largest stadium in the Premiership after Old Trafford, and the third-largest stadium of any kind in London, after Wembley and Twickenham. During the planning and construction stages, it was known as Ashburton Grove before a naming rights deal with the airline Emirates was struck in October 2004. The stadium project cost £390 million, but not all was for the actual construction of the stadium itself. „
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In 2006 Arsenal left their beloved home at Highbury where they had much success, including the dramatic 'unbeatable season' and moved the short distance to their new home of the Emirates Stadium. It was a shame that they had to leave, but financially it was the for the best. With a capacity of around 40,000 Highbury was far too small for them and with space for 60,361 supporters The Emirates over doubled their size. This change made their home the third largest stadium in England behind Wembley and Old Trafford.
Unfortunately for Arsenal and Mr Wenger the form of the team has dipped since they moved and many of their superstars including, Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Kolo Toure, Robin Van Persie, Gael Clichy and Alex Song have all moved on. Many of the suporters have grown increasingly frustrated with this. They've been at the new ground for a number of years now and you would think that there would now be money to spend, however, so far little has been spent on improving the first team squad and the current best players seem to be the young and upcoming English talent which they possess and have purchased for little or no money - Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain examples.
I've visited the Emirates on a few occassions as I have friends who are Arsenal fans. There is no doubt that the stadium is top class. The views of the playing surface wherever you are sitting are quite superb and the leg room which you have is unbelievable. You almost wonder why they opted for so much because they could have made better financial use of the space and added more seating; but saying this the extra comfort is a lovely touch. Aswell as great views and a cracking seat, the stadium is very modern indeed and has a quite unique look.
For all of its grandure though, The Emirates is one of the most expensive stadiums in the world to attend for a matchday. Many season ticket supporters have felt that recently the price of a season ticket does not match the clubs ambition and even though they have one of the best stadia in the league, the tickets are not value for money. Season tickets start at £985 and rise all the way up to £1955 and individual match tickets are up there with the most expensive in the league. I recently remember that Manchester City did not purchase their full allocation of away tickets due to the prices being so high.
To keep you fed and watered on matchdays there is a good variety of food and drinks available incluidng the usual pies, hot dogs, burgers and a few other bits and pieces. All at prices which you would expect for Premier League football grounds.
Although parking in the area is quite difficult, the public transport to and from the ground is quite superb. There are four tube stations which service the ground - Highbury and Islington, Holloway Road and Finsbury Park and Arsenal. I have found that clearing the ground and leaving the area is far easier than when attending Wembley up the road. Thought has clearly gone into the planning and the resulst speak for themselves.
Overall, The Emirates is a ground which I'm glad to have visited. I would imagine that it is a pleasure to visit if you're an away fan, but it would be a tad expensive to visit week in and week out if you were a gunner.
Thanks for reading - feel free to comment
Have been to the Emirates Stadium a number of times now and can say it is probably the best CLUB football stadium in London. It is the most modern in terms of when it was built and with this comes state of the art design and construction. When you are outside it and look its only then when you realise the full extent to what a great stadium it is. When you get inside it continues this theme of moderness with new equipment such as flat screens etc. The pitch is state of the art.
A tube station is only a few minutes walk away meaning public transport is easy to access, i am not sure about car parking facilities but i would say getting public transport is the most stress free, convinient option. But note on matchdays it can get very busy nearby so there could be delays in any method of travel.
As many good elements there are with the stadium there are a few disadvantages. One being the price, it is extremely expensive (range from £35-100 per game) to go to the emirates and watch arsenal regularly and with a recent survey, has the most expensive ticket/season ticket prices. But an alternative is the Emirates cup which is better value for money as it is £30 for the day and this includes 2 matches.
If you are put of by watching a game they offer a tour which is very good and value for money, you get to see normal football tour based aspects e.g. dressing rooms, pitchside. But you get to go into the additional museum as well as learning about the history of the club and information about the staium. A club shop is attached but the items inside a expensive but this is usual for football clubs.
If you have never been before you should definatly try to go as it is a great experience.
The Emirates Stadium is the home of Arsenal Football Club who are based in North London. The stadium is currently called the Emirates Stadium due to sponsorship rights and is otherwise known as Ashburton Grove the road it was built on. Emirates currently have a 15 year deal with Arsenal FC. The stadium was built to facilitate and increased number of fans. The current capacity is 60,355. The old stadium is 5 minutes walk from the Emirates. If you ever go to the stadium take a quick look at the old Highbury which has now been turned into residential flats. The modern designs incorporated with parks of the old stadium which are grade ii listed are really swish.
Several tube stations in the area makes the Emirates easy to get to. Arsenal is the closest if your sitting in the northern proportion of the stadium while Holloway road is closest for the southern proportion. Highbury and Islington is another station followed by Finsbury Park. These are around 10 minutes walk from the ground but do get crowded on match days. I usually walk from Euston station to the Emirates which is 2.5 miles. Once you cross Holloway Rd nr the stadium you leave the crowds so it's a less populated route and you get to avoid the crowded trains.
Watching matches at the Emirates can be expensive and difficult to get hold of. I have a Red membership which allows me to buy tickets before they go on General Sale. This cost me £35 per season but apart from priority tickets I also get Arsenal player which allows me to watch the official online channel for free. Other benefits is that I could watch the team train in official invited sessions and meet some of the players which I have yet to do so.
During the pre season you should defiantly get down to the Emirates to watch the Emirates Cup. This is a 2 day tournament with 4 teams and 4 games. The tickets are cheap and its a great day out. This year I paid £30 a day, not bad considering Emirates tickets can range from £35-100 per game.
If you don't fancy watching a match the Emirates offers a stadium tour which costs £15 and takes around 1.5 hours. You can pay extra to have a tour from an Arsenal legend. While I was on tour we got to see the legend before he started work and got some photos so no need to pay the extra :). The tour gives you access to places you couldn't usually go. You get to see the home dressing room, press area, directors box (lovely seats) and sit in the dug outs. Once the tour has finished you then get free access to the Arsenal museum which is on site. Well worth a look.
