Wembley Stadium

London

Capacity: 90,000 (all seated)
Address: Empire Way, London, HA9 0WS*
Telephone: 0844 980 8001
Stadium Tours: 0800 169 9933
Pitch Size: 105m x 68m
Year Ground Opened: 2007**
Undersoil Heating: Yes

East and South Stands
East and South Stands
Looking Towards The East Stand
Looking Towards The East Stand
North Stand
North Stand
Looking Towards The West Stand
Looking Towards The West Stand
External View
External View
Bobby Moore Statue
Bobby Moore Statue

Wembley Stadium ArchWell it may have been late in opening and over budget, but the new stadium has certainly been worth the wait and the extra expenditure. To say that it looks superb, is really an understatement. 'Fantastic', 'tremendous', such words probably still don't do it enough justice. But what is really great about the stadium, is that it has its own individual identity and character. From the moment you see the Arch towering over the stadium in the distance, then you know that this is going to be something special, and special it is. Plus unlike a number of other stadiums around the world that host a number of sporting events including football, Wembley is primarily for football and is the home of the England team. No wonder that it is labelled the 'Home of Football'.

The old Wembley closed its doors in 2000 and was due to re-open in August 2005, but delays meant that the new stadium was not ready until March 2007. Designed by Foster & Partners and HOK Sport, the stadium which was built by Multiplex cost £737m to construct. 

The stadium is totally enclosed and comprises three tiers, with both sides of the stadium being slightly larger than the ends. These sides are semi circular in construction and although on a larger scale are reminiscent of the similar designs at the Emirates & City Of Manchester Stadiums. Both these side stands large upper and lower tiers, with a smaller middle tier sandwiched in-between. This middle tier overhangs the large lower tier and has a row of executive boxes at the back of it. At each end there is a large video screen, which is moulded into the third and hence is an integral part of the stadium. The stadium has a complicated looking roof, that initially appears retractable and could if necessary be used to enclose the stadium from the outside elements. However, just over one third can be moved, so that the pitch will always be open to the elements. Unlike the old stadium whereby the players would enter the field of play from a tunnel at one end, the players now enter the field in the conventional way, onto the half way line from the North Stand, where the Royal Box is situated.

The most striking external feature of the stadium is 'The Arch', towering some 133 metres above it. It comprises of white tubular steel, that can be seen for many miles across London and looks particularly spectacular at night when it is lit up. Oddly you can't see much of the Arch from inside the stadium. It does though have a practical use in being a load bearing support frame for the roofs of the stands. It reminds me of some sort of theme park ride and I half expect to see people being propelled over it.... now that would be interesting to watch at half time!

A bronze statue of Bobby Moore, is situated in front of the stadium. The legendary England World Cup winner, gazes down on fans coming up Wembley Way.

Wembley Stadium ConcourseSeeing Wembley for the first time, you can't help but be impressed with the sheer quality of the place. From escalators to transport fans up to the top tier to the 'landscaped concourse, you can see that no expense has been spared. Although not the most generous of leg room that I have come across, it is still more than adequate and there is good height between rows. Add to this that there literally is not a bad seat in the house (even seats at the very top of the upper tier have excellent views) and with the roofs of the stadium being situated very close to the crowd, then a full house should generate an excellent atmosphere. The top tier (Level 5) is particularly steep, which may cause a few to be a bit short of breadth as they reach the top, but at least this angle ensures that the spectators are kept as close to the playing action as they possibly can be.

Whereas most concourses in new stadiums so far built in this country are normally rather drab affairs, with a combination of breeze blocks and cladded piping, being predominantly on view, at Wembley it is different. For once someone has had the vision to hide these ugly features, with timber rafting and well positioned lighting, giving a modern stylish look. The concourses themselves are spacious, so much so that entertainers and other attractions are brought in to help entertain the crowd, The stadium has a number of refreshment tills (apparently one per 100 spectators in the stadium) and these are supplemented with a number of 'pop up' units serving everything from real ale to Krispy Creme doughnuts (Why is it that whenever I think of beer and doughnuts, Homer Simpson always springs to mind?). Prices have always been historically expensive at Wembley and the new stadium certainly follows in the same tradition, but probably no more now that what most London Premier League Clubs charge. There are various pies; Buttered Chicken Balti, Steak & Ale, Bombay Vegetable (which although expensive at £4.50 each, are in fact excellent), Pasties (£4), Jumbo Sausage Rolls (£3.50), Margherita Pizza (Quarter £4.30, Half £6.30), Pepperoni Pizza (Quarter £4.70, Half £6.80),  plus up to 30 minutes before kick off you can have a Pie & Pint for £8. Most of the refreshment outlets take card payments. The concourses also have betting facilities, a number of flat screened televisions, as well as programme kiosks and merchandise outlets. 

For England International games, away supporters are housed in part of the lower tier of the East Stand.

Real Ale Pop Up StandAlthough there are a number of bars and pubs located within the general area around Wembley Stadium, they certainly combined do not have the capacity to house all the fans who would like a drink before the game. So bear this in mind when planning your arrival time. The closest bars to the stadium such as J.J. Moons (Wetherspoons), the Green Man (both near Wembley Stadium station) and the Torch (near Wembley Park tube station), are usually heaving many hours before kick off. 

In recent years for Cup and Play Off Finals the Police have allocated pubs in a specific area to one teams supporters. This is based on which side of the stadium the fans are housed, on either the East or West side. For the 2016 Comunity Shield match; then Leicester City have been allocated the East side of the stadium, with Manchester United the West. Not all of these venues are pubs as such but also include some night clubs, cafe bars and restaurants. These venues throw their doors open when there is a big event going on at Wembley. So you may wish to so a little homework beforehand as to where you wish to head for. Alcohol is also available inside the stadium.

Pubs on the East side include: 
Blue Check Cafe - 12/13 Empire Way, Wembley, HA9 0RQ
Crock of Gold - 23 Bridge Road, Wembley, HA9 9AB
Crystal Club (Silverspoon) - South Way, Wembley, HA9 0HB
Wembley First Class Sports Bar - 125
Wembley Park Drive, Wembley, HA9 8HG
The Parish - 120 Wembley Park Drive, Wembley, HA9 8HP
The Torch - Bridge Road, Wembley, HA9 9AB
Wembley Tavern - 121 Wembley Park Drive, HA9 8HG

Pubs on the West side include:
Arch - The Arch, 324 Harrow Road, Wembley, HA9 8LL
Blue Room - 53 Wembley Hill Road, Wembley, HA9 8BE
Copper Jug - 10 The Broadway, Wembley, HA9 8JU
Flannerys - 610 High Road, Wembley, HA0 2AF
Fusilier Inn - 652 Harrow Road, Wembley, HA0 2HA
Green Man - Dagmar Avenue, Wembley, HA9 8DF
JJ Moons - 397 High Road, Wembley, HA9 6AA
Liquor Station - 379 High Road, Wembley, HA9 6AA
Masti's - 576 - 582 High Road, Wembley, HA0 2AA 
Moore Spice - Wembley Retail Park, Unit 2, Engineers Way, HA9 0EW
Powerleague - Olympic Way, Wembley, HA9 0WS
Station 31 - 299 -303 Harrow Road, Wembley, HA9 6BD
Thirsty Eddie's - 412 High Road, Wembley, HA9 6AH

In addition there are a number of outlets selling alcohol in the nearby London Designer Outlet and Arena Square. These tend to be frequented by supporters of both teams. Further down this page there is a map showing the location of all these pubs and areas.

