I was lucky enough to get tickets for one of Ed Sheeran's sold out show's at Wembley Stadium. It was my first visit to the 'new' stadium having previously only visited the old'twin towers' stadium or the arena. This review is based on my experience attending a music event here.
There are three stations accessing the stadium - Wembley Park (underground), Wembley Central (the furthest - underground and overground) and Wembley Stadium (mainline - Chilterns) which we used from London Marylebone. The concert capacity is over 90,000 people apparently (I didn't count!) but it seemed very organised when we all came out at the same time. Nearby is an outlet shopping centre with restaurants if you want to sit and eat before going in.
The stadium allows you to take plastic bottles of soft drink in (lids removed) and a small amount of food for personal use in disposable packaging (crisps, cereal bars etc). I expect to be ripped off for food and drink in these places, but I hate queuing 40 minutes to be ripped off! However they did seem to have a good mix of food available at prices that were not completely obscene! Queues seemed to be well managed and fast moving. My friend and I got champagne cocktails (330ml) for £8 which is typical London cocktail bar prices - just in a plastic cup. Smirnoff Ice was £4.90 and beer was similarly priced. There were some beer stands on the pitch, but we preferred to go out.
At peak times there will be queues for the Ladies loos but they weren't too bad and seemed to be quite clean - I didn't go right at the end though!
Generally I was impressed with the cleanliness, layout, organisation and staff at the stadium. It is a non-smoking venue, however a few people pitch side did think they were excluded from this rule, which the staff found hard to enforce. Otherwise I thought the place was very well run.
Oh, and the concert was brilliant!
This year I have had the luxury of actually going to Wembley stadium on two occasions. The first was to witness the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur and the other game was between England and Belgium recently.
My review is about my visit for the England vs Belgium game.
I never went to the old Wembley and this was my first trips to Wembley since it was rebuilt.
~~ What is Wembley Stadium? ~~
Wembley stadium is the national stadium of England and this is where they play all the home games and where cup finals in England are being played for.
The stadium was rebuilt and it took for what seemed forever and has since become very iconic due to the huge arch which was built above the stadium. It was finally finished and opened in 2007 and it cost over 750 million pounds in cost.
There is 90.000 capacity for a game of football and this venue is used for concerts and other sports as well over the past few years.
~~ Getting There and Parking? ~~
Getting to Wembley was so easy and it was a straight forward drive down the M1 motorway and as soon as you approach London you're told how to get to the stadium which has many routes.
The stadium is very big and is one of those arenas where you can spot the arch which is on top of the stadium and you can see easily where you have to go. The directions for the stadium are usually straight forward as well and it means a straight route down the motorway takes you there.
There is a tube station which stops a few minutes around the corner from Wembley stadium so this is another option and there is a local bus service as well which circulates around the area so this is again is an option for people to take. Prices would vary so this is for people to check.
The car parking is very confusing because the first game I went to see I ordered some parking outside a home of someone who lived across the road and this cost me £12 but the stadium parking which is around the back of the stadium costs around £27.50 and that is a huge price to pay.
I think in terms of parking people should look around to locate potential cheaper options I visited a few websites where local members of the public advertise their homes as locations for people to park and this is a much cheaper option.
~~ The Stadium and Eating ~~
The stadium was different for me in many ways. The eating resources were perhaps limited outside the stadium because the stadium is huge you need to walk around the outside to locate your seat and door you have to walk through.
As you walk around there is a few locations promoting food and in there burger vans but queues are very big and it can take a long time to get to the front. If you're running late for a match and need to get inside the stadium you basically find inside the prices vary.
There are plenty of places to eat from burgers and even some meal locations and drinks for beer and teas are everywhere. When it comes to fizzy drinks you have a few problems and the first is that you're not allowed to have lids on your bottles so you have to be careful you do not purchase an item you are likely to spill.
The stadium itself is huge from the outside it can appear smaller then it is but this is not the case. The stadium is clean and very open so people are not going to bump into one another at all. The stadium upon entry you were searched and the back pockets were emptied so they took security seriously.
Toilets were scattered everywhere and had a few ways to enter and they were very good at keeping them clean and tidy and staff are everywhere as well so the stadium in terms of help, places to eat and staff was exceptional.
~~ Atmosphere, Staff and Store ~~
The staff were so helpful on both occasions I was in the stadium. The staff were very polite they even joined in at times with some of the chants which the teams at the games were coming up with. They assisted people with how to get to their seats and when you see 90,000 seats they were very helpful.
Sometimes the staff serving food was slow and not the best but they did provide good food options but they had to take a long time to get it right which was perhaps a problem for most people.