If your looking for some Arsenal merchandise there are 2 stores. One is on site of the stadium and the other is nr Arsenal tube station before you go over the bridge to the stadium. Expect to pay a ridiculous amount for gifts. What I like about the stadium is outside the shop you have messages engraved onto the floor. This is called Armory square. You can purchase stones which are engraved with your personal messages. Lovely gift for a Arsenal fan and prices start from £50 which is cheap considering they will last a minimum 10 years. Merchandise is also available inside the stadium on match days in selected areas.
If you love Arsenal FC or not and your in the area pay it a visit. It's a beautiful!
When Arsenal decided that they were going to leave their old stadium 'Highbury', it was a sad moment. And yet it was a sign of huge intent by one of England's most famous and well established clubs. The classy looking new Emirates stadium is modern, crisp, architecturally brilliant and houses up to 60,000 people. The seating is spacious throughout the ground and the facilities are exceptional. Toilets, food stands and merchandise shops galore! Another positive point is that the ground is fed directly from the Piccadily London underground line. A two minute walk to your seats from the station is ideal! Perhaps the only minor negative point when it comes to this stadium is that because the ground is so large, it doesn't have the same intense, close atmosphere of Arsenal's previous ground and this perhaps doesn't show off the true loyalty and passion of Arsenal's fans. However that said it is an absolute theatre of football and can only help add to a great day watching one of England's top teams.
The Emirates Stadium is Arsenal FC's new(ish) home replacing the previous Highbury one. The stadium came into use in the 2006-7 season and is situated just a short walk from where the Highbury stadium was.
The stadium is an impressive site and most of the outside is made of glass allowing you to see into the various hospitality lounges with in the stadium.
The stadium has an massive capacity of just over 60,000 and really is one of the most impressive stadiums in the country, if not the most. I have sat in a few positions within the stadium, and as far as I'm aware there are no pillars restricting views anywhere, so wherever you sit you should have an excellent view of the immaculate pitch.
The seating inside the stadium is all padded, which really makes a big difference watching 90 minutes of football. Not once did I get have to do the usual uncomfortable butt cheek shuffle. The chairs are also huge, I'm sure anyone under 5'6'' will have their legs dangling in the air. I've heard that there is not much of an atmosphere within the stadium and although it was nowhere near Highbury, it was still decent, and anywhere in the SW quadrant would appear to be near to where the main chorus of chanting lies - if that's what you want.
One of main complaints you can have of the stadium is in fact a compliment, in that it is very difficult to get tickets there. General sale tickets are very hard to get for any games other than the first champions league ties, and the Carling cup games. Premiership games tend to only be sold the Arsenal FC members, which means shelling out a few quid just to give yourself a chance of getting a ticket. If you're not an Arsenal fan but are keen to just get a look at the stadium, then I would recommend a Carling Cup tie. The tickets are significantly cheaper at around £20 each and can be bought on General Sale. Prices for other games will be around the £50, if you are lucky enough to get one.
If you are not a member of the Arsenal FC supporters club (and therefore probably more likely to be reading a review of the stadium) then tickets are posted out to you. If you're tickets don't arrive (which can be quite common), you will have to phone the ticketline to cancel them and get them re-issued to be picked up. I have had to do this twice and it took around 25 minutes so worth bearing in mind if you're tight on time. The current ticket collection point is opposite block S in what looks like a porto cabin. Given the excellent high quality stadium 20m away, I was a little surprised they had such a naff looking building to pick the tickets up from. Still, it made no difference to me.
The stadium is pretty well located in North London in terms of access, in that it is surrounded by 3 tube stops. Arsenal on the Piccadilly Line, and also Arsenal and Highbury & Islington on the Victoria Line, There is also overground services which stop at Highbury & Islington and Finsbury Park all of which are within a 5 minute walk to the stadium. There is also Holloway Road very near on the Piccadilly line, and Drayton Park overground stop, however these are usually closed on match days so should be avoided.
When leaving the stadium all the tubes get very busy, but I have always found it is worth walking the extra distance to Finsbury Park (which is the furthest away of the above stops) as this is significantly less crowded.
As for inside the stadium, the services are excellent and the queuing seemed to be minimal even at busy times, so they must have a lot of staff on compared to other grounds. The food and drink was average, as you would expect for most stadiums, with the usual selection of hotdogs, burgers, pizza slices etc. Although the mark up on prices was evident, it wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be. A hot dog was £4, and a bottle of lager £3.50 (unfortunately it was of course warm and in plastic - goes without saying for a football stadium!)
All in all, I really enjoyed my visit to the stadium even though I'm not an arsenal fan (although I was with one), and would say it was definitely worth a visit for any football fan. I would love to be able to tell you all about the hospitality suites and club area, however sadly I'm nowhere near important enough to get up there. I can confirm it looked very nice!!!!
The Emirates Stadium is immense in size, stature and structure, and is a credit to modern architecture as it is one of the most spectacular sights you will have seen as a football fan. It seems to suit Arsenal now they are an established force, and their ever-persistent dream to become the Kings of European football. However on my only visit to the Emirates I have to say that I much preferred Highbury - Better atmosphere and funnier characters amongst the crowd were present just up the road. Although my seat was way too high/far from the pitch - and this was NOT a cheap seat (in the first half Arsenal were playing towards the end where I was sitting, and Goalkeeper Manual Almunia was so far away I couldn't tell what colour he was wearing! - and this is coming from someone with excellent eyesight). HOWEVER, credit is due to to Arsenal and the designers as they are padded and very comfortable.
