Wembley Stadium: London’s most notable sporting venue

An external, nighttime shot of London's Wembley stadium

The discussion around London’s most notable sporting venue can be a heated one. There are a number of claimants to that venerable crown and your views will no doubt depend on which sport your allegiances lie with.

If you are a tennis fan, your choice may be Wimbledon. A cricket fan will always go for Lords, whilst a rugby fan would choose Twickenham and for the all-round athletics fan, the choice would be the new Olympic Park, built especially for the London Olympics of 2012.

We’ll be providing details on each of these venues in future articles, but for now we will focus on Wembley Stadium, the home of English football, located in North London in the borough of Brent.

Built in 1923 for the British Empire exhibition and originally called the Empire Stadium, the first major event Wembley hosted was the FA Cup final of 1923. The original structure survived until 2003 when it was demolished,, eventually reopening in 2007 as the new Wembley Stadium.

Whilst the old stadium was famous for its twin towers, the new stadium is famous for its arch which, at a height of 440 feet (133 m) and with a span of just over 1,000 feet (305 m), is the world’s longest single span roof. Moreover the roof slides to ensure that all spectators can be covered yet at the same time allows direct sunlight to all parts of the pitch. The pitch itself is a mixture of synthetic and natural grass ensuring a high-quality playing surface all year round.

Containing 90,000 seats and boasting 98 kitchens (just enough to be able to feed 90,000 hungry spectators!), Wembley has seen many famous visitors over the years, particularly when you realise it’s been so much more than a fotball venue.

For example, it’s hosted many music concerts over the years, including Live Aid in 1985, whilst also being home to the Olympics in 1948 and the football World Cup final in 1966 when England famously won in the final against West Germany.. but only after extra time!

Wembley has even been host to a number of American Football matches in recent times and you might be able to catch a game if you are coming to see us in the next few weeks to take advantage of our Autumn Flutter offer (on any weekend in September or October).  The dates for the NFL games at Wembley are currently set to be:

  • 28th September – Miami Dolphins v Oakland Raiders
  • 26th October – Detroit Lions v Atlanta Falcons
  • 9th November – Dallas Cowboys v Jacksonville

Tickets for these events are in short supply at this late stage, but if anyone can find them, our concierge can so why not set him the challenge!

Able to help you get the most from your time with us at DUKES, our concierge will do as much as they can to make sure you see and experience Wembley Stadium exactly as you want to, whether that’s by attending a game, simply walking past, or via the way that’s always recommended: by taking part in one of the much revered stadium tours – enjoy!

Remembering London 2012 with the Open East Arts Festival

An aerial shot of London's Olympic ParkThis month the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be open to the public to hold the Open East Arts Festival, celebrating one year since the Olympic Games and East London Culture.

This festival is the perfect day out – from the 27-28th July individuals have a special opportunity to see where the Olympic Games were held, whilst simultaneously enjoying a day in the park overflowing with food, music, theatre, sport and family fun.

There is a variety of live music and performances to discover from acts such as The Waterboys, Seun Kuti, some soul Caribbean and many other fantastic live performances. Enjoy some of the food from the real food festival, including a communal feast on one of the bridges over the River Lea or just simply relax and have a picnic along the quintessential river bank. In the mean time young ones can enjoy the mini circus from the house of fairytales, storytelling, art and craft workshops, puppet shows and a whole host of activities to keep them smiling.

Ticket prices range from £6.00 to £9.50, and under 5s can go for free. To check for availability of tickets please click here. The festival is set to last 2 days, runs from 1:30pm to 10pm and includes a spectacular finale at 9:30pm. Also keep a look out for upcoming events in the park, namely the London Anniversary Games and the Wireless festival.

And after a fun-packed day in the park why not wind down and enjoy a meal at our restaurant? Offering a wide variety of delicious British dishes, it is the perfect way to end a somewhat perfect day.

Image courtesy of EG Focus