However, most fans tend to either drink in the centre of London before the game, or have drink near one of the London Underground stations located north of the stadium such as Harrow on the Hill or further afield such as Watford Junction or Ruislip. I have tended to drink in Harrow on the Hill, which is three stops away from Wembley Park on the tube and has a handy Wetherspoons and an O'Neills outlet, plus a number of other pubs and eating outlets. The good thing too is that if you park out in this direction, then after the game you are heading way from the masses who are normally heading back in the direction of Central London. Alternatively, alcohol is sold within the stadium in the form of; Carlsberg (500ml can £4.95), Tetley's (440ml can £4.50), Various Real Ales (pint £4.95), Somersby Cider (500ml can £4.95), Red & White wine (187ml bottle £5.20) and Smirnoff Ice (275ml bottle £5).

If you require hotel accommodation in London then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their London Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link or panel below to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

The stadium has been labelled as a 'public transport' destination, meaning that there is limited parking available at the stadium itself and there is also a residents only parking scheme in operation in the local area. The pricing and availability of stadium parking varies per event. More information and bookings can be made on the official Wembley Stadium Parking website. 

The stadium is well signposted from the end of the M1 & M40. Basically the stadium is just off the A406 North Circular Road. 

From the M1:

At the roundabout at the end of the M1, turn right onto the A406 (North Circular/West Wembley). Continue along the A406 for a couple of miles and then after crossing a metal suspended bridge, you will pass a McDonalds on your left. At the traffic lights with an Ikea Store on one corner bear left onto Drury Way. Keeping the Ikea store on your right go straight across the next two roundabouts. You will pass a Tesco petrol station on your right and then at the traffic lights turn left into Grand Central Avenue (B4557). The stadium is at the end of this road.

I would recommend parking at one of the tube stations at the end of the Metropolitan line such as Uxbridge, Hillingdon or Ruislip or at Stanmore on the Jubilee line and then take the tube to Wembley Park.

London Underground tube map (takes you to the Transport For London website).

Wembley Park Tube SignThe nearest London Underground station is Wembley Park which is around a ten minute walk from the stadium. This is served by both the Jubilee & Metropolitan lines, although it is best to take the latter as it has less stops. Wembley Central is slightly further away from the stadium and has both rail & underground connections. This underground station is served by the Bakerloo line, whilst the railway station is on the London Euston-Milton Keynes line. The nearest train station is Wembley Stadium which is on the London Marylebone-Birmingham line.

For travelling across London by public transport I recommend planning your journey ahead with the use of the Travel For London Plan your journey website.

Find train times, prices and book tickets with trainline. Booking tickets in advance will normally save you money!

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

Click on the trainline logo below:

There are 310 places for wheelchairs located throughout the stadium, including each of the levels. There is also space for each wheelchair user to have a companion helper.

 

The cost of programmes vary from match to match, but expect to pay in the region of £5-£10.

The stadium offer tours on most days of the year. The 90 minute tour costs: Adults £16 Under 16's £9 Over 60's £9 Students £9 Family tickets (2 Adults & 2 Children) are also available at £41.

Tours can be booked online at Ticketmaster or by calling 0800 169 9933 (or Group Bookings +25 in a party: 0844 847 2478).

Record Attendance

126,047* West Ham United v Bolton Wanderers FA Cup Final, April 28th, 1923.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

89,874 Portsmouth v Cardiff City FA Cup Final, May 17th, 2008.

* This was the official recorded attendance. But as so many more people had got into the stadium without paying, it is estimated that the crowd was nearer 200,000.

Key to Map

Wembley Stadium Fans Pub Split

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgroundguide.com and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to:

Owen Pavey for providing the ground layout diagram and photo of the Bobby Moore Statue.

The Awaydays video of Wembley Stadium was produced by the Ugly Inside and made publicly available via YouTube.

Oxford United v Barnsley
Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final
Sunday April 3rd 2016, 2.30pm
By Myles Munsey (Ground hopper)

Reasons for visit:
When you get invited to a cup final and a day out at the National Stadium you don’t turn it down. I’ve been to the both the new and the old stadium several times but this is the first time I had filed a report. Oxford had reached Wembley after a long tour round southern England including a 2-leg win over Millwall. Playing higher division opponents in Barnsley held no fears. 

Getting there:
It’s a bit of a trek to get from Newbury to Wembley even more so when chunks of the underground are inoperative at weekends. A through train to London had us in the capital by 11.30am. After a very early lunch there followed a lot of dodging about on the underground (Paddington Bakerloo Line was shut). We reached Marylebone in good time for the 10 minute sprint to Wembley. The train was very noisy as OUFC had taken over the whole of Marylebone station, or so it seemed.

First impressions:
Even though I have, as mentioned, been before and been on an official guided tour (which is recommended), the scale of the stadium is still difficult to take in. I’m no engineer but the construction skills are there for all to see. Wembley is impressive and the guided tour will give you all manner of fascinating statistics.I always have a rather ‘cold’ feeling when going there though. Even in victory which I have experienced twice (once with Oxford, once with Torquay), Wembley I’m afraid does not inspire me. 

Before the game:
The usual thing is to pose for a group photo in front of the Bobby Moore statue (our liaison point) and this we did in groups of a couple at a time. Having bought a programme there was little else to do but take our seats and count the clock down to kick-off at 2.30pm. There is a lot of razz ma tazz involved with the pre-match build up at cup finals these days – flame throwers, dancing girls – you know the sort of thing  but one recent innovation was the hoisting of both club’s pennants on giant dirigibles sponsored by you know who. I can’t comment on catering as prices are sky high at Wembley and long experience has taught me to steer well clear.

The Giant Club Pennants

The giant club pennants

The game:
Simply marvelous entertainment. The first half went very much Oxford’s way. Against higher league opponents they played well for 45 minutes, always looked comfortable and took the lead on 29 minutes through O’Dowda’s header from MacDonald’s cross. Whatever was said to Barnsley’s players at half time must have worked as seven minutes after the interval the Tykes were level Chey Dunkley putting through his own net after pressure from Winnall. 14 minutes later the Yorkshire side took the lead. Ivan Toney’s shot was well saved by Buchel but the ball fell kindly to Fletcher and he managed to net despite the attention of a defender of the line. With 16 minutes to go Barnsley scored their third goal. A break from halfway ended with Hamill curling an unstoppable shot into the far corner from the edge of the box. 

The Oxford End

Oxford United Fans at Wembley Stadium

Game over? Not likely. Two minutes later Danny Hylton’s accomplished header from Keemar Roofe’s cross hit the top corner and suddenly Oxford were back in it. Sadly they could not quite claw it back and after seeing them climb the Wembley steps for their loser’s medals, we headed for home.

Getting away:
Please be aware that there is a queuing system for trains these days. The queue for the London Train was a short one though (Most Oxford fans coming from the north –using Oxford Parkway and Haddenham which offer a direct run to Wembley) and we were soon away. We just made the 5.57pm train from Paddington and were back indoors by about 7.30pm.