The food must be like being at an NFL/Baseball game in the States -Chilli Dogs, Popcorn, Nachos, Pizza etc. By all means try it yourself and see, but I , for one, won't be rushing back any time soon.
Three years ago, Arsenal FC left their hallowed Highbury home of 93 years and moved across the road into a brand new, state of the art stadium at Ashburton Grove. In keeping with the modern trend for selling naming rights, Arsenal did a £100m deal with Emirates Airlines in October 2004, meaning the new ground will be called "The Emirates" for at least the next fifteen years.
The traditional Highbury, with its listed Art Deco East and West Stands, and the proximity of the crowd to the pitch, was always going to be hard to emulate. With a capacity of just under 40,000, and no further expansion possible, a move away from Arsenal's spiritual home was inevitable. Various options were explored, including sites near Kings Cross and a possible ground share at Wembley, but eventually, the club were able to secure a site within shouting distance of the original ground.
After the labyrinthine planning process was exhausted, the builders - led by construction giants Sir Robert McAlpine and architects HOK Sport - finally broke ground in July 2003. Building work was completed on time and to the £400 million budget, and the stadium opened its doors to paying fans in July 2006. In contrast to Highbury, it has a much increased capacity of 60,000, with 150 executive boxes, a dedicated "Club" level, and 250 spaces for wheelchair users.
Due to its close proximity to Highbury, travel arrangements have not changed much. The best way in is still on public transport. A concourse runs around the whole of the new stadium providing clear access regardless of the direction of your approach, but depending on where you are seated, you may want to plan your arrival according to which one of the three tube stations that serve the ground is closest to your allocated entrance. All are pretty much within 10 minutes walk from the ground. More detail on these below.
Holloway Road (Piccadilly Line) is a five minute walk, but as it's a small capacity station, eastbound trains do not stop there for at least an hour before kick off, and then the station is exit only from the end of the match for at least an hour afterwards. However, westbound trains do stop at Holloway Road before kick off, so if you prefer to alight there and time allows, it's easy enough to get off at Arsenal on the eastbound service and walk over to the westbound platform.
Although Drayton Park station (serviced by the Overground from Moorgate) is right next to the ground, it is closed completely at weekends and is only usable before weeknight matches (it is closed for the return after the game ends).
You would be either very brave or very foolish to attempt to drive into the area on a match day without knowing where you are going to park. The draconian parking restrictions, rigidly and vigorously enforced by a phalanx of overzealous traffic wardens, extends a fair distance from the ground and, coupled with high traffic volume and narrow streets, it makes speculative parking nigh on impossible.
If you are coming from outside London, consider parking further up the Piccadilly Line (Arnos Grove and Cockfosters offer ample parking opportunities) and taking the tube in.
The Emirates is split into four colour-coded "quadrants". As part of the process of "Arsenalising" the ground (the club's terminology - not mine!) these four quadrants will be renamed this year from the impersonal Green, Blue, Orange and Yellow, to something more club related. Highbury & Islington, on the Victoria Line, is closest to the southern Yellow and Green quadrants, while Finsbury Park (Piccadilly & Victoria Lines) and Arsenal (Piccadilly Line) are closest to the northern Blue and Orange quadrants. Access to the east side of the ground is via two massive bridges (the creatively named North & South Bridges) which span the railway lines beneath.
If you approach the ground from the South Bridge, you will see ARSENAL in huge free-standing concrete letters on the Drayton Park side of the bridge. Across the South Bridge, and mounted on the back of the scoreboard, facing out, is the Highbury Clock - which gave its name to the famous Clock End stand at Highbury. This will soon be re-located inside the ground as part of the "Arsenalisation" process.
Straddling the entrance to the North Bridge (the one closest to Arsenal tube station) is the modern-looking and green panelled Highbury House, which acts as the club's corporate offices. The building also houses the Arsenal Box Office and the "All Arsenal" shop, which also hosts a "Supporter Services Centre" where you can book stadium tours and apply for Club membership.
Arsenal's larger and better stocked flagship store "The Armoury" lies on the west side of the stadium, and is situated under the concourse, just off Holloway Road. It gets extremely busy on match days, with crowd control restrictions often limiting the number of people allowed inside. Leave plenty of time if you intend to visit. Although there are a large number of check outs which are (surprisingly) efficiently operated, sheer volume means you can queue for anything up to ten minutes to pay.
> Around the Ground
The area around the ground is a hive of activity on match day. There are several excellent souvenir stalls selling everything from old match programmes and signed player photos, to scarves, badges, irreverent T-shirts, and official merchandise of every type and description. Food is in plentiful evidence, with my favourites being the jerk chicken and curry stands on Drayton Park opposite Highbury House, and the sweet stall selling bags of favourites at "twofer a pound". There are also fanzine sellers peddling the excellent "Gooner" and "Up the Arse", and official stands where you can get the Arsenal Magazine, the Arsenal Yearbook and the £3 match day programme.
Tickets used to be notoriously hard to come by, with a season ticket waiting list measured in decades instead of years, and a hierarchical and over-subscribed membership scheme that meant that casual fans or football "tourists" would rarely see tickets go on general sale. However, the high ticket prices have taken their toll during the credit crunch, and whilst key games against Spurs, United, Liverpool and Chelsea are still impossible to get tickets for, you will have better luck for Carling Cup games (which are not included in season tickets) and ties against opponents in the lower reaches of the Premier League.
Ticket prices for Category A games range from the expensive (£47) to the eye-wateringly ludicrous (£92) - and Category B fixtures don't fare much better (£32.50 to £62). Details of fixtures and ticket availability are on the website (www.arsenal.com).
> Local Drink
The local area is served by a number of very good pubs which are usually closed to away supporters on match days. Everyone has their favourites, but the old haunts on the Blackstock Road, near the old ground remain very popular, with other establishments on Holloway Road starting to gain in popularity due to the proximity to the Emirates.
