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Introducing the Emirates Stadium
The Emirates as a brand has a reputation for being rather luxurious and prestigious, and The Emirates stadium keeps in line with this image. As you may already be aware, this stadium is the home ground for the mighty Arsenal, a London based club with quite a track record of success. This is likely what moved both Arsenal and The Emirates to partner up in the first place, and the partnership has remained to this day.
Of course, Arsenal is one of several prestigious clubs playing out of London. The others include the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham, and a couple of others. This means that The Emirates stadium is in direct competition with some of the best in the business, yet there are a few facts about this ground that make it particularly impressive. This is covered in our very next section.
The Emirates Stadium – important information and facts
Whether you have been to The Emirates stadium before, or you’ve only seen it in pictures, you are probably familiar with the reputation that this ground carries. We will now share with you some of the most impressive and most interesting facts about this holy London ground.
4th biggest stadium in the UK
In the Premier League, there is a bit of a competition for who can do things bigger and better than everyone else. As you are probably aware, the league has seen an explosion in investments from overseas business tycoons, yet this has still not been enough to put The Emirates stadium in the top spot. In fact, this stadium with a capacity of just shy of 61,000 is only the 4th largest in the UK. This puts the stadium behind the likes of Wembley (of course), Tottenham’s stadium, and Old Trafford.
Stadium’s renovation costs
Over the years, the Premier League has continued to grow and develop, which means more money involved and a greater demand for increased viewing facilities. Arsenal, like several other clubs in recent times, chose to expand its stadium-size back in the early 2000s, and the stadium was officially completed in 2006. This expansion also involved the relocation of the main ground, and all of this came with a cool price tag of £390 million.
Home of the Premier League’s longest-running manager
Whether you are an Arsenal fan or not, there’s a fairly strong chance you’ve heard of the legendary Arsene Wenger. This charismatic Frenchman was the manager of Arsenal for a whopping 22 years, which means he was the manager both before, during, and after the expansion of the previous Arsenal stadium. In fact, Wenger famously referred to the stadium expansion as one of the most pivotal decisions in the history of the club.
Alternative stadium uses
Like other high-profile stadiums up and down the UK, The Emirates has been used for more than just football games. Rather than being used for other sporting events, however, which has commonly been the case with other stadiums, The Emirates has largely been used for major entertainment events. Such events include the likes of Big Brother, Britain’s Got Talent, Celebrity Masterchef, and even the X-Factor. To add to this impressive resume, it has even been the host of political summits and huge concerts.
Although The Emirates managed to almost max-out the stadium capacity during a 2007 match against Manchester United, the highest attendances at the ground have been seen for music concerts. This is largely because the pitch is then opened up for additional seating for when larger concerts take place. For that reason, the official attendance maximum that has been seen at the Emirates is around 72,000.
Legends of The Emirates and Arsenal
As we’ve previously indicated, Arsenal is a club that is somewhat shrouded in history, not to mention that it has been one of the top clubs in the UK for several decades. As you might imagine, a club of this size and stature has seen some true legends walk through the halls and step onto the pitch at The Emirates. We’ve given them their fair recognition below.
Come on – we couldn’t start this list without mentioning the mighty Arsene Wenger. He was one of the most successful Premier League managers of all time, and he is widely regarded as a bit of a God by some Arsenal fans. Wenger could be pretty charismatic on the touchline and during his post-match interviews, but he certainly didn’t mess around when it came to demanding the best out of his players. This drive and ambition allowed him to stay in the job for an incredible 22 years, even throughout times where managers could get sacked within weeks.
While Wenger is the biggest legend that managed Arsenal, Henry is probably the biggest legend to ever step on the pitch at The Emirates. Henry is widely regarded as one of the best strikers of his time, and the way he was able to keep the ball glued to his feet to create shooting opportunities was just phenomenal. Henry racked up over 170 goals for Arsenal during his time there, yet when he made his return in 2012 and scored on his debut, this was probably the most electrifying atmosphere The Emirates has seen in recent years.
Ian Wright has grown to become one of the UK’s most loved football presenters and reporters since his retirement, and his incredible career at Arsenal will live long in the memory. Wright made a rather impressive 221 appearances for Arsenal back in the 1990s, and he managed to score 128 goals. Sure, this isn’t quite as many as the legendary Thierry Henry, but given that Ian Wright was also a homegrown player, it made him somewhat special at The Emirates back in the day. As you might recall, Wright also made several appearances for England too, leaving behind a great legacy.