Overall thoughts:
As one of our party said. ‘If you’re going to lose in a minor cup final then do it in style’. My sentiments entirely. In the end I have to say that Barnsley were a class outfit. Oxford belied their status to play well above themselves but were unable to bridge the gap in class.

For both teams there are now bigger fish to fry. For the U’s the distraction of this competition has now gone and the ultimate prize (promotion) awaits them as indeed it might for Barnsley.

And now I shall vent. How often is the game ruined by people standing up almost continuously and impeding your view? Yes I’m afraid it happened here as well. I’m tall and yet I had to do giraffe impressions to get a decent view. At half time I complained to the stewards. Despite warnings being issued to the perpetrators, nothing, but nothing was done about it. Some of our group struggled to see anything for long periods. Thankfully, we did see all five goals, but my goodness it wasn’t easy. It is high time the authorities actually used the powers bestowed on them to stamp this mindless behaviour out.

Despite this annoyance, it was a super game and a grand day out.

Middlesbrough v Norwich City
Championship Play-Off Final
Monday 25th May 2015, 3pm
Adam Featherstone (Middlesbrough fan)

Why you were looking forward to going to Wembley Stadium?

Being my first visit to the new Wembley I was looking forward to seeing it in the flesh for the first time. Also being able to go to a play-off final between two relatively unfashionable clubs with good supporters I was expecting the atmosphere to be immense.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

I found driving down from the North incredibly easy. I parked at Stanmore Underground Station which is about 5 minutes off J4 of the M1 and got the tube from there. It only cost me £2 to park for the whole day as it was a bank holiday tariff. However I would seriously advise getting there early to ensure a car parking space. I got there about 9am and there were only about 5 or 6 spaces left. It is situated in a residential area but I'm not sure if there is street parking in the vicinity although I did see a number of fans walking to the station from the surrounding streets so I presume that there is. Once on the tube it only takes about 10 minutes to get to Wembley Park station where you can walk straight down Olympic Way and to the stadium.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc...

All of the pubs in the local area were designated to one of the two sets of supporters so this limited the ones you could visit. As Boro we were given the west side of the stadium all of the pubs beyond that end of the ground were for us. We went for a drink at J.J Moons which is on the main street towards Wembley Central Station. They did quite a good offer of a four-pint pitcher for £8 so we gladly took advantage of that.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?  

I was hugely impressed with the stadium; walking down from Wembley Park and seeing the famous arch gets the adrenaline going especially during the hour before kick-off when the crowds start to gather. I was sat in the "cheaper" seats in the third tier but I always prefer being higher up and as with most modern stadiums the view of the pitch is excellent wherever you sit.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

The game was one that will give me nightmares for quite a while as a Boro fan. We were 2-0 down after 15 minutes after quick goals from Jerome and Redmond. From there we never looked like getting back into the game. We struggled with the occasion and played nowhere near to the standard we were capable whereas Norwich were very good, clearly did their homework on us and were deserved winners. The atmosphere was fantastic all game, both sets of supporters made it a great occasion. The facilities inside Wembley are, as I expected, top class. All sorts of food and drink to choose from although it was quite pricey.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It all got too much for me when the game went to the final minutes so I snuck out of the ground slightly early (not that I was the only one) to try and avoid queues and traffic. It worked out quite well as getting back on the tube to Stanmore was seamless. I had heard some horror stories of having to wait 2 hours to get out of the station car park but fortunately I had no such trouble. There were however a number of disgruntled supporters who had been blocked in by people who had come in too late for a space and decided to just ditch their car anywhere. Luckily I wasn't one of those and I was out of the car park and onto the M1 in 10 minutes.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

In spite of the huge disappointment of failing to win promotion back to the Premier the day out was excellent. I have been wanting to visit Wembley Stadium since it was built so was pleased to have been and experienced it. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get there and get out as well which made the day even better.

Hull City v Sheffield United
FA Cup Semi Fnal
Sunday, April 13th, 2014, 4pm
Matty Desforges (Sheffield United) 

1. Why you were looking forward to visiting Wembley Stadium?

After visiting the new Wembley three times in the past for two (rather unfortunate) play off finals and the 2012 Olympics, then a chance to watch my local club compete there again was a dream. I had been excited since the day of the quarter final victory and that semi final couldn’t come quick enough.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We set off from Sheffield about 9am in the morning. The trip down the M1 was surprisingly quick and we arrived at the stadium about 12:3pm0, this included a half an hour stop at a Blades fan packed service station. We had bought parking at the stadium in advance for £30 (worth the time it saved at the end of the game), however unfortunately we accidentally bought parking in the area reserved for Hull City fans!

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We had two hours before the stadium gates opened which gave us time to make a trip up and down Wembley way and stop off on the Arena Square for a quick pint. We walked all the way around the stadium and one side we enjoyed views right into the centre of London. There was no trouble between fans outside the ground before the game.

4. What were your thoughts on seeing the stadium?

We entered the ground an hour before kick off which gave us time to find our seats while the stadium was still empty. Event though this was my fourth visit, I was still impressed and I would say that it is easily the best looking stadium in England. Our tickets were for seats in the upper tier.  There was plenty of leg room, however there was a very steep gradient to the stand, which may not go down too well with the faint hearted. 

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

A fantastic eight goal thriller resulted in a Hull victory. However League One Sheffield United didn’t go down without a fight taking the lead twice in the first half. I managed to purchase a pie from the concourse before kick off which was extremely nice, however slightly overpriced. The concourse was extremely busy during half time (maybe due to Uniteds 2-1 lead) with many fans smoking in the toilet which could be seen as a hazard to some. However our day was ruined by a bunch of Blades fans scrapping between themselves during the second half!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After the game exiting the ground was very quick and smooth, we made a dash for the car park to avoid the swarms of club coaches leaving, driving through the Hull car park in our United gear may not have been the best idea but nothing too serious.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Wembley is a fantastic stadium to visit and it will be a day for me to remember for the rest of my life, United being knocked out of the cup with pride after a 5-3 loss. I Would certainly recommend making the effort to visit this stadium at some point.  

Manchester City v Sunderland
Capital One Final Cup Final
Sunday, March 2nd, 2014, 2pm
Callum Bradfield (Sunderland fan) 

1. Why you were looking forward to going to to Wembley Stadium?

Going to Wembley with your team is a dream for any supporter and the whole of Sunderland was rocking ever since the semi-final win. Also, I travelled to Wembley last year as a neutral (Bradford vs Northampton), and couldn't wait to go back.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We left at 5am and arrived at Stanmore tube station at 10am and parked the car there. We then got the tube and about 5 minutes later we were at Wembley Park Station, and exited onto Wembley Way:

Wembley Way

Fans on Wembley Way

3. What you did before the game?

We had a look around the stadium and took a few photos. Many Sunderland fans gathered at a nearby Premier Inn which were charging £4 a pint.

4. What you thought on seeing Wembley Stadium?

The ground is huge and looks fantastic. The arch is unmissable and just seeing it adds to the experience. The walk down Olympic way was great as you really felt the excitement, with thousands of fans walking down this one path. It was also quite unusual getting an elevator up to the top tier, which is great.