From personal experience, I would recommend The Gunners - unmistakably Arsenal with all of its club memorabilia, and the Highbury Barn, which is bigger and has a larger outdoor area. Others of note include The Woodbine and The Bank of Friendship on Blackstock Road, The Seven Pins (near Finsbury Park tube), and the Plimsoll on St Thomas' Road.
> Local Food
The area around the ground (especially Holloway Road to the southwest and Blackstock Road to the northeast) is chock full of restaurants, café's and eateries of every possible cuisine and description. There are kebab houses, pizza joints, chip shops, and fried chicken emporia - all reasonable priced and within easy walking distance of the ground - as well as a veritable army of burger vans lining the well travelled routes into the stadium.
There is no reason to even think about eating in the stadium with the sheer variety and quality available on the way there. I particularly like the Happening Beigel Bakery on the corner of Seven Sisters Road and Blackstock Road which does an extensive line in filled freshly baked bagels for around £2 each.
The perceived lack of atmosphere is a real bone of contention amongst fans and the club have launched a number of initiatives to try and liven things up. In a bid to have an anthem as iconic as Liverpool's "You'll Never Walk Alone", last year saw the launch of Elvis Presley's "The Wonder of You" as the song that preceded the players entrance on the pitch. It has been a controversial choice (Port Vale claim we nicked it from them) although it is starting to catch on, especially now that the words are displayed on the screens for fans to sing along to.
The stadium DJ does his best, and goes through the much derided routine of announcing the first name of the players starting the match, with the crowd expected to shout back the second name. This doesn't quite work with players with one name (Denil.....son?) and you get the feeling the fans are only doing it to avoid the embarrassment of failing to respond.
There is also a "Red Section" in the lower tier of the North Stand (Orange Quadrant) - directly opposite the away support - where supporters who have expressed an interest in singing all match are housed together and tend to generate most of the atmosphere.
Noise levels at bog standard league games can be fairly tame, with the crowd often waiting to be inspired by something on the pitch rather than vice versa. However, Arsenal fans can be a quite self-deprecating lot (remember "Boring Boring Arsenal"?) and often launch into "We Only Sing When We're Winning" when taunted by away fans at the lack of noise. Evening matches tend to be more spirited, with the night making the arena seem more compact.
> Access & Seating
Entry points are clearly labelled on your ticket and signposted around the stadium. The club operate electronic turnstiles. You insert your ticket into a scanner, wait for the light to go green and push on through. Lots of staff are available to help if there are problems. Bags are allowed into the stadium as long as they can fit under your seat, and they will be searched for security reasons.
Although I am a season ticket holder with an assigned seat, I have managed to swap seats with friends in other parts of the ground to get a different perspective. My seat is in the lower east stand (Green Quadrant) near the halfway line in the 14th row, so the action feels quite close, although you do lose the more "strategic" overview you get the upper tier.
There are two jumbo screens at either end of the ground, at least one of which is clearly visible from every seat. They display the match time, player names (against which cards and goals are noted), goal highlights and notable incidents, although penalty incidents are not shown under FA rules. The seats themselves are very comfortable, well spaced and with plenty of leg room. Sections, rows and seats are clearly numbered and signposted, making finding a seat a doodle.
The stadium is no smoking and all seater, and both standards are rigorously enforced. I have yet to find a steward who is not courteous, professional and helpful, although I have heard anecdotal evidence from other parts of the ground where experience has been very different. Standing has been a "problem" in some parts of the ground and fans have found a clever way of frustrating stewards who look like targeting individuals (They sing "Stand Up If You Hate Tottenham" ensuring that the whole section stand).
Excessive foul language and abuse is not tolerated, and the club have instituted a text message "whistleblower" scheme so that you can anonymously alert stewards if someone is acting out of order or persistently standing. Details are published in the match programme.
> Getting Away
Getting out of the stadium and onto the outside concourse at the final whistle can take five or ten minutes due to the crowd congestion. With Holloway Road station closed, you will need to walk up to either Highbury & Islington (if exiting from that direction) or one of Arsenal or Finsbury Park. There are crowd control measures in place at all of these stations, so expect to queue up for AT LEAST fifteen minutes before you are allowed into the station.
When crossing the North Bridge, you can either go left or right at the end. If you go right, you are directed to Finsbury Park - you cannot rejoin the queue for Arsenal. If you go left, you are given the choice. Crossing the South Bridge gives you an option to go to either Highbury & Islington or Finsbury Park. My preferred option is to keep on walking the half hour to Angel tube at the other end of Upper Street, where there are no controls and little in terms of crowds.
However, the policing is efficient and orderly, so if you have the patience to wait, its not really that bad. I would allow half an hour to forty minutes from the time you leave you seat to the time you get to the platform at any of the three main stations (subject to seemingly ever present tube delays of one sort or another).
STADIUM TOURS & MUSEUM
As mentioned, stadium tours can be booked at the All Arsenal shop. I have never taken the tour myself, so this is for information only. Tickets are £15 during July & August, and on Saturday & Sunday, or £12 at all other times. The Arsenal Museum is included in the tour price, or it can be booked separately for £6 per person. The club also offer an on-line booking facility on their comprehensive web-site (www.arsenal.com).
There are plenty of catering points throughout the stadium on the internal concourse, offering mediocre food at high prices. Burgers, pies, hot dogs and burnt pizza are the house specialities, or for the more liquid minded, Fosters and John Smiths are the brews of choice. I tend to avoid this fast food like the plague - not only because it's not worth the money, but because you have to spend ages queuing for it. There are much better options outside the stadium.
I have never quite understood the logic of chowing down on junk food before or during an afternoon match. Soft drinks and teas tend to be flat and tepid respectively, and everything is served in Arsenal branded cups and holders, with even the bottled water re-branded with the Arsenal logo. For reference, expect to pay £3.50 for a beer, and around a fiver for a burger or hot dog.