In regards to the stores there is a few all over the stadium selling products for those teams. On the day of the England vs. Belgium game they had teddy bears and scarfs with banners and the prices were put up due to that reason. The England teddy bears were only £6 online yet the day of the game they were £10 which was a big increase.
I found the store limited in terms of what they had on sale. Banners and programmes were easy to obtain but if you wanted clothing they had limited amount of sizes and often it was just small and medium and that was also a problem as well.
The atmosphere though was loud but died out for each game. You expect the fans to chant throughout the game and at times the sound was loud but it seemed to get lost due to how big the stadium is. You have here a huge stadium which is huge in height but width and the sound drowns out whilst at a smaller stadium the noise remains inside the stadium.
If you want a good atmosphere at the start of a game it is loud and very pleasing but overall as the game goes on the sound diminishes and that is a huge shame.
~~ My Visit ~~
On the day of the game with England and Belgium I set out pretty late because I knew where I lived it would take around an hour to reach the stadium via the road which is how long it took. We arrived on time and found the car park with no problems at all.
The car park did look rather poor in terms of security because people could easily walk into the car park and actually look at the cars and decide which one they could take a chance on in terms of stealing so I was not happy we paid £20 on the day to see how poor the car parking truly was.
We saw no police at all on the day outside the stadium until after the game and even then it was limited so that was a problem as well because most stadiums I have visited I have found myself seeing plenty of police more for security and a huge game like this was to see no police around was worrying.
The stadium looked huge we walked up some steps and came across the statue of the great Bobby Moore and then it took for what seemed forever to walk around the stadium aiming to find the right door to walk through. When we did eventually find the correct door it took a while to be checked by security.
I had nothing on but my wallet and phone yet they wanted me to empty pockets yet other people with huge coats on and bags on their bags were checked in seconds so I found there security procedure poor.
When I did get into the stadium we went to our seats which were easy to find and we had some white flyers on the seats to use during the National Anthem which was there to show the colours of the football team which was very cool.
When the game was on we had some fans louder than others and it was a typical game but at half time it was a penalty shootout amongst 3 men who won a competition but other than that little else went on which was disappointing for those 15 minutes.
At the end of the game when we had to leave it was chaos and everyone was rushing around and it was a disaster zone with little co-ordination at all. People were running around and due to every fan walking around the stadium you had queues going down the steps and it was bad with no security to escort fans accordingly.
In the car park it took us 90 minutes to leave because the roads were blocked by police to let fans walk home or to the tube station so this was a huge disappointment again in regards to how they structured who did what. On the ride home it was fine and it was quick once we escaped.
I enjoyed our view which cost me £45 a ticket and it was a nice game to watch, atmosphere for some of the game was superb and the help was there at all times from the stewards it was how they managed people at the end of the match which astonished me because it was so badly organised.
~~ Final Thoughts ~~
I enjoyed the fact the stadium was so easy to access because it was well sign posted and very easy to reach. When it came to the car parking I was furious because anyone on the street could reach your car.
Other stadiums have car parks blocked by barriers and staff but this stadium seemed to not offer this it was as if you pay a fortune to park your car but people from anywhere can walk in the car park and that was a worry for us whilst at the game.
I think at the end of the game with little assistance offered by the police and security it meant utter chaos with pushing and shouting going on and to be honest this happened on both of my visits to the stadium and that is not good enough when you consider the cost of the ticket as well.
After the game we had to wait in the car park and no one moved for 90 minutes yet where we were parked there was two gates which could access main roads. These were shut so the fans could walk home which was fine but after 45 minutes we saw no more fans walking around so they continued to leave the gates locked and shut for a further 45 minutes.
I think there is a few problems with Wembley and for me the parking situation was the worse it has ever been and it could be sorted out with some presence of the local police or stewards directing people better.
I would say the food situation is good, toilets superb and the entire stadium very clean with good staff helping when needed.
~~ Venue Information ~~
London HA9 0WS
T: 0844 980 8001
PO Box 1966
London SW1P 9EQ
I paid my first visit to the New Wembley Stadium in October of 2009 to watch the NFL International series game between the Tampa Bay Bucaneers and the New England Patriots. What follows is a couple of observations I learnt which if you visit yourself, you may find helpful.
Completed in 2007 in time for the 2007 FA Cup final at a cost of £798 million, the new Wembley has a capacity of 90,000 and has sported numerous events ranging from sports events (i.e Football, NFL, Rugby) to music concerts and even hosted the Race of Champions on a purpose built track.
Located on the site of the old Wembley in North West London ,the nearest rail station is Wembley Park and there are numerous bus stops.
