Arsenal stadium, commonly referred to as Highbury after the area of North London it was located within was the home ground of Arsenal Football Club from the 6th September 1913 to 7th May 2006.
Arsenal Stadium Guide
Highbury Stadium History
Arsenal’s Highbury Stadium was the club’s home for over 93 years, having first opened in 1913 on the site of a local school’s sports field and closed in 2006 when the Gunners moved to a new stadium on Ashburton Grove known for sponsorship reasons as The Emirates. With land at a premium within London the decision to relocate to a new home was not taken lightly, with official reports putting the cost of the project at over £470 million.
With Highbury already having underwent two major redevelopments throughout it’s history, further attempts to expand the ground in the new millennium were rejected by the local council after local residents objected to the disruption building work could cause as well as the additional strain on infrastructure during the days which Arsenal Stadium hosted matches. Of course, this didn’t stop the planned residential development known as Highbury Square taking place after the club had vacated the premises.
Originally designed by famous football architect Archibald Leitch, after the first redevelopment in 1930s a lot of his initial touches were lost as the club aimed to recreate the at the time, grandeur of Aston Villa’s Villa Park with the new West and East stands reimagining Leitch’s designs with Art Deco stylings. The first floodlight match was held in 1962 against Bohemians and at the height of Hooliganism in the 1980s the club refused to install fences – something which some might call an early example of “the Arsenal way”.
After the publication of the Taylor Report in 1990 which proposed that all stadiums in Britain become all-seater, Arsenal rebuilt the North Bank terrace into a two tiers of seats in what would prove to be the last major redevelopment on the stadium before the move to the Emirates. The final game held at Higbury was played against Wigan on the 7th May 2006 with the club needing to better the result of North London rivals Tottenham to secure Champions League Football – Thierry Henry delivered the result with a hat-trick as he coolly kissed the turf after the full time whistle.