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Wembley Stadium
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Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium is a football stadium in Wembley, London, England, which is currently being rebuilt.

The Wembley Stadium is one of the world's most famous football stadiums, being the English national football ground since 1923.

Originally known as the Empire Stadium, it was built for the British Empire Exhibition of 1924. Sir John Simpson and Maxwell Ayerton were the architects and Sir Owen Williams was the Head Engineer. The stadium's distinctive Twin Towers became its trademark. Also well-known were the thirty nine steps needed to be climbed to reach the Royal box and collect a trophy (and winners/losers medals).

It was first opened to the public on 28 April 1923. The Stadium's first turf was cut by King George V. In 1934 the Empire Pool was built.

Table of contents
1 Football
2 Other sports
3 Music
4 Redevelopment
5 External Links

Football

captain Bobby Moore with the Jules Rimet trophy.]]

The first event held at the stadium was the FA Cup final of 1923 between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United. This is known as the White horse final. Despite the official maximum capacity of 100,000, the attendance was quoted as 126,947 but up to 200,000 people are thought to have squeezed in. It was thought that the match would be postponed until Police Constable George Scorey and his white horse, Billie, slowly pushed the masses back to the sides of the field of play for the FA Cup Final to start.

The FA Cup final was played there every year in May (outside wartime) until 2000. It was also the venue for Finals of the League Cup, Associate Members' Cup and the Football League play-offs.

As the home of the English national football team, In 1966 it was the leading venue of the World Cup Championships and hosted the final game.

On 29 May 1968 it was host to the 1968 European Cup final between Manchester United and Benfica. In 1978 it again hosted the, this time between Liverpool and Club Brugge.

In 1996 it hosted the European Football Championship.

Of Wembley Stadium, Pelé said "Wembley is the church of football. It is the capital of football and it is the heart of football" in recognition of its status as world's most well-known football stadium.

Other sports

Wembley was the main athletics venue for the 1948 Summer Olympics, with Fanny Blankers-Koen and Emil Zatopek among the notable winners.

Rugby League held its Challenge Cup final at Wembley from 1929 onwards, an event often seen as a big day out for a sport whose heartland is in the north of England. The stadium was also regularly used by the sport for major international matches, such as Great Britain versus Australia. The first Ashes test of 1994 is particularly well remembered by Rugby League supporters.

As well as special events, Wembley was also a venue for regular sporting fixtures, notably in greyhound racing and motorcycle speedway.

Music

Wembley Stadium became a musical venue in 1972 with an all-star rock 'n' roll concert. The British leg of Live Aid was held there in 1985. The band Queen held a huge concert in 1986 and the Freddie Mercury Tribute was also held there in 1992. The Nelson Mandela tribute concert was performed in 1988.

Redevelopment

The stadium closed in 2000 for redevelopment, but a string of financial and political difficulties delayed the work for over two years. The new National Stadium is currently under construction, at a 2003 estimated cost of £757 million, and should open in 2006. The new design is for an all-seated capacity of 90,000 protected from the elements by a sliding roof. The stadium's signature feature will be a circular section 7 metre internal diameter steelwork lattice arch with a 315 metre span, erected some 22° off true, and rising to 133 metre tall. The arch was raised for the first time during construction of the Stadium in June 2004.

A short documentary of its redevelopment can be found in Queen Live at Wembley 1986 dvd.

External Links