If you are driving however, this is where things get slightly interesting. After taking a 4 and a half hour drive from Liverpool and trusting in my brothers ability to find a space we ended up being charged £20 for a space on an industrial estate. Apparently this was the going rate. Walking 100 metres down the road the price dropped to £15 then shot up to £25. Theres no hard and fast rule to how much you pay and the road driving to the ground is so small, no one will thank you for driving up and down checking prices. In short parking prices are a lottery.
The seating as you would expect from a modern stadium is good with no obstructed views and lots of legroom, even for someone at 6ft 4. Sat on the upper tier of the east stand afforded me quite a view. Reading comments from other visitors suggests there are no poor views. However be careful if you are on the lower tier. It catches the sun. A lot. And after two or 3 hours without sunscreen you're not going to look good.
Refreshmenst are going to cost you, so as usual it's a question of cost vs convenience. If moneys no object go to Club Wembley and enjoy yourself. Those on a budget may wish to wine and dine in one of the surrounding pubs.
Hotel accomadation is nearby with both Ibis and Premier Inn, and with London only a train ride away with all the Hotels and facilities you would want.
All in all it does what modern stadia should do, sit you in comfort, entertain you and take all your money. What more could you want? I suppose a decent pitch is out of the question though.
Wembley Stadium is a colossal stadium, by far the biggest in the UK, and is home to some of the greatest musical acts and hosts all of England football teams home games, as well as being used as the venue for the final of many events.
Having been there 4 times, twice for music, twice for football, I will review how it measures up in both of these.
For football, the stadium is second to none. The sound in the stadium is kept in well, and when watching England play for a packed house, the noise is deafening, the atmosphere is truly electric. However, the cheapest seats are still £30 , pricing many people out of going to the game and instead having corporate types taking up many seats. This obviously dullens the atmosphere, no matter how good it already is. Many of these people also seem to believe that half time lasts 30 minutes or so as well, as there are many empty seats whilst they finish their drinks inside. Obviously, it is not my place to say that these sort of people are bad at games, but in such high numbers it certainly can dampen an atmosphere.
I also went to the league 2 playoff to see my beloved Rochdale A.F.C lose in the final. Due to both teams participating being nearly 250 miles away and the still extortionate ticket prices, the ground was half full. They decided to seperate a lot of fans so there were small sections of fans here there and everywhere. Poor planning really detracted from the day, although the noise was still great.
For music it is even more of a mixed bag. Depending on where you sit or stand, the music quality apparently differs greatly. For Coldplay I was standing about 10 rows back and the sound was absolutely great, but apparently people at the back were less impressed. For Muse, I was half way back on tier 1, which really let me take in the whole stadium and the stage design, it is definitely worth going to a gig at wembley and be a way back. Because the stadium is so large, the bands can afford all sorts of gimmicks and cool tricks during the set. Muse had 6 huge satellites as their highlight, and Coldplay had fireworks inside the stadium, as well as two more minor stages in the tiers and further back on the floor. Brilliant!
The arch is obviously a landmark now for England and is internationally recognised. The walk down Wembley Way is always exciting as this huge building towers over you. One problem of the gigs is the lack of a roof on the stadium, noticeable when we got drenched for the first 20 minutes of Coldplay!
One further negative is the price when you get inside. You aren't allowed to take your own food or drink in, and when you are there you are charged £8 for a pie and chips, which even if it was cooked by Ramsay et. al is still ridiculous. You can get a curry and a pint for a fiver down your local! Transport links are also great, and I've never spent more than 20 minutes coming out of Wembley and being on a tube home. In my experience, this is a great positive for the venue.
Wembley stadium is probably one of the most famous stadiums in the world, hosting numerous sporting occasions and music concerts in its history.
The old stadium had a more grand feel to it, and you could sense the past it had and the events it had seen. It was iconic with its two towers, and as a football fan, it gave competitions like the FA Cup more significance, as it was the venue for the final.
The past events are displayed on the interior of the new stadium, including moments such as Geoff Hurst's 3rd goal for england in the world cup, the famous picture of Bobby Moore holding the World Cup, boxing events, concerts with bands and artists i did not recognise, and others. The new stadium is very modern and I have been impressed each of the three times I have visited since the rebuilding. There is plenty of leg room and getting to and from the stadiium by public transport is much easier
Wembley Stadium, sometimes reffered to as new Wembley as to distinguish it from the prevoius, now demolished old Wembley, is an all seater stadium, located in Wembley Park in London. Wembley has a capacity of around 90,000 and is the second largest capacity of any stadium in Europe. It is one of the most expensive stadia ever built, reportedly costing close to £800 million which caused alot of controversy as this was massively over budget. The main purpose for the staduim is to house the England national football team, who play all home international fixtures at Wembley. Wembley also hosts a number of domestic fixtures such as-
Community shield final
Leauge cup final
FA cup semi-finals and The FA cup final.
