Wembley Stadium located in Wembley Park, London, is the spiritual home of English football and historically it has always hosted the games of the national men’s team and the annual final of the F.A Cup. With a capacity of 90,000 it is the second largest stadium in Europe.
Wembley Stadium first opened on 9th March 2007 after a lengthy construction period of just under five years, with the inaugural competitive match held two months later in May between Chelsea and Manchester United for the 2007 FA Cup. Long associated with the world oldest football cup competition, the knock-out tournament’s final was previously played at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium during the ground’s construction.
Costing an estimated £757 million to build, the ground was a behemoth of a project and faced much public scrutiny due to a series of delays and seemingly ever-expanding budget. With a capacity of 90,000 the stadium is the largest in England and second largest in Europe behind Barcelona’s Nou Camp.
Replacing the previous iteration of Wembley or The Empire Stadium as it was originally known was never going to be easy, and many fans initially expressed sadness that the iconic towers were not to be retained. Co-designed by Populous who designed The Emirates and iconic British architect, Norman Foster, the national stadium has received many plaudits from around the world since opening.
Wembley continues to host important football games such as the FA Cup Final and qualification matches of England’s National Team, and has even hosted two Champions League finals to date including an all German affair between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in 2013.
In recent years Wembley has continued to show off its credentials as a mulit-purpose arena by hosting NFL International games as well large music concerts and boxing matches. Whilst necessary to recoup the large cost of the stadium, it has often resulted in a sub-standard playing surface for football matches.
Below is a seating plan for football matches at Wembley Stadium:
Wembley Stadium is a three-tiered bowl arrangement which is comprised of four sections: North (main stand), East, South and West.
Click the thumbnails above to enlarge an image of each stand and to read a more detailed description of each part of the stadium.
For domestic matches such as FA Cup Final and Championship Play-offs the stadium is essentially split in half by an east/west split. As both sets of fans are visitors, there isn’t really an away section per se.
Travelling supporters during International matches are usually housed behind the goal within the lowest tier of the east stand towards the northern-half.
There are half a dozen or so independent pubs to choose from when making your way to the stadium, and although they are all walkable within 20 minutes from each station, how you get to the stadium will probably dictate where you are likely to drink.
From Wembley Central south of the stadium there is JJ Moon’s which is owned by Wetherspoons, and The Green Man which describes itself as an “old-school pub”, whereas northwards from Wembley Park Tube Station there is The Torch and The Wembley Tavern.
Predictably these pubs get busy on matchdays, with some fans recommended grabbing a drink from the bars inside Moore Spice or at one of the several hotels nearby. Be advised that sometimes during domestic clashes you might have to walk around to find a welcoming venue as bars are often allocated to each team on the day.
Inside Wembley pints of Carlsberg and Tetley Bitter can be purchased from any of the 108 licensed bars for £4.70 each, however the alcohol sales policy can vary per match depending on the event hosted.
The number of places to eat from around Wembley Park greatly eclipses the number of places to drinks, with a McDonalds, Pizza Express and several Indian restaurants located on Empire Way. Between Wembley Central and Stadium Stations there is further choice with the likes of a Nando’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and even a Tescos.
In total there are a remarkable 688 places where you can purchase food and drink from both inside and outside of Wembley. Although there are too many food options in total to list, I have listed the most popular ones below for illustrative purposes.
- Hot dogs: £4.40
- Fish & Chips: £7.80
- Soft Drinks: £3.10
- Crisps: £1.20
- Confectionery: £1.20+
The Stadium Store generally only opens on match days, however there is a nearby Nike Factory Store which sells some football goods and you can also purchase England merchandise 24/7 online from the official England Store.
Football fans from around the world can now see Wembley first hand when there isn’t a match on by undertaking a fully-guided 75 minute tour of England’s iconic Stadium. Depending on what events are happening at the stadium when you visit, up to seven tours are usually conducted between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm each day.
- Adult: £19.00
- Under 16: £11.00
- Seniors (60+) and Students: £11.00
- Under 5’s: Free
- VIP Tour: £55.00
Please note that you can also purchase a family ticket for two adults and two children costing £45.00, and groups larger than 25 receive a 15% discount.
To find out further information and to book your place please visit the official Wembley tour page.
For every football match there are generally speaking two main types of seats at Wembley: General Admission and Club Wembley. Club Wembley refers to corporate match day hospitality and is sold by the stadium operators on a 10 year license, whereas general admission refers to the 70,000 seats which are sold on a match by match basis.
As many different teams ranging from League Two to International sides use the National Stadium it’s impossible to give comprehensive or general prices estimations. Tickets are sold by the participating teams, and thus you should visit their official websites to purchase tickets.
In case you already have tickets and just need to collect them, Wembley’s box office is located towards the north of the stadium facing out onto Olympic Way. Clearly signposted, the box office usually opens for up to four hours before kick-off.
To see a list of upcoming events at Wembley please visit this Events Page.
England’s national stadium is located in Wembley Park which is an area belonging to the London Borough of Brent, north-west of the capital city’s traditional centre.
The address for Satnav is as follows:
- Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London, HA9 0WS.
Wembley Park contains over 3,000 car parking spaces and is regarded as the official car park of the stadium. Spaces can be booked in advanced online via Wembley Official Parking which conveniently lists all of the upcoming events, however the price remains contentious for some. For football matches cars can be charged up to £30.00 to park, which leads some to consider “unofficial” alternatives.
There are a number of cheaper independent car parking operators around the Industrial Estate as you get to Wembley Way which are much cheaper, however the locations aren’t as good and they require you to walk slightly further.
As for parking within the surrounding residential areas, it’s not advised unless you wish to receive a parking ticket or can borrow a local residents permit which would be highly unlikely.
There are two train stations close to Wembley: Wembley Central (2km away) and Wembley Stadium (0.5km), however which one you should take depends on where you are travelling from.
Wembley Central has regular overground train services from London Paddington and London Euston, however it is also served by the Bakerloo Line (brown) underground line. If you’re catching the tube it’s probably quicker to just go to Wembley Park station instead (See London Underground section below).
Wembley Stadium Station is generally for those who are arriving from outside of London although there are a small number of departures from Marylebone station. The main services are match-day ones run by Chiltern which serve the Midlands, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Wembley Park tube station is the best way to travel to the stadium in my opinion as it leads you onto Olympic square and Olympic Way which gives you the full Wembley stadium experience. The walk allows you to take in the stadium from afar and soak up the pre-match atmosphere, although it can be busy after the full-time whistle.
It is served by both the Jubilee (Silver) and Metropolitan (Purple) lines which gives you greater flexibility to travel around London.
Bus numbers 83, 92 and 182 all serve Wembley Park Station from Wembley Central, however it’s not recommended that you take these on match-days unless you’re heading to the ground early. Predictably there’s lots of congestion before kick-off and in most cases it would be quicker to walk.
There are numerous hotels to suit all budgets within close proximity to Wembley Stadium including the likes of Hotel Ibis, Holiday Inn and a Hilton. Slightly further away but still no more than 10 minutes away there is the budget friendly Quality Hotel London, and The Green Man Pub and Hotel.
- WembleyStadium.com – Official website of Wembley Connected by EE.
- TheFA.com – Official Football Association page for England’s National Team