Wembley Stadium

Capital One Cop Final Wembley 2014

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Sunderland were massive underdogs and we took the lead early on through Fabio Borini. However, just after half-time, in the space of a minute Manchester City led 2-1 thanks to sublime goals from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri. Sunderland pushed for an equaliser but in the last minute City countered, and Jesus Navas scored to finish the game at 3-1, and they lifted the trophy. The stadium stayed full at both ends at the end of the game, with both sets of fans still singing before we departed back down Olympic Way.

The stewards were very friendly and relaxed, and there were no problems. They even got chants sung for them in the concourse!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It was surprisingly quick to get back to the tube due to the large amount of people. However, the car park back at Stanmore Tube Station was jammed full and it took two hours to leave.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Absolutely amazing and would love to do it again. Never experienced anything like it before and probably never will again. 10/10.

Manchester City v Sunderland
Capital One Final
Sunday, March 2nd, 2014, 2pm
Rory Murphy (Sunderland fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to Wembley Stadium?

It was Sunderland's first trip to Wembley in 22 years and our first ever trip to the new Wembley. We'd already beaten Chelsea and Manchester United in previous rounds but knew Manchester City would be very hard to beat.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We left the North-East at 6:30am and got to London at around 11am. We found a car park which was about a 15 minutes walk from the stadium and it cost £20. It was expensive but close to the stadium, plus it was very easy to get out of after the match had finished.

3. What you did before the game?

Sunderland fans were looking forward to having 'cheesy chips on Wembley way' but were left disappointed with a lack of burger vans. There seemed to be a lot more Sunderland fans then City fans, even though the ticket allocations were the same.  

4. What were your thoughts on first seeing Wembley Stadium?

The Wembley Arch is a fantastic feature and can be seen for miles around. Sunderland were allocated the East End where 31,500 tickets were available. We sat right up  'in the God's' at the back of the top tier behind the goal, luckily there was escalators up to the top tier. Although high up the view was good. Wembley is simply a spectacular stadium.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

Sunderland fans were certainly making a lot more noise, which was expected with it being a bigger occasion for us. Sunderland took an early lead with a good finish from Fabio Borini. We defended brilliantly for 55 minutes. Then Yaya Toure hit an unbelievable strike for City, which could be regarded as one of the best strikes at New Wembley. A few seconds later Samir Nasri scored another beauty for Man City to break 31,000 hearts. Sunderland kept pushing but City caught us on the counter and scored with a few minutes remaining with a goal from Jesus Navas. A magnificent performance but not the right result. Stewards were absolutely fine, the facilities were superb although the food was quite expensive.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The traffic was a bit slow as expected but not as bad as first thought. Got home in four hours.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

What a great day. Definitely going again if we ever get there in my lifetime. 

Crystal Palace v Watford
Championship League Play Off Final
Monday, May 27th, 2013, 3pm
Jack Laws (Crystal Palace fan) 

1. Why you were looking forward to going to Wembley Stadium?

This was to be my first visit to the new Wembley watching Crystal Palace. I had heard lots about Wembley Stadium and I was looking forward to comparing it to the old Wembley with and my last visit with Crystal Palace in 1997. Not only that, it was huge match for Palace which if they won, would have secured them promotion to the Premiership. A league that Palace had not been in since the 2004-05 season. With suffering administration and almost being liquidated 3 years previously in 2010, this match was one to show how far the club had come in 3 years. 

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

We travelled via the tube to Marylebone Station. After some pre match beers we travelled on the train from Marylebone, to Wembley Stadium station. The train was only one stop so was a simple straightforward journey.

3. What you did before the game?

We stopped of in Marylebone and had some pre-match beers in The Allsop Arms on Gloucester Place. Beer was reasonable priced here, however it was really busy and generally took about 15 minutes to get served.. There was also a Tesco’s just around the corner which some fans took advantage of to buy some cans to drink outside the pub. Police didn’t hassle the fans at all and generally let everyone do their own thing. After this we headed back to Marylebone Station to et the 13.55 to Wembley. 

4. What were your thoughts on first seeing Wembley Stadium?

At first view the ground is very impressive. Certainly very imposing and you don’t realise how big the “Wembley Arch” is until you see it up close. Once inside the stadium we went to the bar to get one more nerve-settling beer. I was impressed with the bar’s queuing system in place, which got rid of the free-for-all you see at most other grounds. I was less impressed with the price of £4.70 a pint!

Our seats were in the front row of block 531 (upper tier). Despite being up in the gods, I thought the view was fantastic. Inside the seating area itself Wembley is certainly very impressive. Great views of the stadium all round with loads of leg room. Even for the taller people such as myself.  

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was tense from the start with both teams not settling into the game until about 15 minutes in. There were not too many attacking opportunities with the game being a mainly midfield battle. The Palace fans produced a great atmosphere throughout the game. This was helped by the organisation of a “singing section” behind the goal, which was led by the “Holmesdale Fanatics”. Watford on the other hand were extremely quiet and barely made any noise for the entire 120 minutes of the match.

Once the game went to extra time I had a feeling it was going to be Palace’s day. The fans and they players just seemed up for it more. Palace finally found the net in the 105th minute when former Watford man Phillips picked out the top corner from the spot after Cassetti had needlessly brought down Zaha. Once 1-0 up Palace cranked up the atmosphere even more and there was never going to be any doubt about the result.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After the game and post match celebrations by the team. we headed to a bar called “Metropolis” which was on “The Junction, Engineers Way”. This was right by the stadium and wasn’t too busy. This let the crowds die down and gave us a hassle free journey home back to SE25.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

All in all a great day out for obvious reasons! I really enjoyed my first new Wembley experience. Didn’t come across any trouble and experienced no transport problems at all. If travelling to Wembley for a match I would definitely recommend hanging around for a drink afterwards to let the crowds die down.

Crewe Alexandra v Southend United
Johnstones Paint Trophy Final
Sunday, April 7th, 2013, 1.15pm
John & Stephen Spooner (Southend United fans)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to Wembley Stadium?

First ever visit to Wembley Stadium and chance to see Southend win a Trophy cup final after attending two previous losses in 2004 to Blackpool and 2005 to Wrexham, both in the LDV competition at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff  

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

My son and I set off at 5am from North Wales to drive the near 200 mile journey and had booked parking at The Green Man pub which overlooks the stadium and is within easy walking distance. We left the M1 at junction 4 and followed local directions supplied by Green Man parking services.

3. What you did before the game?

We had packed food with us which we usually do for away games so had eaten during a service station stop on the way down. The Green Man is a tremendous location and was already open as we arrived at 9am quickly followed by several coaches full of fans in good humour. Paul Sturrock who had been sacked as manager two matches earlier, travelled with supporters on a coach to the Green Man and was greeted as the idol he has become since taking over as manager. We joined in, giving his hand a shake and thanking him for getting us to a Wembley Final. At the stadium, the Crewe fans were friendly and confident having won promotion last season at Wembley, beating us on the way in the playoff semi final despite Southend wining both of the league games.