Football leauge play-off finals.
LDV vans trophy final.
In the future Wembley will host the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final, as well as being a major part of Englands bid to host the 2018 world cup, potentially hosting the final.
The Stadium is also used on a regualr basis for music concerts and other sporting events, such as USA NFL games for the past two years and even motor racing!
Wembley stadium is one of the most attractive and impressive stadiums in the world for many reasons- the most striking of which is huge white arch that can be seen from miles away.
When I went to Wembley at the start of the season to watch Man Utd play Chealsea in the community shield was the first and only time so far that I have attended new Wembley and I was mostly impressed by overall- the sheer size and atmousphere around the place on matchday was outstanding, it was clean and well organised, I found my seat easily after assistance from a member of staff and when I was served at the program stand and food counters service was very good, and the products were of a much higher standard than I had expected.
The negatives of the stadium is that it is very expensive- from memory I paid £5 for a matchday program and nearly £5 for a pint of beer which I was not best pleased about. Worst thing though was after the game when trying to go home it took an hour and a half just to get out of the stadium car park, which was down to poor organisation in my opinion.
My first view of Wembley Stadium was coming out of Wembley Park tube station and my first impression was one of sheer amazement. I have been to the stadium 3 times now twice for gigs and once to watch the NFL and every time it has been an amazing experience.
The stadium is huge and dwarfs all other stadiums in the country and at 90,000 seats is the largest stadium in the world with every seat under cover. Every seat has more leg room than the previous seats in the royal box so you can sit in comfort the entire time you are there.
On my first visit I saw Muse and was lucky enough to get standing tickets so got the view of standing on the pitch with a 360 degree view of the stadium and I was overwhelmed by the size. On my second visit I was sit in the lower tier for Live Earth and the view from this height was almost fantastic. On my third visit I was seated right near the top of the stadium which was a little disappointing but even though you are so far from the pitch the view is great.
The stadium also houses two of the biggest TV screens in the world at either end of the pitch.
There are two problems with the new stadium the first being the price of food and drink within the stadium and the second being the time it takes to get out of the stadium and to the tube station.
I have only eaten at the stadium once and you will struggle to find anything to eat for under £5 and meals can cost at least £8. For that price you should be expecting the best quailty products but much of the food is tasteless. The chips I had have been some of the worst I have ever tasted and certainly not worth anywhere near the money I paid for them.
Getting out of the stadium after can also be problematic. This has nothing to do with the stadium however and more because of the volume of people leaving at the same time. The only way to avoid problems is to check all the train times for when you want to go home and make sure you allow enough time. On my first visit it took 2 hours from leaving the stadium to get to Liverpool Street.
Okay it doesnt have the the towers which hold so many memories for generations but now the arch will give so many more generations new memories.
Why did it cost so much money?
Don't get me wrong, Wembley is an amazing stadium but then the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is also a fantastic stadium which cost some 500 million pounds less, was on time and has a retractable pitch and a closing roof. Ok, Wembley is around 20,000 larger in capacity and has the big arch (which looks good when lit) but is that enough to justify the extra £500m? No!
Wembley, thankfully, has several train stations, which when dealing with 90,000 people is a must. There are still many cases of fans leaving eas early as 70 minutes because they have found the wait for transport excessive and I believe that to be true. The last time I went was for an FA Trophy game with the stadium less than 25% full and yet the queues afterwards were fairly lengthly.
Then in side the stadium, they put the high end corporates right around the dugouts facing the TV screens. They are never in their seats when the game starts and kicks off again for the second half making it look empty. Poor positioning to say the least.
Inside the ground the food was very expensive, £4.50 for a pie if I recall correctly and one thing I did notice was the wind gusting around inside. Over the top of the turnstiles was a metal cage instead of a wall which made it quite blustery inside.
I do like the walls of memories that are inside the concourse and the atmosphere at Wembley can be superb but as I say, it's vastly overpriced in comparison to other stadiums.
Having been to the Old Wembley, I felt the walk down Wembley Way there was once of those once in a lifetime moments (even though it happened several times) but now I just don't get that feeling at all. Maybe it's because the stadium is new? The view and comfort of the new Wembley are obviously better and the facilities are a great improvement.
If it had cost £350m then I'd have been more positive but for that price....not overly special.
Shame my team won't be there much/ever :-(
I'm a huge fan of my local football team and at the end of the 2007/2008 season they reached the final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy (for those who don't know it's like the FA Cup for lower league teams).
