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The History of Arsenal FC Stadium

Emirates Stadium, located in North London is the home of the Arsenal football club. Constructed between 2004 and 2006 to replace Arsenal's former home, Highbury Stadium, designed by Populous, it boasts a seating capacity exceeding 60,000. On this page, you can find a comprehensive overview of the stadium's evolution, notable moments and its significance in Arsenal FC's illustrious history.

Emirates Stadium timeline

  • 1999: Arsenal began considering building a new stadium near Highbury, eventually settling on Ashburton Grove.
  • 2002: Construction commenced but faced delays and cost increases.
  • 2004: Emirates secured naming rights, with a deal estimated at £100 million.
  • 2006: The stadium was officially opened on October 26, 2006, by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
  • 2006-07: Emirates hosts its first season of Premier League matches
  • 2008: Bruce Springsteen holds a performance in the Emirates Stadium, making it more than just a football venue. 
  • 2012: Coldplay lights up Emirates Stadium with their 'Mylo Xyloto' tour. 
  • 2019: Emirates Stadium celebrates hosting over 700 Arsenal games. 
  • 2023: The Emirates, or Emirates Stadium, continues to remain an iconic landmark, hosting football games, concerts, and events.

Emirates Stadium history explained

Emirates Stadium history explained

Origins and Early Years (1886-1913)

The history of Emirates Stadium traces back to the club's humble beginnings. Founded in 1886 as Dial Square, the team played their matches at various grounds in Southeast London. In 1913, Arsenal moved to Highbury Stadium, which became their home for the next 93 years. Designed by Archibald Leitch, the stadium had a capacity of 38,419 and witnessed the club's rise in prominence during the early 20th century.

Emirates Stadium history explained

The Highbury Era (1913-2000)

Highbury Stadium holds a special place in Arsenal's history. During this period, the stadium underwent several expansions, including the iconic art-deco East and West Stands. Under the guidance of legendary manager Herbert Chapman, Arsenal experienced a golden era in the 1930s, winning numerous league titles and FA Cups. The post-war years saw the emergence of stars like Ted Drake, Cliff Bastin, and Charlie George, who became synonymous with Highbury's glory days.

Emirates Stadium history explained

Arsène’s Era: Early 2000s

In the early 2000s, Arsenal FC was pushing the boundaries of football. Under the helm of Arsène Wenger, they were dreaming big, and part of that dream was the vision of a new, grander home. Wenger proposed the idea of a new stadium that would match Arsenal's growing ambition. It was more than a pitch; it was about creating a legacy. 

Emirates Stadium history explained

Goodbye Highbury: 2005-2006

In 2006, Arsenal made a monumental shift after 93 years at Highbury to the state-of-the-art Emirates Stadium, located in Holloway, London. The decision was driven by the need for a larger and more modern venue to compete with other top clubs. Designed by Populous, the new stadium, Emirates Stadium, had a capacity of 60,704, offering improved facilities for fans and players alike. The move was a significant milestone in Arsenal's history, representing their ambition for sustained success and financial stability.

Emirates Stadium history explained

Expansion and Renovations: 2006-2010

In the years following its opening, Emirates Stadium underwent further developments to enhance both its capacity and facilities. Expansion projects were undertaken to increase seating capacity and accommodate growing demand from fans. Renovations focused on improving amenities such as hospitality suites, food and beverage options, and fan experience areas. The club invested in state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure to maintain the stadium's status as a modern sports venue.

Emirates Stadium history explained

Legacy and Community Engagement: 2010s-present

Over the years, Emirates Stadium has hosted over 700 Arsenal matches. The club expanded its efforts to engage with the local community and leverage the stadium's resources for positive social impact. Arsenal initiated various community programs and events hosted at the stadium, including youth development initiatives, charity matches, and educational workshops. The stadium became a focal point for community gatherings, offering spaces for cultural events, such as concerts by icons such as Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay.

Construction of Emirates Stadium

Construction of Emirates Stadium

In 2004, architects at HOK Sport, now Populous, embarked on a monumental task: to materialize Arsène Wenger's vision of a stadium embodying the Arsenal spirit and to make the fans feel right at home. They delivered an architectural marvel.  The sweeping, curved design of the stadium was a masterpiece of modern architecture, but it was more than just aesthetics. They integrated innovative techniques like the translucent polycarbonate roofing, a first in the UK, which allowed natural light to flood the pitch.

The seating layout kept in mind the fan experience. The seating arrangement was designed in such a way that there's not a bad seat. All the seats offer unobstructed views of the football pitch.

Emirates Stadium today

Arsenal FC Stadium

Today, the Emirates Stadium is more than just a football venue; it's a living, breathing part of Arsenal's rich history. This colossal beauty has witnessed unforgettable victories, heartbreaking losses, and legends being born. The Emirates Stadium was not just a new home for Arsenal Football Club, it was also a new experience for fans. The stadium has a number of amenities that are designed to enhance the fan experience, such as a large food court, a club shop, and a museum. The stadium has also hosted a number of major events, including international football matches and concerts.

If you're an Arsenal fan or just a lover of beautiful football, the Emirates Stadium isn't just an option, it's a must-visit.

Frequently asked questions about Emirate Stadium's history

Why is Emirates Stadium famous?

Emirates Stadium is famous for being the home ground of Arsenal Football Club, one of the most successful and storied football clubs in English history. The stadium is renowned for its modern facilities, impressive design, and capacity to hold over 60,000 fans. It has witnessed numerous memorable matches, including Arsenal's triumphs and intense rivalries, making it an iconic venue in the world of football.

Where is the Emirates Stadium?

The Emirates Stadium is located at Emirates Stadium, Hornsey Road, London N7 7AJ, United Kingdom

Who designed Emirates Stadium?

The Emirates Stadium was designed by the renowned architectural firm HOK Sport (now known as Populous). They were responsible for creating a modern and visually striking stadium that could accommodate a large number of spectators while providing excellent views of the pitch.

What is the architectural style of Emirates Stadium?

The architectural style of the Emirates Stadium is often described as contemporary and cutting-edge. It features a combination of steel, glass, and concrete elements that contribute to its sleek and modern appearance.

What are some interesting facts about the Emirates Stadium’s history?

The Emirates Stadium officially opened its doors on July 22, 2006, replacing Arsenal's previous home, Highbury. The stadium hosted several matches during the 2012 London Olympics, including football matches and the gold medal match for women's football.

Is it worth visiting Emirates Stadium?

Absolutely! Visiting the Emirates Stadium is a treat for football enthusiasts, sports fans, and anyone interested in immersing themselves in the legacy and culture of Arsenal FC.

When was Emirates Stadium built?

Construction of the Emirates Stadium began in 2004 and was completed in 2006.

What was the previous stadium of Arsenal FC?

The previous stadium of Arsenal FC was Highbury, located near the current Emirates Stadium.

Why did Arsenal FC move to the Emirates Stadium?

Arsenal FC moved to the Emirates Stadium to accommodate a larger capacity and modern facilities. Highbury had limited expansion possibilities, so the club made the decision to move to a larger venue.

How many spectators can the Emirates Stadium hold?

The Emirates Stadium has a seating capacity of over 60,000 spectators, making it one of the largest stadiums in England by capacity.