Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, is one of the world’s most famous five-star football stadiums, with a maximum capacity of 76,212, and is known as the ‘Theatre of Dreams’.
Location: Manchester, England
Date of construction: 1910
Team: Manchester United
Record crowd: 76,692
Situated near the Bridgewater Canal and not far from the railway, Old Trafford is now one of the most prestigious stadiums in the world, despite having been heavily bombed during the Second World War.
Sir Bobby Charlton called it the Theatre of Dreams, but the stadium is more like a devil’s castle for many of the teams that come here as visitors. The second largest football stadium in Britain is home to Manchester United, one of the most successful clubs in England’s history. While strolling around the stadium, you may get a clear sense of the weight of United’s glorious history: the Busby Babes; the three United Saints Best, Denis Law and Charlton; and the Class of 92, Wayne Rooney and many more.
During a tour of Old Trafford, even if you’re not a United fan, you’ll probably be impressed by the club’s illustrious history, and even the nostalgic posters, rare videos, murals on the walls and everything else inside the stadium will delight every fan who comes to visit. Old Trafford truly deserves to be the best stadium in the Premier League.
There are many classic moments from the legendary Ferguson era that are replayed over and over again, such as Bruce’s two late strikes, Cantona’s celebrations after scoring against Sunderland, Wenger’s sending off to the stands, Manchester City’s 6-1 win over the Red Devils at the stadium, the Red Devils’ first step towards the treble by beating Tottenham Hotspur, and many more. A lot of treasured moments.
Also included are many national team highlights, such as Beckham’s direct free kick against Greece in 2001, England’s 1966 World Cup group games, the 1996 European Cup final, the FA Cup semi-final played at this stadium and many of the matches England played at this stadium, as well as the London 2012 Olympic Games hosted at Old Trafford. The stadium hosted the London 2012 Olympic Games.
What other important games have been played at this stadium? This might include Manchester United’s FA Cup fifth round tie with Sheffield Wednesday in 1958, 13 days after the Munich air disaster, which the Red Devils won 3-0 thanks to the efforts of their substitutes and youngsters. The first Champions League match was played at Old Trafford on 25 April 1957, when Manchester United and Real Madrid shared a 2-2 draw in the second leg of the semi-final, and in 2003, when AC Milan and Juventus played out a 0-0 draw for 120 minutes, with the Red and Blacks winning on penalties.
Don’t forget, the Rugby Super League final is played at Old Trafford every year ……
Manchester United used to use the same stadium as their neighbours Manchester City. The Old Trafford Stadium has been home to Manchester United since 1910. But between 1941 and 1949, the stadium was so badly damaged by the German bombing raids that United had to move to Maine Road to play their matches. Instead, the Old Trafford Stadium, close to the munitions centre at Trafford Park, was requisitioned for use as a military depot.
The madness of the Nazi Germans’ destruction dealt a serious blow to the club’s development, but the ambitious United were not to be defeated. Matt Busby led United to become the first English team to play in the Champions League, and they quickly went on to achieve excellent results in 1957. The year before England hosted the 1966 World Cup, a modern cantilevered roof was installed in the North Stand at Old Trafford, the first private box in England. Another private box was then installed in the East Stand in 1973, and in the 1980s such a box was also installed in the Main Stand as the club planned to transform Old Trafford into a giant bowl-shaped stadium.
However, as a result of the Taylor Report, the advent of the Premier League and United’s great success on the field, the stadium has undergone a number of changes. The need to increase seating in the West Stand led to the abandonment of the ‘bowl plan’ and the club spent £18.65 million on converting the North Stand into a three-tier structure for the 1996 European Cup, increasing the seating capacity to 22,500; in 2000, one tier was added to both the East and West stands; and in 2006, the two North Stands were converted into a three-tier structure. In 2006, the corners of the two North Stands were also filled, bringing the stadium’s seating capacity to 75,000.
The main stand now looks relatively small as the Manchester to Liverpool tube track runs underneath it, which has limited the club’s ability to expand the stand.
While other areas of the stadium are being expanded, the Main Stand remains the historic centrepiece of the Old Trafford Stadium. It contains the camera racks, the players’ rest area, the viewing boxes for most of the senior staff and the central walkway, built in 1911, which is no longer in use but has also been used to commemorate the Munich air disaster of 1958. The current players’ tunnel is located in the south-west corner of the stadium, close to the players’ changing rooms and lounges.
The club has named all stands: the South, East, West and North stands, although the North Stand has been permanently named the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand. The East Stand may no longer be called the ‘Scoreboard End’, but the West Stand will remain the ‘Stretford End’. Every matchday, the crazy Manchester United fans come to the Theatre of Dreams, chanting and encouraging the Red Devils to attack, attack, attack ……
The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, formerly known as the United Road Stand and the North Stand, has been extended to encroach on United Road. The stand is three storeys high and can accommodate around 26,000 spectators, the largest of the four stands. The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand also provides some rooms for fans. The current Sir Alex Ferguson Stand was opened in 1996, replacing the previous one-storey stand. As the main stand of the stadium, the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand contains a number of stadium facilities, including a Manchester United-themed café and the Manchester United Museum. The Manchester United Museum was opened in 1986 and was the first museum in the world to be based on the history of the club. The original museum was located in the south-east corner of Old Trafford until 1998 when it was relocated to the redeveloped North Stand. At that time, the club invited King Billy to officiate at the museum’s relocation ceremony on April 11, 1998. The North Stand was named the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand on 5 November 2011 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure at the club.
After the completion of the expansion in 2006, Manchester United actively continued to expand the Old Trafford Stadium and the next plan was to rebuild the South Stand. The South Stand does not have two tiers like the other stands, but still has only one level of seating. If the South Stand can be expanded in the same way as the North Stand, the total capacity of Old Trafford will exceed 95,000, surpassing Wembley as the largest football stadium in England. However, the expansion of the South Stand will be difficult as the railway station and tracks will need to be relocated due to the proximity of the South Stand. United will also need to acquire around 50 homes near the train tracks, at a total cost of one million pounds. However, United’s property manager said that the expansion was a must and a very important project for the Old Trafford Stadium. However, there are other problems associated with the expansion, as the increased height of the South Stand will reduce the amount of light in the stadium, a problem also faced by other major stadiums such as Wembley, Stade de la Banana and San Siro. United manager Alex Ferguson has also said that the redevelopment of the North Stand at Old Trafford has already brought the problem to the surface.
As a result, it has been suggested that the Old Trafford Stadium should become an alternative stadium to Wembley for the English national football team, in order to attract fans from the north to support England. As well as hosting the FA Cup semi-finals, the stadium would be able to re-establish prestige for Old Trafford.
Don’t you feel that the construction of these sports fields is amazing? If you are interested in the construction of sports fields, please check out our other section: Sports Arena Construction