Having been to the old Wembley Stadium twice in 1998, I was looking forward to seeing what the new Stadium would be like after being rebuilt for £757million - especially as I had been to Cardiff's Millenium Stadium which cost considerably less to build (only £130m).
As a 15 year old girl visiting Wembley for the first time apart from the match the biggest thing that has implanted in my memory was walking down Wembley Way with the other fans and seeing the twin towers, anyone that has been will tell you what an impressive site it is.
The lack of the towers were always my biggest concern when the rebuild of Wembley was announced. How on Earth could it be Wembley Stadium without this important architectural football history?
So it was with all the excitement, anticipation and nerves a footy fan gets before a match that I began my walk down Wembley Way.
The first thing that hits you is how huge it is, it imposes on the landscape, and your eye is automatically drawn to the arch - it is impressive. In my opinion it is a worthy modern day replacement for the towers. With the mirrored effect on the outside the reflections of the arch look fantastic.
Once you get inside the stadium there are 688 food kiosks, and sadly this is what lets Wembley down in my opinion. The prices are extortionate be prepared to pay almost £10 for a burger meal and close to a fiver for a pie. Eat before you go in!!
As you take to your seat you notice how close you are to the pitch, the seats are also banked high so that most people should be able to see the action. If you can't there are two big screens at each end of the pitch which are attached to the roof, these have a live feed so you can keep an eye on the match.
The old Stadium was in desperate need of renovation and the new Wembley is an impressive replacement. It would have been nice from a historical point of view to have included the Twin Towers, but sadly they just would not have fitted with the new design.
The food costs are the reason why I have only awarded 4 stars.
Wembley Stadium, one of he most Iconic phrases you're likely to hear in the world of football, images of the old Towers, of Moore lifting the Jules Rimet and of FA Cup finals of yesteryear.
Since the decision to demolish and then rebuild Wembley alot of people had been skeptical, costs and delays ensued as with most british new builds, but eventually Wembley was complete, was it worht the wait, you can only truly decide for yourselfs but for me yes, lets take a look why.
The Stadium Itself
With a capacity of 90,000 and every seat being covered by roof, Wembley boasts one of the largest capacities in Europe. Designed in a bowl shape the middle of each side of the pitch slopes up, despite appearnig in photo's to be rather distant from the pitch you feel quite enclosed and like you are part of whats happening on the field.
Whilst I can't comment on the "Club Wembley" experience im told it can be worth the money if you look at it as completeing your experience and making the day extra special.
Toilets are supplied in abundace which makes a delightful change, despite going to the mens during Half-time when the rest of the crowd do the same we still had ample room free, one of the best stadium facilities i've had the pleasure of using.
Food and drinks, however as with most places where availability is sole owned by the attraction prices are steep, Hotdogs are upwards of £5 with a beer £4.50 (correct as of 26/7/09) you can find yourself out of pocket very quickly. Advice is to definitely eat at one of the many cheaper restuarants and fast food outlets outside the stadium.
Transport to Wembley is surprisingly very well co-ordinated on most occasions, served by the Metropolitan, Bakerloo and overline rail connections there is a choice of which you can use (busses and your own car making up the ensemble). For a spectacular view of Wembley in its glory you are best off getting off at Wembley Park station on the Metropolitan line. The exit leads you straight down Wembley way where you have the fantastic Arch in front of you and as you approach nerer the ground Bobby Moore rises ahead of you, just the inspiration and build up to get you in the mood for an England game.
Whilst the pricing can be an issue, for up to date facilities and a good transport link to the north and back to central London Wembley stands tall as the face of English football, and with redevelopment work taking place all around the ground it will soon be a world class experience inside and outside the ground.
Wembly stadium plays host to a lot of different events and is much more than just your average sports ground, recently they have had bands play there including ac/dc, take that, oasis, u2, and cold play play there or are going to play there aswell as a lot of football events including the fa cup events,
You can book tours of the grounds which would be great for major football fans as you get to visit the england changing rooms, the warm up zone, visit the royal box and a whole host of other football related areas that would realy appeal to any major fan, it is reasonably priced at £15 for adults and £8 for children for a 90 minute tour.
There is a store there selling merchandise of england and wembly , they are pritty much on par with most sports stores on there football kit prices too.
