Built between 2003 and 2006 and opened in 2007 on the site of the original Wembley Stadium, the new stadium has quickly become London’s top sports landmark. The stadium is home to England’s national football (soccer) team and is home to the final stages of the top level domestic club cup competition. The stadium is also home to NFL games that are played in London. Apart from sporting events, Wembley is also a major concert venue, having hosted concerts for groups such as AC/DC, Green Day, Muse, the Foo Fighters, Take That, Metallica, U2 and Madonna. The most recognizable feature of the stadium is the arch, which is said to have a greater cross-sectional diameter than a cross-channel Eurostar train. Tours of the stadium are available, but its best to call ahead for times and other information. The closest hotels are the Comfort Hotel Harrow and the Kingsland Hotel.
During the planning stage of the new Wembley Stadium’s construction, it was hoped that building would have started in 2000 and be completed by 2003. However, due to many financial and legal difficulties, construction was pushed back to 2003. On top of that, there were delays during construction its self ranging from one of the subcontractors pulling out to a fatal accident involving one of the project’s carpenters which resulted in a £150,000 fine being leveled on the construction firm PC Harrington Contractors. Despite all of that, Wembley Stadium was completed in a relatively short time frame and was soon opened for both sporting and other entertainment events. As a sporting venue, Wembley is home to the English national football (soccer) team, many local level soccer teams, rugby and American football. In the forthcoming summer Olympics, Wembley is to be the home of the soccer finals.
Other sporting events that have been held there were the 2007 and 2008 Race of Champions, an annual auto racing event that is the only one were drivers from the Formula One, World Rally Championship, NASCAR, sportscar and touring cars circuits compete against each other. Apart from sporting events, Wembley has been host to a number of concerts, including AC/DC, Green Day, Muse, the Foo Fighters, Take That, Metallica, U2 and the Concert for Diana and the Live Earth concert. In the end, Wembley Stadium is another one of London’s major and well known landmarks. It is safe to say that this stadium rivals others around the world in terms of size, scope of events held and history. Being that it is the second largest stadium in Europe, Wembley has greater prominence in the sports and entertainment area then most other stadiums in the world. Apart from being a major event venue, Wembley is an iconic landmark on the same level as the St. Louis Arch, the Tower of London and the Pyramids of Giza. Even if you don’t take in a sporting event or a concert, it is still worth it to tour this iconic sports venue.