The Emirates Stadium, formerly called Ashburton Grove, is a football stadium home to Arsenal FC located in London. The stadium opened in July 2006 and has an all seated capacity of 60,355 being the second largest football club stadium in England behind Manchester United’s Old Traford .
It was initially known as Ashburton Grove after the road it was located on, before a naming rights deal with the airline Emirates was signed. The project cost was £390 million, including the cost of the associated infrastructure.
Arsenal started looking to develop a larger stadium during the later part of the 1990s, as their existing ground at Highbury had a capacity of 38,419 when it became all-seater in 1993. The actual construction of the stadium began in February 2004. Two bridges over the Northern City railway line connecting the stadium with Drayton Park were also built. The stadium topped out in August 2005, and was completed ahead of schedule and on budget. By February 2006 90% of the club tier seats had been sold and by June 2006 the rest had been sold too. The Emirates Stadium was officially opened by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Thursday 26 October 2006.
The stadium is a four-tiered bowl with roofing over the stands but not over the pitch. The design team included architects HOK Sport (Populous). The stadium was constructed by Sir Robert McAlpine on the site of Ashburton Grove industrial estate, several hundred yards from Arsenal’s former home at Highbury.
Current demand for tickets still great with some 47,000 members on the season-ticket waiting list. It is h reported that Arsenal is looking into expanding the capacity of the stadium from its current 60,355 capacity.
The spectacular Arsenal Museum at Emirates Stadium is open in the Northern Triangle Building. Arsenal Football Club has a wonderful history which encompasses time at Woolwich, Highbury and now Emirates Stadium. The museum offers a chance to take in many exhibits donated by former players who hold a special place in Arsenal’s history . The facility also features an impressive Legends Theatre and more than a dozen fully interactive sections based on Arsenal’s proud history such as Championship winning managers, The Invincibles, The Arsenal Spirit and Highbury Stadium. The Museum is opened daily from 10-6 pm
Getting to Emirates Stadium is simple. London’s comprehensive public transport network will take you within a few minutes walk of the ground and clearly located signs will help pedestrians find their way from stations or bus stops. For the first visit, tourists should pay attention to the advice given by stewards and the police.
Emirates Stadium facts
Former names – Ashburton Grove
Location – Holloway, Islington, London
Opened – 22 July 2006
Owner – Arsenal FC
Surface – Desso GrassMaster
Construction cost – £ 390 million (2006),
Architect – HOK Sport (now Populous)
Capacity – 60,355 seated
Field dimensions 105 × 68 metres