The stadium itself has 90,000 seats for fans so you can but imagine the atmosfere in there at a football game or live gig, it is amazing with all the cheering snd singing that goes on it is just so full of life,
There are a lot of restrictions on items you are not allowed to take into the stadium too, most are very sencible but others are a little bit petty to be honest, these include animal, alcohol, air horns, cool bags or boxes, umbarellas, darts, bike helmets, water bottles, suitcases laptops and back packs, cameras or camcorders but does not include mobile phones with cameras, transmiting devices, prams or pushchairs, smoke canisters, skate boards, laser devices, knives and guns, frisbies, illegal substances, bottles glasses or cans including flasks of tea/coffee, musical instruments, and anything else that could be used as a weapon.
There is no car parking facilities at wembly you have to park a distance away and use public transport to get to the venue which is why i think it is pritty poor that pushchairs are benned from the place.
The food and drink ban forces you to uy food once you are there and even though there are over 600 food and drink service points in the venue they are all very highly priced and all have long queues.
There is a movable and completely closable roof on the stadium but it is only ever closed over the seats leaving the pitch open for lighting reasons, even if it rains they do not close this up so if you are sitting on the first few rows and it rains you will get wet and umbarellas are banned so i would sugest taking waterproof clothing with you.
There are plenty of toilet facilities available and they have baby changing and disabled toilets too, there are seating areas especially for the disabled which is why i disagree so much with them not having this same friendly aproach to pushchairs.
I have only been to Wembley twice and neither of those times was to see any football, why am I writing a review on it then you may ask? Well, because on both occasions it was awesome!! My first trip to Wembley was in 2007 to see Live Earth, a great day out and we managed to see the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Keane, Kasabian, Madonna, Foo Fighters, Damien Rice, Metallica...etc etc. My second visit was to see the Foo Fighters, supported by Futureheads and Supergrass, both great days out!
My housemate and I arrived before midday for that's when it started and we arrived via overground train from Marylebone, the journey was very short and uninterrupted. Other links you can use are both the Jubilee Line and the Metropolitan Line, the stop is 'Wembley Park' and as you get out of the station you cannot miss it for it is right in front of you. There are also buses that run regularly and who up their service for when there is an event there. However, I have only used train (underground Jubilee for the Foos) and both times were very efficient.
Despite being very well connected there is, unfortunately, not much else to around Wembley, there are kebab shops, a McDonalds down the road and a few dodgy locl pubs but if you feel peckish after the game / before the concert there is no where decent to go which I think is a shame and a potential investing opportunity for anyone. However, one restaurant won't make much of a difference, it would take quite a few to cater for the potential numbers of Wembley users and their problem would be that their primary busy times would be on a match day or concert day, before and after. Maybe the Olympics will add to it...who knows!
Wembley has plenty of food facilities, 688 food and service points in fact, but all charge extortionate prices!! It really is a shame that the establishment feel it necessary to rip off fans who have probably paid a lot of money to be there beforehand. Pints are served in plastic glasses understandably but this obviously affects the whole drinking experience regardless of the average £4 a pint (approx). Note, alcohol is not served when football is on and when Alcohol is for sale you're only allowed two per person, however, that is impossible to regulate and thus people get away with it! If you are hungry and feel like a bite to eat then there are badly cooked, overpriced burgers, chips or pizza baguettes, a 'meal' is in the vicinity of £7 approx: another rip off. It's a shame that being able to charge what you want inside of a building isn't breaking any monopolising rules, there really is no need. Anyway...other facilities include programmes and leaflets stands, extortionately charging ATM machines and a record 2,618 toilets (the most in any one building in the world). A funny story regarding the toilets is that the strict advertising rules within Wembley mean that only the official sponsors/advertisers can advertise their name in the stadium, so when armitage shanks supplied these 2618 toilets ALL of them had to be replaced because their name was printed on them! (the tax payer probably paid that bill!)
Wembley hosts many events, most of which are football orientated, but Wembley, it seems, is quickly getting wise of their hosting potential and eyeing up the profits the o2 has been reaping in and thus has increased their musical events. Past events include AC/DC, Kasabian, Foo Fighters, Take That, Live Earth and many others. Football-wise there is the FA Community Shield, The FA Cup Final and England's home games. In the next 3 months Wembley will host U2, Oasis, Coldplay, England v Croatia and other World Cup qualifying games.
Leaving the stadium was surprisingly not too bad, it was very well orchestrated by police and officials both times although i was a little nervous as you go towards the tube station seeing the white police horses being used as crowd seperaters. They would turn the horses every now and again to ease the flow of the crowds; very clever but i was worried as we walked past that the well trained horse may get scared and kick someone...
Despite my old man moans, I had an amazing time seeing both events and would definately recommened to anyone to go if they get the chance. The stadium is an amazing accomplishment despite the highly documented under budgeting of it all. I can't wait to see my first football game there, champions leage final in 2011, Liverpool v Real Madrid anyone?!?