Paul Sturrock With Southend Fans

Paul Sturrock With Southend United Fans

4. What were your thoughts on seeing Wembley Stadium?

Our first impressions of the ground on seeing the distinctive arch and then the magnificent size of the stadium, was brilliant. We walked round the outside and took photographs of the approaches and the Bobby Moore statue. We met up with family who had travelled the relatively short journey from Southend. The stewards were friendly and happy to guide us the correct entrances. We climbed the escalators to the 2nd level and sat in block 248 in line with the goal line and the view is brilliant. The seats were cushioned with plenty of leg room, and even glass holders on the back of seats.

John Spooner At Wembley Stadium

John Spooner at Wembley Stadium

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The 31,000 Southend fans outnumbered the 11,000 Crewe but were quickly quietened as Crewe took the lead after just six minutes with a Murphy goal from a well worked corner. Southend struggled from then on as Crewe kept possession on the vast Wembley pitch. Southend forced a few corners but could not create goal chances and at the start of the 2nd half Crewe scored again after winning the ball in midfield and finding 4 against 2 Southend defenders leading to Max Clayton scoring an easy goal. I found the atmosphere subdued which I suppose is usual when your team is chasing the game against a team from a league above them. Stewards were friendly and there is ample space by bars and food outlets. Massive queues for toilets though.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We walked back to the Green Man pub and enjoyed the atmosphere as fans had the usual discussions of what might have been if Paul Sturrock had still been in charge. We followed directions supplied by Green Man parking and easily made our way to the M1, M6 and home by 7-30 pm.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A great day out, the weather was fine after a frosty start and I look forward to another day at Wembley hopefully for a promotion play off. The only disappointment was the result of course. Overall, a memorable day, that will live long in our memories.

England v San Marino
World Cup Qualifier
Friday, October 12th, 2012, 8pm
By Tim Sansom (England fan) 

1. Why were you looking forward to going to Wembley Stadium?

If you are a football fan, and have no excitement in your soul about visiting England’s national football stadium, then you really should give up on following the national game, and consider snooker, or rugby; maybe even horse racing. My club team last headed up Wembley Way in 2000 for the Nationwide Division One Play Off Final, and before that, Ipswich Town were FA Cup winners in 1978. 

I may have been to the old Wembley in 2000 but I was not even born in 1978! I was probably not even being talked about in the family planning clinic. So if you support a club that has currently got more chance of getting to Wembley via your computer game, you really should take the chance to make a physical trip to Wembley if the opportunity presents itself to you. 

I had been told that a trip to Wembley was an ‘awesome’ experience, and ‘unforgettable,’ and I was looking forward to that Friday evening from the moment that I had been told that I was going. Sick with excitement? This was a trip to national stadium to watch a full England International for the first time ever. Of course, I was going to feel more than just a bit queasy. 

2. How easy was your journey/ finding the stadium/ car parking?

I know that it is part of the romance of football but I am sorry to say but there has been a lot of guff written about Wembley. If you did not know much about the game, you would have thought that the only match that was played under the twin towers were the 1966 World Cup Final. There may have been a white horse on the pitch sometime in black and white history, and a Scotsman might have jumped on a goal cross bar back in 1977. However, it would seem that everything that has happened within Wembley has been the football equivalent of eating a Flake within an overflowing hot bath. This is football’s equivalent of Buckingham Palace, the Taj Mahal, the White House, your favourite curry restaurant and Copacabana Beach rolled in to one. That is what you are told. 

You still want to believe that thought as you try to work out what train will be the next to be heading out to Wembley Park from Baker Street. Baker Street should not be a complicated station. On the map, the station seems to make sense, but in reality, the station seems to be a fudge of random platforms; London Underground’s equivalent of Spaghetti Junction. Trains seem to be going to a range of random destinations such as Uxbridge, Chesham and Watford. Some trains are ‘fast’ to Watford. Some trains are ‘slow’ to Chesham and Amersham, or you can give up totally and go ultra ‘slow’ to Stanmore on the Jubilee line. 

I went ‘ultra slow’ to Finchley Road and then caught the Metropolitan Line to Wembley Park. The Jubilee stops at a range of stations in North West London that are in no doubt interesting, but when you are on your way to the football, you want to be on your way to the football via the quickest route possible. You will see Wembley Stadium on the left hand side of the train and Wembley Park Underground Station takes you directly on to the iconic Wembley Way. Compared to other London grounds where the underground train can only get you so far, it is difficult to miss Wembley stadium from the Wembley Park tube station.    

3. What did you think when first seeing Wembley stadium?

Having been to Wembley before, I had already enjoyed the first impression moment of the Stadium from the start of Wembley Way. It is a champagne moment and if you arrive at the right time of day, your pictures can bathe Wembley in a late afternoon sunset. Apart from that it is difficult to get the idea out of your mind that England’s national football stadium is situated in a large industrial estate. It was difficult to gauge how big the stadium was from the outside. 

There is no doubt that the Wembley Arch is impressive but as the sun set on this Friday afternoon, I was starting to compare the Stadium to trips to the Emirates and the Etihad Stadium. Ok, the stadium was greater in size, but my first impressions of Wembley seemed very familiar to some of the new Premiership football grounds. It felt a bit like the Emirates with growth hormone. There were big impersonal grey doors to get through, with as much atmosphere as a multi warehouse storage facility. 

You then headed into a concrete tunnel akin to the concourse at the Emirates, or the Etihad, where England fans were standing around drinking larger, looking a bit awkward and self-conscious. Endless other fans were heading to the toilet in nervous anticipation. The old character of the stadium, which had remained in my memory since 2000, had apparently been replaced by a bog-standard stadium that you can see, and ‘enjoy,’ across the whole of the country. What was ‘awesome’ about this stadium?   

To be fair, there was a ‘Wow’ moment inside the stadium. I was sitting virtually opposite the dug outs and there was a certain atmosphere inside the stadium. The pitch looked like a green from the Augusta National. The big video screens at either end of the ground, looked like a homage to New York’s Times Square. The new Wembley had a special feeling about it but it was not football’s Tower of Babul. For me, the Nou Camp has a much more ‘special’ quality about it.      

4. Comment on the game itself:

After the inexplicable entry of a Royal Marine with the match ball to kick off the ninety minutes, and the customary period of England games, when the first ten or twenty minutes of 0-0 makes you start to question whether England are a respectable football nation, the game seemed to become a training exercise for the home side. San Marino were undertaking damage limitation after a few seconds on the clock, and I struggle to remember a shot from the away team throughout the whole of the ninety minutes.       I accept that the game was a difficult sell to the English public. To be honest, it has been difficult to sell England since the 2010 World Cup, and to maintain a crowd at Wembley during this period of economic recession and national team apathy is a credit to the FA. However, it was difficult to really accept that you had learnt anything about England during this ninety minutes, or be assured that the national team will be at World Cup 2014. The minutes ticked buy. I marvelled at the leg room that I was able to enjoy from my seat, and even read the programme during the action. The goals mounted up. People did not really stand up to cheer. It felt that I was at a very refined awards ceremony and exhibition game. In the end England won 5-0. 

I felt honoured to see Wembley and I welcomed the chance to see a full England international. It was not quite the ‘awesome’ experience that I expected it to be.

