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Learn About London: Wembley Stadium

Posted Sep 11, 2012

What better way to start a series on various places to visit in London if you’re going to the Rams-Patriots game on Oct. 28 than to take a look at the stadium in which the game will take place.

As sporting venues go, Wembley Stadium ranks near the top in the world in terms of easy of recognition and large scale events. In fact, outside of the United States, Wembley might be the most recognizable sports venue in the world.

Here’s a look at Wembley Stadium.

General Stadium Facts

• The famous twin towers have made way for an iconic arch over the stadium, which has been totally rebuilt and is now one of the most modern and breathtaking arenas in the world
• The new Wembley reopened its doors in 2007
• The stadium is now once again home to the England national side, as well as the FA Cup Final and Semi Finals, The Football League Cup Final, The FA Community Shield, The Football League Playoff Finals and The Rugby Football League Challenge Cup Final. The stadium also regularly hosts other major sporting events including a regular season NFL game and epic music concerts
• The original Wembley Stadium was known as the Empire Stadium, and was built as the centerpiece of a British Empire Exhibition at the end of the First World War
• Though not officially opened by King George V until 23 April 1924, the stadium hosted its first FA Cup final the previous year, when an estimated 200,000 people crammed in to watch Bolton Wanderers FC defeat West Ham United FC 2-0. That match famously became known as the 'White Horse final', as a mounted policeman took to the pitch to keep fans at bay
• The old stadium, named after the north London suburb in which it is located, would serve as the focal point of English football from then until it was demolished in 2003 to make way for the current structure
• Wembley hosted the 1948 Olympic Games and also the final of EURO '96 but, from an English perspective, unquestionably its finest hour came on 30 July 1966, when Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick to inspire England to a 4-2 extra-time win against West Germany in the final of the FIFA World Cup
• The stadium has a circumference of 1 km
• There are 107 steps in the trophy presentation route – the old stadium had 39 steps
• The new Wembley encloses 4,000,000 m³ inside its walls and under its roof. This is the equivalent of 25,000 double-decker buses or 7 billion pints of milk
• The deepest of the piles that form the foundations, at 35 meters, is as deep as the Twin Towers were tall
• The new field is more than 13 feet lower than the previous field
• The stadium’s pitch is enhanced by desso technology which combines synthetic grass with the real Wembley grass to strengthen the surface
• This system provides a consistently high standard playing surface at Wembley and enables the multi use venue to host football, rugby, American football and music events
• The pitch is covered by specially designed protective panels for rock concerts which creates space for up 25,000 fans to stand
• Each of the two giant screens in new stadium is the size of 600 domestic television sets
• The total length of the escalators is the same as a 400 meter running track
• At Wembley trophies are presented to the winning team from the Royal Box rather than on the pitch
• The Royal Box is in the traditional position - in the middle of the north stand - as in the old Wembley Stadium

Food and Drink

• The Stadium has 34 bars, 8 restaurants, 98 kitchens and 688 food and drink service points
• Approximately 10,500 seated meals can be served at any one event
• The soft drink dispensers can pour 30,000 cups in a little over 10 minutes
• Approximately 40,000 pints of beer can be served during half time in a football/rugby league match

The Arch and the Roof

• The most striking, highly visible feature of the stadium is a more than 436 foot  tall arch that sits above the north stand
• With a span of 1,033 feet, the arch is the longest single span roof structure in the world and is visible right across London
• With a diameter of 24.28 feet the arch is wide enough for a Channel Tunnel train to run through
• A representative from every county in England was involved in the construction of the arch
• The stadium roof rises to 170.6 feet above the field. This compares to the 114.83 foot tall Twin Towers of the old stadium
• The roof is over 11 acres, of which four of the acres are retractable
• The stadium has a sliding roof design which allows the pitch to be exposed to direct sunlight and ventilation whilst ensuring that spectators are covered
• The arch supports all of the weight of the north roof and 60 percent of the weight of the southern side
• The arch ensures that there are no pillars in the new stadium which could obstruct the views of fans

The Seats

• The stadium has 90,000 seats with NO obstructed views
• There are 310 wheelchair spaces and 400 press seats
• The rows of seating, if placed end to end, would stretch 33.55 miles
• There is more leg room in every seat in Wembley Stadium than there was in the Royal Box of the old stadium
• The seats are spread over three tiers: lower 34,303, middle 16,532 and upper 39,165
• The stadium was designed with stands that are higher and closer to the pitch than the original stadium and with better uninterrupted views
• The rows of seating, if placed end to end, would stretch 33.55 miles
• There is more leg room in every seat in Wembley Stadium than there was in the Royal Box of the old stadium
Transport
• Almost 40,000 people come through Wembley Park station on an event day
• 100 trains an hour will go through the three Wembley stations servicing the Stadium
Almost 40,000 people come through Wembley Park station on an event day 100 trains an hour will go through the three Wembley stations servicing the Stadium


Wembley in Numbers

• 2,618 toilets
• 47 retail units
• 164 turnstiles
• 26 elevators
• 30 escalators
• 34 bars
• 8 restaurants
• 688 food and drink service points
• 98 kitchens
• The seats are spread over three tiers: lower 34,303, middle 16,532 and upper 39,165

Facts, photos and figures courtesy of Wembley Stadium.

This is the first in a weekly series featuring places to see and things to do in London when the Rams take on the Patriots on October 28.

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