I have visited the Old Wembley before on a couple of occassions to see The FA Trophy final. I was very young when I saw those games, and don't recall much apart from being overwhelmed. A few years on I have had a few opportunities to see the new 90,000 seater Wembley Stadium. I have seen two England games, including a win over Israel and a 1-1 draw with Brazil in the first game at the new Wembley. I have also been there to see the Foo Fighters live which was absolutely immense.
When you exit Wembley Park station the sight of Wembley from those steps is truely breath taking and the arch is very impressive. There is an anticipation and excitement as you walk down Wembley way and choose which side you want to walk up. Wembley is truely a magnificient structure, no matter how long it took to complete. When you find your seat in Wembley you get to enjoy looking at the structure from the inside which is a pleasurable experience in itself. The atmosphere isn't quite there yet partly due to the design of the stadium and the people low down being fairly far away from the pitch but it certainly was there when I had that Portsmouth fan with the bells behind me at the Israel match. Wembley is a suitable home to English football and I hope one day I can support Newcastle at Wembley. There is a lot of space in the stands for toilets and burger bars, but i wouldn't buy one due to the horrific prices. Don't even bother going to a programme stand, be cheaper getting a taxi home.
Speaking of getting home, Wembley is the biggest of nightmares for getting out the ground. If you're planning to use Wembley Park station you can be queueing on Wembley Way for an extortionate amount of time and you see people leaving as early as 75 minutes in because of this!
On the whole, the new Wembley is a fantastic structure and a great home to English football but the atmosphere needs to improve. The prawn sandwich brigade not coming out until 10 minutes after time who sit right in the middle of the stadium height and length wise does not help. It is also let down by the horrid pricing. Not too much can be done about the congestion with a 90,000 seater stadium though.
Its the morning after the day before.........Yesterday I was at Wembley seeing my beloved Spurs lose on penalties to Manchester United in the Carling Cup Final and to make sure good comes from yesterday's disappointment I thought I will write a review of Britains largest stadium, the home of football....Wembley Stadium.
The original Wembley Stadium was built in 1923. The Empire Stadium as it was known then was built at a cost of £750,000 holding an official capacity of 127,000 people. The first FA Cup final, famously known as the White Horse Final attracted an estimated quarter of a million people. As well as hosting Cup finals, it also played host to the World Cup finals in 1966 and countless music concerts and events, probably the most notable being Live Aid way back in the 80's. In 2007, at an overwhelming cost of £798,000,000, the famous Twin Towers were dismantled and the stadium rebuilt by the Football Association adding a retractable roof,endless corporate facilities and an arch that can be seen from most of North West London. The current capacity is now set at 90000.
Location and Getting There
Now Wembley is not in the greatest location. The original leafy suburb of Wembley is not as leafy as it was back in the 1920's.Situated in the densely populated multi-cultural Borough of Brent, parking restrictions apply all around the area, making parking an absolute nightmare should you wish to take the North Circular Road to get there. This forces you to use the Tube via the Jubilee Line or one of the scores of Red Buses that slowly labour through the busy high streets to get you near the stadium. The underground station is only a few minutes walk down wembley way from the stadium and the station itself has been updated and upgraded to compliment the new stadium. Having been to Wembley a few times, I take the tube from Stanmore, which is just a few stops to get to Wembley and I would recommend not driving right up to Wembley for anyone with a car as it really isnt a car and parking friendly place.
Putting aside the saddening feelings of the loss against Man Utd, I had a great day - as they would say on Bullseye..... I' came with nothing, return with nothing but had a great day out Jim'. I've been to the old and new Wembley a few times; FA Cup 1987, League Cups 1999 and 2008 and also to watch England in Euro '96 and be it in defeat or in victory there is always something magical about a visit to the 'hallowed turf'. As you walk down Wembley way there is huge tribal gratification on seeing 30/40 thousand of your fellow Spurs Supporters resplendent in Blue and White all excited all walking towards what is an impressively striking and magnificent structure, with its unbridled views across all of North West London. The area has been sanitised a great deal of late with the traditional burger vans and scarf sellers all controlled and limited by the council and restricted to particular area. The monopoly means that prices are high and expect to pay anything from a fiver upwards for a burger both inside and outside the stadium.
Its good to take a walk around the ground to soak up the atmosphere and gaze upon the structure, all glass, concrete and steel it has a very modern feel about it and despite the crazy costs involved it does indeed look impressive and although my preference would have been to keep and incorporate the Twin Towers into the structure, in all honesty it isn't missed.