5. Comment on getting away from the ground:

Getting away from Wembley has become the stuff off urban legend. I had been fully briefed that Wembley Park Underground Station, after a match at the stadium, becomes a log jam of people wondering if they will ever get back home before the next World Cup. It is advised to leave about five to ten minutes before the end of the game- something that does not feel right to me at any ground, but you sense that there is no other option.

Being closer to the other end of the ground, I opted to head to Wembley Stadium station to catch a train back into London. People were running for the trains. I wondered if people thought that they would miss the last ever train back to London. It is a military operation outside this particular station with carefully lined crash barriers to guide you into the station as if you were waiting to board a fair ground ride. The train was waiting in the platform to head to Marylebone and was not especially busy either. 

When you arrive into the north west part of Central London, you struggle to really know where to go next. There are underground lines but each line does not really seem to be going where you want it to. If you were trying to get to Liverpool Street, like I was on that Friday night, it is another half an hour of underground journey with a possible change. The carriages were full of fairly happy and slightly merry England fans heading to wherever they needed to be. There was a feeling of collective experience that you had seen the sporting event of that Friday night, but the match lacked the Olympic fever that I had enjoyed in the Summer when moving around the city of London.   

6. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

I do want to stress that I did enjoy my trip to Wembley. If you are from the UK, and like you football, and you have the opportunity to get to Wembley, then you should go to England’s national stadium. The opportunity to catch the cream of England’s football talent was welcomed, and the fact that San Marino were not really at the races, says more about the bloated nature of World Cup qualifying rather than any physical defect of Wembley Stadium. 

The new Wembley is still very new and it takes a while for any new stadium to gain the atmosphere and the character that makes it a well-loved ground. None of us were around when the old Wembley was being built so it is difficult to think how that version of the ground began to be loved by the football-going public. You have to go, and you may like your time at the stadium but you may be thinking that you wanted a bit more when you jump on the underground train, car or bus for the journey home.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur
FA Cup Semi Final
Sunday, April 15th, 2012, 5pm
By Daniel Gosbee (Chelsea Fan)

1) Why were you looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be:

I have never been to the new Wembley (or the old one for that case) so I was looking forward to going to the stadium that has seen Chelsea win FA Cups and where England legends have also played. I was also really looking forward to seeing this London derby of Chelsea v Tottenham.  

2) How easy was you journey/finding the ground/ car parking?

I live a little outside London so I first got the train to London King's Cross, before making my way to the London Underground Metropolitan line for a tube to Wembley Park. On the platform there were a load of both Chelsea and Tottenham fans, and we all piled onto the tube train. On arriving at Wembley Park station there were officials showing you the way towards the stadium along Olympic Way. I joined the thousands of Chelsea and Spurs fans walking towards Wembley, which looked amazing from a distance. On the whole travelling to Wembley by tube on this line was easy.  

3) What you did before the game?

I arrived a good hour before the kick off, and bought the obligatory  matchday programme. I was a little surprised that I had no change from a £5 note (and the programme itself wasn't that great too). I got a hot dog from the outlet on the walk up to the stadium, which looked a bit up market, when at a football game all you want is a basic hot dog, burger or pie. Also the hot dog was rather expensive.  I had little change left from another £5 note. The Tottenham fans seemed rather quiet, where as the Chelsea fans were loudly making the Spurs fans aware that we were "the last team in Europe" and playing Barcelona in mid week.  

4) What your thoughts on seeing Wembley Stadium for the first time?

Walking into the stadium and through an entrance gate, I had to go through some security checks, which was rather surprising  I then had to go up about five escalators to reach the upper tier. The concourse was actually very boring, plenty of space but I prefer the Stamford Bridge concourses. 

When I got out into the stadium it took my breath away, it looked fantastic! I found my seat easily. On TV Wembley looks massive, but seeing as it is near enough twice the size of Stamford Bridge, it didn't look it. The stadium looks symmetrical which I don't like. Stands add character to the Stadium, where as one bowl (albeit large) doesn't.  

5) Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The first half was nervy, Spurs played well, but Wembley King Drogba scored. At half time the concourses as you would expect, were busy, and the food on offer was pricey. 

The second half of the game was fantastic for Chelsea, we scored 4 goals and the game finished 5-1, The atmosphere was electric, the Tottenham fans started leaving when we were 3-1 up and by 4-1 there were about 1,000 spurs fans left, by 5-1 their end of Wembley was virtually empty.  

6) Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Walking down the steps out of Wembley was amazing, Chelsea fans were going wild chanting about the Barcelona game on Wednesday. Because half of Wembley had already left, leaving Wembley was actually incredibly easier than I thought it would be. Getting to Kings Cross was easy despite Transport For London making everybody get off at Baker Street and getting the Hammersmith & city line to Kings Cross, but other than that it was straightforward.  

7) Summary of overall thought of the day out:

The tickets weren't cheap, however it was worth it, on the whole Wembley is fantastic, I love it! Chelsea played brilliantly and the game was amazing. Next time I go I will remember to bring more money, as the prices are way too expensive. But on the whole it was a great day out.

France v Japan
Womens Olympic Football Semi Final
Monday, August 6th, 2012, 5pm
By Peter Gordon 

Football wasn’t initially top of my list of Olympic events that I wanted to attend but given that most sports were sold out but were available for the Womens’ semi final for £20 and I’ve always wanted to see inside Wembley stadium it seemed too good an opportunity to miss.  There is unlikely to be another Olympics in my home city in my lifetime.

I go past Wembley stadium several times a week when travelling into Marylebone.  Getting there was very easy – the train took eight minutes from West Ruislip.  I was rather concerned about the pre match publicity advising against taking any bags whatsoever on pain of possibly missing the match, which seemed rather unreasonable.  As it was there was absolutely no queue whatsoever so I when through the “Males with bags” entrance where my bag was manually searched.  This can’t have taken more than two minutes, indeed I was through security within thirty minutes of leaving home.  

My first impression was favourable.  My cheap ticket was in the top tier which required going up three escalators. There was a large foyer that went around the complete stadium (indeed I walked the whole way around, apparently is about one kilometre. Presumably it can be segregated for cup finals and other such matches.  There were plenty of toilets, both male and female.  Presumably the stadium was designed to cope with a Barry Manilow concert as well as football matches.  There were queues outside the ladies’ at half time but it appeared to be moving fast.

Catering was expensive (as with other Olympic venues) but I brought sandwiches.  There were long queues for the water fountains although one very helpful catering assistant was taking peoples’ bottles and filling them, which was a nice touch.

I was in the back row.  The stadium is a large bowl and the top tier is quite steep so all seats give an unrestricted view.  Obviously the back row in a 90,000 seat stadium is not ideal if you are short sighted - I had trouble reading the big screen, but overall I was very impressed by the stadium.  The seats themselves were comfortable with reasonable leg room.

Unlike other Olympic events most stewards were provided by the stadium rather than the Olympic organisers. They were friendly and everything seemed well organised but then you don’t expect any agro at an Olympics Womens’ football match.