There are plenty of toilets, which straddle the internal stadium entrances, as well as two large toilet blocks on the outside concourse near the Bridges. These are generally fairly clean, well maintained (that is, until the mad rush starts and the fans get into them) and plentiful, but - parents of young kids (and lagered up lads) take note - it can still be a challenge to get back to your seat before kick off if you decide to "go" at half-time.
The internal concourse is interspersed with large TV screens, which carry a combination of SKY Sports and a feed from Arsenal's own internal TV channel. There are also various Ladbrokes betting offices who will be only too happy to relieve you of your hard earned. Commentary is piped into the toilets, and screens are handily placed above the catering points so you don't miss any of the action. The stadium, as you would expect from a new construction, is extremely wheelchair friendly, with well placed ramps, lifts and facilities for disabled access.
After three seasons of bedding-in, the Emirates is now starting to feel more and more like "home". With the promised "Arsenalisation" (which will include external decoration of the concrete on the stadium exterior, and Arsenal "shrine" in the stadium, and various murals and artwork capturing the club's glory moments) this can only get better. The stadium is a magnificent example of modern design and is lovely to look at. There are no obstructed sight lines for spectators and you get an excellent view from every seat. The pitch, which recently won an award for the best in the Premier League for the second season running, is like a snooker baize.
However, what it has bags of in look and feel, it lacks a little in atmosphere (a criticism that paralleled by the team that plays there - often derided for being all style and no substance). As a young stadium, which is new for everyone involved, it has yet to see a truly defining match - Arsenal have yet to win anything since moving in.
As such, the feeling is, that until that happens, there will be little in terms of an emotional link to the place for the fans and players alike. It also suffers in comparison to the atmosphere capable of being generated at Highbury, which despite its derogative "Library" moniker often used by opposition fans, was often a cauldron of noise for big games. Despite this, it's a superb stadium, and arguably, the best in London. Then again, I would say that wouldn't I?
© Hishyeness 2009
The Emirates stadium is a fantastic structure and i'm sure the designers have been given a lot of well deserved credit. However, in my opinion this sort of stadium isn't for football but unfortunately a lot of modern day football grounds are going to be reminiscent on this bowl shaped style.
I went to the Emirates as an away fan for an FA Cup game. I have never had the privilege of visiting Highbury which is a great shame as Highbury is my preferred style of ground. With three tube stations a close distance from the Emirates, all that can be done has been done to ease congestion at such a large seater. There are long waits trying to get out the ground but I won't let that affect my judgement for a stadium as big as this in one of the biggest cities in the world.
From the outside, the ground is an incredible structure and it is pretty over whelming seeing the massive Arsenal sign and walk to the ground. Everything looks so modern, strong and sleek and it is one of those stadiums that you will be saying 'I've been there' in years to come.
For me though, the greatness of the stadiums ends outside the ground. After finding my seat and seeing it was padded, very spaced out and a fair distance away from the pitch I thought to myself, 'have I come to the theatre or to the football?' It is difficult to generate a good atmosphere in a stadium like this and you could see that from how quiet the home fans were. Even the away fans struggled to get a brilliant atmosphere going with pockets of people trying to big it up. The atmosphere was a far cry from Portsmouth or Stoke.
What can not be denied though is the Emirates is a very impressive structure with plenty of swanky facilities which is very suited to Arsenal. But my team were recently relegated, and I will be just as happy visiting Scunthorpe as I am Arsenal. Souless bowls are not my cup of tea.
The emirates Stadium, Finally a club of arsenals calibre have a stadium they can be proud of. The Architecture of this stadium is quite special. The ticket prices expectidley are quite high. But this is expected as you pay for not only the quality of the football but the quality of the stadium you are in. With a regular crowd of around 60,000 the atmosphere is more often than not is electric inside the stadium. I went there in 09 for the manchester united game as a neutral supporter and was impressed. Close to london and easy to get to by tube of overground. Just need to get off at the station after kings cross and it is a short walk. Taxi from the centre is not to much either. Well worth a trip to see even if you dont support them . Or indeed enjoy the game of football. Been able to marvel in its beauty is something in its self
Me and my Dad went to the Emirates stadium for the champions league quarter final between Arsenal and Liverpool in 2008.
From the outside the stadium is VERY impressive, especially going past it on the train towards Kings Cross, it stands above the rest of the scenery imperiously, and has a special aura about it. The tube was very easy to use to get to the Highbury stop, if a little busy, but then again i'm not used to the hustle and bustle of London. The tube stop is about 2 minutes away from the ground, and i would definately recommend going to see the old Highbury (if it's not been completely demolished by now, it was part done when we went) as you get a real sense of history moving to new on the short walk between the stadiums.
When you get up close to the stadium, it is just as breathtaking, with steps leading up to it, the huge Emirates letters are backed up by masses of structured glass, and the size is really something. Don't get me wrong, it's not the biggest stadium i've ever been to, but apart from cup finals (Wembley, Millennium Stadium etc) it's the biggest looking premiership ground i've seen. We actually borrowed a friends season tickets for the inner ring, the corporate section which runs all round the middle of the ground. It was just like being in a nice swanky restaurant with buffets and waiters and dressed up diners all entertaining clients no doubt. I did feel a little under dressed in my jeans and hoody, but hey, i dressed for comfort on the 3 hour train trip down there.
When you enter the actual seating, it's a great view of the pitch and feels close in, which i wasn't expecting after seeing it on TV. However, the design of the inside is slightly strange, and for those who are familiar with Benfica's stadium, Estadio de Luz, it is exactly the same as that. Holding around 60,000, the wave like design of the top tier seating looks good in the warm climates of Portugal, but somehow, doesn't really suit a cold passionate night in London. This ground is one of the first of the 'round bowl shaped' grounds which i'ms ure will come to be common place is England, such as Wembley, City of Manchester (although that's a bit better) etc. There was little atmosphere during the game, and vast pockets of fans could be seen leaving early to get to the tube station, which is an absolute nightmare to get out of. We were stuck in a massive queue to get out of the ground, then to get to the tube station (which shut, so we had to go to another), then to get on the tube, then to get out the tube station, then to get the train. Pretty horrendous and took about 2 hours altogether. Our freind who has the season tickets says he normally waits in the stadium for an hour after the game till the masses die down. Is it worth the hassle? hmmm.