The turnstiles are barcode operated and once inside there are no shortage of bars, toilets, betting facilities and eateries for you to visit. Although I wouldn't recommend the food or drink inside because of taste and cost. The £4 pint of Carling, tasted as though it had been taken straight from the toilet and I have seen Albinos with more colour than that.
Plenty of stairs to tackle too. If like me, you had a ticket 'Up in the Gods' be prepared for a good ol' thigh workout as the stairs to my seat seemed endless. In fact it was so high up they had Sherpa's not stewards taking you to your seat. For those in the very back rows, you were issued with an oxygen mask and a small flashing light to put on your head to warn low flying aircraft. For vertigo sufferers, a seat at the back is not big and not clever and last year I witnessed someone having a panic attack whilst navigating their way to their seat. Nothing to do with the price of a pie and a pint inside I'm sure, but cant have helped.
There is undoubted good acoustics in the stadium and the fans are serviced by two giant TV screens at either end. I havent been in the ground when the roof is on and the pitch covered and I would only think that would aid the acoustics in there.
Getting out was a pain. Once the final Manchester penalty went in. I and 32000 other Spurs fans were unsurprisingly keen to make a exit faster than a lady on a blind date with John Leslie. The lack of exits make the journey slow, arduous and frustrating and this is only made worse with the police trying to control the entrance into the tube station. Herded like cows down Wembley Way, it can take 30/40 mins to get into the station and onto a train. This when, you are being goaded by ungracious Manchester fans getting their trains back to Surrey, can make things a bit tense but with a heavy police presence I haven't witnessed anything other a bit of banter and a few insults, BUT I can see a potential for trouble flaring up and so I would be wary when leaving the ground.
Apart from the obvious cost to the taxpayer, which like the olympics now spiralled out of control. Opened in March 2007. A lot of the immediate area still is a building site, this coupled with the already run down area of Brent takes a little of the gloss off the stadium, an impressive structure in itself. There needs to be some regeneration of the area and it feels as though there is still a lot more to do.
There is too much focus of corporate facilities and the need to get the money back as soon as possible. With a capacity of 90000, Spurs and Man Utd only had an allocation of 32000 each. The remaining 26000 goes to corporate and it was disappointing to see a few thousand empty seats in those areas that could and should have gone to the many true fans that miss out.
As mentioned previously the high prices, high seats and highly frustrating wait to get back to the station do detract from the experience, not to mention the actual defeat to Man Utd as well. But in fairness i seemed to notice it more this year than last year when we actually won....coincidence??? probably not.
I defy anyone not to be impressed with Wembley and the whole Wembley experience. It is indeed a great day out and the buzz felt walking up to the stadium and the seeing 32000 spurs fans waving our flags in the ground is fantastic, it really is. I would recommend for anyone to go there, either for a concert or a sports event and the joy of seeing your team win there will stay with you for life. To make sure you enjoy your time there follow these simple tips
Don't drive expecting to park up close to the stadium. - It ain't gonna happen!
Take your own food - Or take the deeds to house so you can negotiate a loan to buy pie and and a pint.
Get some basic hillwalking and mountain climbing practice in beforehand. - There are limited number of Sherpas there and you may have to make your own way to your seat. I read Chris Bonnington's autobiography beforehand to prepare myself.
And thats it. Thanks for reading and allowing some good to come from a disappointing day at Wembley....There's always next year :)
I visited Wembley stadium back in May 2008 for the League One play off final (between Doncaster Rovers and Leeds United) and was immediately blown away. As a regular visitor to London, I had seen the old Wembley being knocked down and the new Wembley being built for several years but nothing can prepare you for the spine tingling feeling you get when you first walk into the ground.
Getting to the ground is simple enough, we took the coach, as we wanted to avoid the several thousand people using the tube, and the traffic was not too bad, however, getting away from the ground was a slow process, but I guess that is to be expected when 60,000 people are trying to leave.
The ground itself is everything you want from a football ground, I have visited over a 100 grounds and nothing even comes close to the facilities that Wembley provides. The toilets are immaculate, you would think that you were in a hotel not a football stadium, and there were plenty of food outlets and merchandise stalls which meant that you didn't really have to queue to be served. However, the prices were very expensive, and the quality of the food was not that great.
We sat in the lower tier and despite the rows being quite shallow, the view was perfect and you didn't have to strain your neck to see over the person sat in front of you. Despite the ground being huge, the sound also travelled well and the atmosphere could be enjoyed throughout the stadium.
I never made it to a football match at the old Wembley, much to my disappointment, so I cannot compare the two. However, I can assure you that you will be blown away by the ground and would recommend that all football fans visit such an iconic stadium at least once in their lifetime!