There were a surprising number of French & Japanese fans given that it was not clear who would be playing until the results of the quarter finals – I don’t know whether they were sold at the last minute or if the fans just struck lucky.  The bulk of the fans not surprisingly were British.  I would estimate that about 75,000 of the 90,000 seats were filled – certainly better than matches held outside London though not the full house of the final.  It was enough to create a good atmosphere, although the match did not really come to life until half way through the second half.  I think that the bulk of the neutrals were ending up cheering France who were playing more aggressively but behind – but also cheered Japan when they had a good break away.  Perhaps they just wanted extra time. But there wasn't to be any with Japan winning 2-1.

I rushed out immediately the final whistle had blown, trying to avoid the queues that I had encountered exiting another Olympic event.  Getting out of the venue was not a problem with wide staircases.  Obviously there was no need to segregate rival fans.  There were three separate queues at the Chiltern station for northbound trains depending upon destination, although all trains went from the same platform.  I had my doubts about this, but I was allowed on the platform in time to catch my planned train.  I’m not sure what it was like for those behind me.

If you like the tribalism of football this would not have been the match for you but I saw it as a once in the lifetime chance to see the Olympics.  Overall I was very pleased that I attended the match and had a great afternoon out.  Wembley is certainly a worthy national stadium.

York City v Newport County
FA Trophy Final
Saturday, May 12th, 2012, 3pm
& Championship Play Off Final West Ham v Blackpool
By Owen Robson 

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

My first visit to the new Wembley as a spectator (I had a look around a few years ago just after it opened). Born in York, I am nevertheless a West Ham fan, but I see York now and again and became an official part-timer for the day!

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

A friend drove five of us down. He had booked a car parking space at the stadium in advance (for £30!). The ground is a little like an optical illusion. It’s further away than you think when you approach it by car. Several local traders offered cheaper parking at their (presumably) premises, but they looked well iffy.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We went to a pub called the Torch. Typical pub near a football ground. Strangely, they claimed to have run out of draught bitter just after 12 noon. There are several fast food outlets between the pub and the Wembley Park tube, although pricey compared to home. The locals seemed rather indifferent about the match.

4. What were your thoughts on seeing Wembley Stadium?

I would defy anyone not to be impressed by the size of the stadium. We went through the automated turnstiles, to be met by several stewards who insisted on searching us. This consisted of a quick pat on the arms. One of us had a rucksack with him, and although no search was made, he had a plastic bottle of water in an outside pocket. This was confiscated, and the contents put in plastic cup for him to drink. No matter where you looked, there was a steward of some description. The toilets were a little better than your average Prem ground, but not much. The beer was expensive (£4.70) and it was extremely poor quality.

We were at the back of the lower tier next to the press box. An excellent view, plenty of legroom, and the stadium looked magnificent. Just under 20,000 were dwarfed.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

An excellent game. Newport missed a good chance early on, but York got stronger as the half progressed and had some good chances themselves. York improved in the second half, and the result was never really in doubt, Newport looked toothless up front after the break, even though they hit the post late on. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see the presentation from our seats, so some of the fans climbed into the front of the empty press box to get a better view. A Jobsworth steward started trying to stop this, but I think he eventually let them move (I watched the presentation on the big screen).

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I assume it must be a nightmare getting away. We stayed until the players left the pitch, and we decided to go back to the pub for another drink to let the crowds disperse. Once we were clear of the car park , we were funnelled to Wembley Park tube, with no possibility of going anywhere else. We left the tube station and returned to the pub and they now had bitter back on. Strange.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The ground is a million miles better than the old Wembley, and I’m looking forward to going back to see it hopefully full for the play-off final. I can imagine the atmosphere being something special when ‘Bubbles’ or any other clubs’ song is being belted out. If I have a couple of criticisms, the PA, like at a lot of grounds, was hopeless. If the fans were quiet, you could just about hear it, but the clarity and quantity was terrible. And the ticket price. £30 for a game between two Conference sides was a bit steep.

West Ham United v Blackpool
Championship Play Off Final
Saturday, May 19th, 2012, 3pm
By Owen Robson

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

My first visit to the new Wembley as a West Ham United fan. I went to the 1980 FA Cup Final but I was in the Arsenal end. I was looking forward to watching a big match with my own fellow supporters with me.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I live in York. My journey was uneventful. Simple day return on the train.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

I knew it was going to be exceptionally busy, so I went to central London for a drink or 4. A quick 30 minute ride on the tube brought me to a seething mass of people at 2pm. I regret to say that on the way to the stadium people were urinating quite openly. There doesn’t seem to be any toilets between the tube and the ground, but you’d think people would have some dignity. I must have seen well over 50 people doing this. It took me half an hour to get to the stadium, purely because of the amount of people there.

4. What were your thoughts on seeing Wembley Stadium?

This time I was in the upper tier. The view was very similar to the Newcastle away end. The Blackpool end wasn’t full. Apparently, because they had sold their full allocation the last time they were there, they asked for the same allocation. Because of the segregation policy, they couldn’t return any unsold tickets. This was Blackpool’s fault, since they sold tickets randomly. If they had sold the tickets in blocks, they could have returned a few thousand seats to let more Hammers into the ground. As such, the crowd was a little over 10,000 below capacity. The atmosphere was a pleasure to behold. Everyone I saw stood up during the entire game, and none of the stewards made any attempt to ask us to sit.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

For some rather odd reason (this is West Ham after all!), I was extremely confident we would win, and win easily. We could have been 3 down within 20 minutes, but we got better, and when Carlton Cole put us ahead, I looked forward to my hopes being proved right for a change. Amusingly, the guy next to me missed the goal, as he had to go to the toilet. Blackpool equalised shortly after the break, and then caused us a few anxious moments. Three minutes from the end Ricardo Vaz Te scored and the West Ham end went ballistic. Almost straight from the restart a cross went across the West Ham box and to safety, and a half hearted penalty appeal later we had won. Cue celebrations that will last in my memory forever. Overall, swap the strikers around and Blackpool would have won. The tannoy belted out several songs we could clap and sing along to, and an impromptu party started.

I tried to join the queue for the toilets at half time, but I had no chance unless I had half an hour to spare. So (sorry all), I sneaked in through one of the exits. People were ram packed waiting to go. A fan next to me said ‘Here we are in what is supposed to be one of the premier stadiums in the world, and we are four deep waiting to go to the toilet.’

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Because of the party, most of the West Ham fans stayed for a good 30 minutes after the final whistle. On leaving, everyone was funnelled up to the Wembley Park tube station. When I got to the platform, after about another half an hour, I had to wait a good 10 minutes for a train (why don’t they put on extra trains for big events?), and we were all packed like the proverbial sardines. I got back to central London in about 20 minutes.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Unforgettable. I keep watching the DVD and still get quite emotional. My ticket cost me £58, which I think was too expensive. Something between £40-£50 would have been more acceptable. Having said that, it was one of the best £58 pounds that I’ve ever spent!

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea
FA Cup Semi Final
Sunday, April 15th, 2012, 6pm
By Luke Burton (Chelsea Fan) 

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I was looking forward to this game very much as it would be my first visit to the new Wembley and I was obviously hoping to see Chelsea beat Spurs to progress into the final.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Being a West Midland based Chelsea fan I always go by either coach or train from Birmingham. This time I opted for the train as I could get a direct train to the station and then a nice short walk straight to the stadium. 