Overall, a great stadium to look at from the outside but give me a good old proper English football stadium anyday.
The Emirates stadium is truly amazing. I absolutely love going to watch the mighty Arsenal play in this magnificent stadium. My first visit to the stadium wasn't a successful one for Arsenal as despite winning against PSV 2-1, we were knocked out of the Champions League. I have since been several times and my next visit is on today for the FA Cup clash with Cardiff. I cannot wait! Come on you Gunners!
*The Need For A New Stadium*
In the late 1990's Arsenal began looking to expand Highbury. This was due to the fact that Arsenal's season ticket list was constantly growing. At the time it had the competence to hold 38,419 after becoming seating only. Due to the location of Highbury, there was not sufficient room to develop and the East Stand was a listed building.
Arsenal considered moving to near the M25 but wanted to stay in Islington as it had been the home of Arsenal since 1913. There were rumours at one point that Arsenal and Tottenham would share Wembley stadium however this did not happen. Ultimately, Ashburton Grove was chosen as the location. It was an industrial estate and very close to Highbury.
*About Emirates Stadium*
The Emirates stadium is often shortened to just the Emirates. It is the football stadium of Arsenal Football Club situated in Islington. With the capability to seat 60,355 people, the Emirates is the fifth largest football stadium in the United Kingdom. It is a bowl shaped stadium which means no bad views. It is split into four coloured quadrants: orange and blue at the North end and yellow and green at the south. They are then split into different zones (by letter) and then by gates. The gates usually open two hours before the kick off.
The Emirates functions using an electronic ticketing system. Members use their membership cards and the general public use a paper ticket to swipe their way into the stadium. This is extremely easy to use and to date I haven't had a problem with it.
The stadium consists of four levels:
The Upper Tier: This tier is curved in order to provide as much sunlight into the ground as possible. The upper section seats up to 26,646 people and prices range from £66 to £94. These are more expensive as you get a better view according to the majority of people you will talk to. I find that this tier is fairly quiet though.
The Lower Tier: This tier seats up to 24,425 people and prices range between £32 and £46. I like sitting in the lower tier as the atmosphere is slightly better (if you enjoy the chanting).
Club Level: This is the bigger of the middle tiers and seats 7,139 people. This level includes the director's box.
Executive Box Level: This is the level above the club tier. It consists of 150 boxes and can seat 2,222. It is on this level that the invite only Diamond Club are seated. This level includes the use of a private lounge, free restaurant and bar, valet parking and concierge service. I should think so at £50,000 per year!
What I like a lot about the stadium are the two huge screens that are hanging from the roof! I think that they are a fantastic addition and great to watch the replays on. Sometimes show just how close you were to scoring. I also like the spacious seats that you get! No more squashed fans. At the Emirates you can watch the game in luxury.
Tributes to Highbury: The clubs offices are named Highbury House and accommodate the Herbert Chapman bust. Also, the two bridges above the railway line have been named the Clock End and North Bank bridges after the Highbury stands.
The Pitch: The pitch is the joint biggest football pitch in the English Premier League at 105x68 metres and absolutely flawless. It has the tunnel and the dugouts on the west side of the pitch.
*How Do You Get To and From The Emirates?*
Emirates stadium is easily accessible from various London Underground stations. If travelling via the underground is your preferred method of transport, Arsenal and Finsbury Park are the nearest tube stations to the ground, although Holloway Road is also well within walking distance.
If you don't like travelling via the underground, there are numerous bus routes that go to the Emirates stadium.
I wouldn't recommend driving to the Emirates. There is only limited parking for the disabled fans. If you're fortunate enough to have somebody who is willing to give you a lift to and from the stadium without hanging around and parking, then you are sorted. But as there are very firm parking restrictions in place on match days, I wouldn't advise driving and parking near the ground as a fine is almost guaranteed.
One of the negatives about going to the Emirates (on matchday) is the queues and congestion that you come across when exiting the stadium. A lot of people leave 10 minutes from the end of the game in order to beat this blockage. The police are out in force and try to ease the flow but the filter system in place isn't quite perfected.
Queen Elizabeth II was the intended open the stadium however due to unforeseen circumstances, she wasn't able to. Instead on Thursday 26th October 2006, the stadium was formally opened by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Due to this change of plan, Arsene Wenger and his first team were invited to afternoon tea with the Queen at Buckingham Palace on February 15th 2007.
*Where Did the Name Originate From?*
Throughout the development and construction phases, the stadium was acknowledged as Ashburton Grove, as this is the road that it is positioned on.
On October 5th 2004 it was declared that Arsenal's new stadium would be identified as the Emirates stadium. This is following Arsenal settling a 100 million pound sponsorship agreement with Emirates Airline, comprising of an eight-year shirt sponsorship deal. The only occasion in which the stadium is not officially referred to as the Emirates is during UEFA Champions League games due to sponsor regulations. On the occasions, it is simply referred to as Arsenal stadium.
*Catering at the Emirates*
This is probably one of the only negatives about the stadium. The food and drinks are massively overpriced. You pay approximately £4 for a burger or pie. And to top that off, a beer costs £3.20. And if you have an other half like mine, he'll moan about how much he has spent throughout the entire first half of the game. It really isn't worth it.
