|Wembley is the national stadium and home of the England football team. The new stadium has a arch which is illuminated at night.|
Wembley Stadium (often referred to simply as Wembley, pronounced /ˈwɛmbli/, or sometimes as the New Wembley) is a footballstadium located in Wembley Park, in the Borough of Brent, London, England. It opened in 2007 and was built on the site of the previous1923 Wembley Stadium. The earlier Wembley stadium, originally called the Empire Stadium, was often referred to as “The Twin Towers” and was one of the world’s most famous football stadia until its demolition in 2003.
It is a UEFA category four stadium. The 90,000-capacity venue (105,000 combined seating and standing) is the second largest stadium in Europe, and serves as England’s national stadium. It is the sole home venue of the England national football team, and hosts the latter stages of the top level domestic club cup competition, the FA Cup. It is owned by English football‘s governing body, The Football Association (The FA), through their subsidiary Wembley National Stadium Ltd (WNSL).
Designed by Foster and Partners and HOK Sport (now Populous), it includes a partially retractable roof. A signature feature of the stadium, following on from the old Wembley’s distinctive Twin Towers, is the 134-metre-high (440 ft) Wembley Arch. With a span of 317 metres (1,040 ft), this steel arch is the longest single-span roof structure in the world and, uniquely for a stadium, requires beacons for low-flying aircraft. The stadium was built by Australian firm Multiplex at a cost of £798 million. The old Wembley closed in October 2000, with demolition originally intended for that December and the new stadium due to open in 2003. After delays to the project, with demolition first started in September 2002, the old Wembley was not completely demolished until February 2003, with the new stadium scheduled to open in time for the 2006 FA Cup Final. After further delays, the stadium was delivered nearly a year late, leading to legal disputes between WNSL and Multiplex, who ultimately made a significant loss on the project. The stadium was handed over on 9 March 2007, in time to host the 2007 FA Cup Final.
In international football, the stadium was a central component of the failed English 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bids. In 2012 it hosted the football finals of the London Olympics. In club football, in addition to the FA Cup the stadium hosts the showpiece season-opening game the FA Community Shield match, played in August between the winners of the FA Cup and the top-level Premier League. In mid-season it also hosts the finals of the Football League Cup and Football League Trophy. At the end of the domestic season, the stadium also hosts the finals of the Football League play-offs. In European football, it hosted the 2011 Champions League Final, and will host the final again in 2013. In friendly tournaments, since 2009 it has been the venue of the summer Wembley Cup. Outside of football, the stadium also hosts major rugby league games, such as the Challenge Cup and International Rugby League. The stadium is also an annual regular season venue for the American National Football League‘s International Series, the first such venue outside North America. Non-sporting uses include large music concerts such as Concert for Diana, Live Earth and the Summertime Ball.