3. What you did before the match?

I arrived well before kick off, but this was not a problem as there were plenty of other fans around and plenty of food and drink vendors. I had a nice walk around the stadium and got a match day programme for £5 (rubbish by the way).

4. What were your thoughts on first seeing Wembley Stadium?

The first impression I honestly had of the new Wembley was, is this it? I just didn't feel that there was anything special about it, don't get me wrong, the stadia itself is impressive in terms of sheer size and height , but apart from that, I felt it is over-rated. Onto the prices inside. Well I expected it to be expensive, but even so you can't help but think how do they get away with it? I paid £4.50 for a normal bottle of Budweiser only to discover a bit further down the concourse was you could get a full pint for £4.70. Cheers Wembley!   

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

First half was very nervy. Spurs hit the post and John Terry cleared off the line, then just before half time against the run of play it must be said our main man Drogba turns on the style and hits a beauty , 1 - 0 Chelsea. Okay I have moaned about the prices but here is a bit more moaning , I was starving at half time having not eaten all day , so I decided I was going to get something to eat ...  One cheeseburger please ... That will be £5.80! and for that price it was very poor. Anyway second half and the atmosphere was electric, with Chelsea scoring 4 (okay 3 really but shh...) goals.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I waited a little while for the crowds to die down a little before I made my way out , about 15 minutes after the final whistle I made my move and headed for the train where there was a huge waiting line at the station , thankfully for the London line! The Birmingham queue had a fairly average line and I waited about 10 minutes before I was nice and warm on the train.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Wonderful day in terms of football , 5-1 at Wembley , what more do I need !! In terms of prices , well , next time I will either come well prepared .... Or rob a bank!

Liverpool v Everton
FA Cup Semi Final
Saturday, April 14th, 2012, 12.30pm
By C Moss 

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

Was my first trip to Wembley (old or new) and was looking forward to the chance to see something a little bit more impressive than the average Premier/Football League stadium. Plus the tantalising chance to book our ticket for the final and annoy Liverpool fans, all at the same time.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Due to the FA's bright idea of holding a semi-final between two teams from the opposite end of the country at half 12.30pm, then I had to get a 7.30am train down from Sheffield, to make sure I had plenty of time to get to the ground. Those coming from Liverpool left even earlier. That said, once you're in London, getting there's a lot easier than you assume. Metropolitan Line underground train from St Pancras to Wembley Park was quick and efficient, if a little crowded as you'd expect. From there it's a short amble towards the stadium along Wembley Way. Was probably improved by the fact that both sets of fans get on reasonably well, there was a nice carnival atmosphere, and police, though out in force, were perfectly friendly. If you're getting the train down, I recommend getting a zones 1-4 Travelcard with your ticket, will save money if you're getting the tube there and back into the city.

3. What you did before the game?

Hung around outside Wembley Park station for a bit milling with the fans and having a sandwich. As a general rule I don't drink until the afternoon. Didn't see or hear of any trouble though. Police had allocated different pubs to both sets of fans, and these had been announced by the two clubs beforehand.

4. What you thoughts on seeing Wembley Stadium?

Coming up Wembley Way, it's an absolutely fantastic sight, definitely befitting a national stadium. Effort definitely went into the fitting out, everything's very tidy and clean, both as you enter the ground and in the concourse areas. No cold brick-lined or breeze block areas here. Concourses and tunnels are spacious and everything is well sign-posted.

I was sat at the back of Block 545, in the West Stand's upper tier slightly to the left (from your view) of the goal. Even being that far back, the view is truly impressive and you can see pretty much the entire stadium without any restricted views.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.

Being a derby and a cup semi-final the atmosphere was pretty intense as you'd expect, though no trouble. Both sides observed the minutes silence in memory of Hillsborough impeccably and the banter was pretty good-natured, though you'll always have the odd idiot on both sides. Stewards were definitely some of the best I've seen. A few drunk lads meandering around the stairways were dealt with non-aggressively and politely directed to a seat rather than the throw out first, ask questions later style you can see at some grounds.£5 a programme seems a bit steep, but I was willing to pay for the memento. Probably wouldn't if I was there for just for an International though. Drinks and food are pretty expensive, but that's looking through the eyes of a Northerner. Didn't sample myself but the guy sat next to me seemed to enjoy his pie.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Not too bad. Walking back to Wembley Park takes a while due to the crowds, and the Police briefly held us back as the ticket hall overran. Was still on my train back to St Pancras within a little more than half an hour after the final whistle. Didn't see any trouble between fans leaving, both sets mingling without incident or any need for segregation.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Well worth a visit, even if we did lose. Well designed stadium, and actually has an atmosphere unlike many other recent new builds. £30 for a ticket is also pretty good value, considering I normally pay £31 or more for a seat in the Gwladys Street End at Goodison.

England v Spain
Friendly Match
Saturday 12th November 2011, 5pm
Rob Lawler (England fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting Wembley Stadium?    

I had been to the old Wembley several times with Liverpool and once to watch a very dull friendly between England and Argentina. I was looking forward to seeing the new stadium and excited that I would see the current World Champions Spain in action.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

I travelled down by train to London Euston from Liverpool Lime Street during the day. Wembley Stadium is easy to find on the London Underground Bakerloo line or the overground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

I had stayed in Maida Vale a few times previously. Me and my friend decided to stop off there and have a few pints and some food in a pub near the tube station called the Elgin. Then a few in a riverside pub nearer to Warwick Avenue station. We got the tube up to Wembley Central, the tube announcer reminded everyone that his team West Ham won the World Cup for England in 1966. We briefly had a pint in a packed pub on the high street then dashed off to the stadium.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Wembley Stadium?    

Wembley Stadium is impressive from a distance with the arch lit up. The side of the stand we went in had a glass front and looked very modern. The stadium inside is very impressive too with steep stands, it helped that the game was a sell out with 90,000 spectators.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

The atmosphere was strange as the visiting Spanish fans made most of the noise even though it was obvious from the first few moments that their team was treating the game as a training session. The price of beer was steep - £5.50 for a bottle of Carlsberg and £7.20 for a slice of pizza. We missed Frank Lampard scoring the only goal straight after half time as we were waiting that long to get served.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

The last train home to Liverpool was at 8pm so we had to leave the game a few minutes early to get back on the tube at Wembley Park. Sat next to Paul Elliot on the tube and started talking to him, weirdly a Chelsea fan sitting opposite us had no idea who he was and asked me when he played for them!. Managed to get to Euston with 20 minutes to spare and got some beer from the shop in the station for our journey home. The train was quiet until Runcorn when about 200 people piled on who were heading into Liverpool for an all night session.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good day out but the food and beer prices were extortionate. Glad I went to Maida Vale beforehand as the pubs there are nice and no crowds are around. I will definitely want to return but hopefully with Liverpool. Would go to another England friendly but only if they were playing Germany/Argentina/Uruguay/Brazil or Italy, I can imagine going to and England game against Andorra or San Marino would be a bit boring.

 

Why not write your own review of Wembley Stadium and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

* The postal address of Wembley Stadium is: Wembley Stadium, P.O. Box 1966, London, SW1P 9EQ.

** Wembley Stadium was originally opened in 1924. That stadium was demolished in 2000.

Updated 18th August 2016

FACEBOOK

TWITTER