What is good is that you are able to take food in with you, although this must be within reason. Don't go with a picnic as you probably will have this taken away. We didn't know this until about the forth time we went there, but now we'll take our own sandwiches or snacks. If you don't want to take your own, or spent the ludicrous amounts they charge inside the stadium, on match-days there are numerous amounts of burger vans from the walk from the tube stations.
You may also take your own soft drinks in plastic bottles only. Cans aren't allowed in the stadium. Also, if you want a glass of tap water, you can get this from one of the food and drink concessions for free.
First match: Dennis Bergkamp's testimonial
First competitive match: Arsenal v Aston Villa
First European match: Arsenal v Dynamo Zagreb
First international match: Argentina v Brazil
First defeat: Arsenal v West Ham
*Other Stadium Uses*
As the stadium is fairly new there haven't been a large amount of uses other than as a football arena. However two notable occasions when it has been used is in March 2008 when the Emirates hosted a meeting between Gordon Brown and the French President. The other notable instance was the Bruce Springsteen concert.
*Random Facts About The Stadium*
- The cost of this development cost £390 million. How much? Yes it really was that expensive. Although, in comparison to Wembley it seems like a bargain.
- Approximately 1,800 new jobs have been created and 2,000 new homes built.
- There are in the region of 250 catering serving points around the Emirates and 900 toilets.
- More than 2,500 legal papers have been authorised to give the project clearance. I think I would have given up at 100!
- There are 4,500 metres of metal hand railing. They sure are making sure everyone can get around safely.
- The stadium contains roughly 100 flights of stairs and 2,000 doors.
I would definitely recommend a visit to the remarkable Emirates stadium. If you find that league or cup games are slightly too expensive, try and get your hands on tickets to the Emirates Cup pre-season competition. You'll find these are sold for £25 for both games! If you don't fancy going there to watch a match, you can take a day tour during the week for approximately £18 each. Regardless of where you sit in the stadium, the view is always fantastic.
*Any facts sourced from Arsenal.com
The emirates stadium is the greatest footballing arena in the UK. Every week its packed out to capacity of 60,000, and watching a game there will always keep the fans off their seats with packed goal mouth action and late drama. Wherever you sit in the stadium you get a perfect view of the whole pitch and all the major action. You will not miss a thing. All replays of goals and major incidents are avaialable on the Big Screen. The seats are massive so you have plenty of leg room and are not cramped.
All major international friendlies are held at the Emirates Stadium, which is a testament to the worldwide status it has obtained and all the star players can be viewed watching a game at the Emirates. The stadium is only 2 years old, yet it has been the centre of many great matches including Arsenal's victory over Manchester United in the premiership. Great players are made for great arenas.
The stadium is very easy to access. It is within walking distance of many underground stations including Arsenal and Holloway Road. As a fan you are always close to the action and come the end of the night whether Arsenal win lose or draw, the entertainment value and moneys worth will always be present.
Last night my boyfriend had managed to score two tickets to watch Arsenal play adutch team called Twente in the Champions League so I got to visit the new Arsenal football ground for the first time as his mate he usually goes with could not go. Not a big football fan myself but I do enjoy a live game very occasionally and at least at this time of year it does not get too cold.
The ground is located right in Ashburton Grove next to the old stadium pretty much, about a two or three minute walk apart, we actully drove in and paid to park near Finsbury Station, this cost us £15 for the match which is a bit steep. Finsbury Park is one of the tube stations lots of fans use to get to the ground and is about a fifteen minute walk to the stadium, Arsenal tube station is closer and is on the Picadilly line but gets very crowded when you try to leave the stadium after the game apparently. You can also walk from Holloway Road or Highbury and Islington and there are lots of buses routes that go to the area.
The walk down is nice as the fans stream towards the ground and being a residential area there are loads of cafe and pubs to eat and drink in as well as the usual fast food vans and merchandise stores. However when you get to the ground there are large Arsenal retail shops at either end of the stadium so save your money and buy some genuine stuff.
We had two seats in what is called Club Level which is a bit posh as it is only beaten by the boxes in terms of cost, apparetly the guy whose tickets they were pays over £3,000 per ticket for the season, normal tickets start from about £40 up to the mid seventies apparently but the games usually sell out to the members. Certainly the seats were nice and wide and we had a great view as we were between the lower and upper levels. There were no tickets but credit card things which you swipe like an Oyster card and then an escalator took us up to our seating area.
The design of the ground is very modern as it is only just over two years old and every seat has a good view I reckon as there are no posts like the old stadium had. The pitch looked perfect and at either end there are two large screens that before the games has news and features on and during the game show replays and also team sheets showing who has scored or been booked.
The area we had access to had large bars and a restaurant, at half time we were entitled to free drinks which included lager, beer, red or white wine or a hot drink, there must have also been somewhere to get snack food as I saw people with pies and stuff but we ate before the game so I did not actually see where these were or the prices. In the bars there were TV screens showing results from other games and highlights. Apparently my boyfriend saw a couple of former players in that area but the names meant nothing to me.
One thing I was really impressed with was how clean the toilets were, they were very modern and well maintained.
The atmosphere was really good in the ground, lots of singing and not a lot of swearing which was nice, the Dutch fans made lots of noise and seemed to enjoy themselves even if they did get well beaten.
The only real downside for me was how long it took to get out of the ground, we ended up walking the long way ound as my boyfriend reckoned it was still quicker and the traffic leaving Finsbury was awful but then we expected that.
Definately recommend it as being worth a visit as it is an impressive stadium and if you can get into the club section you get some nice extra touches as well. Apparently there are tours as well that you can do during the week.
A few weeks ago i was lucky enough to get tickets for a friendly match between Brazil and Sweden at the new Arsenal stadium, the Emirates at Ashburton Grove. I was dumbstruck when i saw the ground for the first time, as you walk from the exit of Arsenal tube station you slowly see the ground which appears from over the top of the surrounding houses. The ground itself is spectacular, i have been to a fair few football matches in my time but no stadium i have been to, including Old Trafford, matches this which is difficult to say for a United fan! The designers have got a great balance between trying to bring some of the personality of the old ground and mix it with the plush new look the owners were after. The lower tier seats were the cheapest on offer and as i sat 12 rows from the pitch i was very impressed with the view. This hugely expensive development will be a hit with football fans for years to come.
Yesterday I went to my first ever footie match at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium to watch 2 matches, first Valencia vs Inter Milan, the second was Arsenal vs Paris St Germain.
An excellent day, first match started 2.00 second 4.00, was home by 7.30.
Ticket cost: £25 for both matches
worth it? definitely, this was an experience I will never forget.
The weather was excellent and we arrived there by tube (came out at Arsenal station turned right and walked down the road (5 mins) with hundreds of fans towards the stadium. A sea of red covered the street with the occasional white shirt (Arsenals new colours) with very few blue shirts or any other kits.
As you walked down the street there were several police officers on Massive horses with riot helmets, and there were little stalls on the streets selling Arsenal merchandise like shirts, scarfs, booklets and bags.
The ticket was booked online Arsenal.com, a party of 4 of us, tickets £25 each. The exit gates at arsenal tube station were open to avoid people getting crushed by the mass of people, people would just can their oyster cards as they passed.
Its easy to get lost and loose who you came with, particularly if everyone is wearing the same colours. Arsenal offer a history tour at their museum - just opposite the stadium which just has old shirts etc. so I didn't bother with that. There are different stands, indicated by different letters, I went to zone F in the blue color and went through gate 23 to arrive at my allocated seat of 242, all seats are RED.
As this was my first time at a football match i didn't know what to expect, i was expecting loads of footie hooligans and drunks and a massive pitch with seats all around you up to the sky. I have to say the pitch was much smaller than i imagined it. It looked very clean and tidy and exactly like the picture they have at arsenal.com
Its very well organised in the sense that there is lots of security and people just sit at their seats talking with friends, while players come on and train and mascots (Gunnersaurus wearing #99) went around to the people nearest the pitch. I have to say the match isn't as 'brilliant and intense as it looks like on tv. I could not recognise and players except Materazzi who kept getting boo'd heavily every time he got the ball and by his large figure. I regret not taking binoculars - i wasn't even that high up, row 23!
The first match was great 2-0 to Valencia was the final score, almost all fans were Arsenal fans and they started getting restless chanting Arsenal every so often, but were fairly calm (until someone scored).
As i could not see it was alright as the goal was replayed on the big screen TVs (2 of which were visible to me) the rest of the time the players name and time remaining were displayed on the big screen (and adverts at half time)
I can tell you its probably worth bringing your own food as cues to get food are MASSIVE and take more than the half time (even with announcements 3 minutes before the match resumes)+ food/drink is WELL OVERPRICED, a small bottle of coke (like ones at McDonald's cost 2.00 each, we got Doritos things with jalapenos and sauces - delicious but cost like a fiver each!! Other people got hot dogs which I'm sure were around the same price. If you don't have £10 don't even think of getting food.
When the Arsenal players came out there was a standing ovation, and when the arsenal game began the crowd began their typical chants. (if you hate Tottenham stand up! etc) The crowd were much more noisy with chants in the second game and as the players were taking time to score a Mexican wave began, this was absolutely amazing probably the best experience, better than the match! the entire stadium took part even people at the very top rows went with people below them, the stamping of feet to the build up of the wave filled the arena and echoed, getting louder as the wave came to you and everybody rushed onto their feet and cheered and the wave would die down to the other end of the arena. The wave went around like 4 times, it was just before the end of the first half when an Arsenal player scored and all fans got to their feet and destroyed the Mexican wave.
I expected cheering to be the main source of noise as we hear on TV, but the main thing people do when good football is displayed is clap, the entire stadium is filled with clapping and a few cheers when something happens.
You can see the photographers and workers lined around the pitch with their laptops, and 1 camera man were visible taking footage of the audience (never my side!) ( the match was only on sky sports 1 as far as i know)
The second half was much the same, Arsenal missed a penalty which caused a lot of 'aww' sounds around the stadium, I could feel all around me people were waiting for a Mexican wave to start, and a few people tried to initiate it but nobody followed up, luckily just then a goal arrived for Arsenal and the fans were all on their feet again. If the opposition score (which they didn't in Arsenals match) the audience are silent with occasional boo's and a few claps.
We cannot hear any commentary inside the stadium but right behind me i got a running commentary from 2 old men talking to each other, but this wasn't annoying as you'd expect as one of them sounded like Trever Brooking!
Many people left 10 minutes before the end even though the match was still very active, I understood why later. We left 1 minute before the end of the match with SEVERAL other people, there was a large cue to get out which got even bigger outside the stadium, the police still there ready, this time more in numbers created a barricade allowing separate cues for people to walk the street and up for Arsenal train station. After maybe 30 minutes in the cue we entered the tube station onto the crowded tubes and began the Journey back home.
So overall the experience was much more peaceful than I expected, this was probably because 99.9% of fans were Arsenal fans, there were some very old people coming to watch, women men and lots of kids, some very young children, I saw a mother with a baby that looked only 1 day old coming and parents with two toddlers sitting, how their children didn't cry with the noise God knows. People were reading books waiting for the matches to start, the tv's were playing adverts and past Arsenal matches, this wasn't what I was expecting at all.
I had great fun participating in all the cheering clapping and Mexican waves, once your in the audience you are part of the crowd and often just follow them naturally. For example most of the arsenal fans supported Valencia and i planned on supporting inter Milan (in the first match) but i ended up following the crowd without realising it.
The first match included famous names like Brazil's Adriano, Materazzi (Italy), Solari, etc. But none of these faces could be identified and watching the match was like watching anyone play football, except these guys were quite good.