Wembley Stadium (usually shortened to just Wembley) is a stadium, located in Wembley Park in London, England. Primarily an association football venue, Wembley is owned by The Football Association (The FA) via its subsidiary Wembley National Stadium Limited, and hosts the home international matches of the England national football team and the main English domestic cup finals. The Stadium is also used for music concerts and other sporting events. Wembley will host the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final.
Wembley’s 90,000 capacity makes it the second largest stadium in Europe (after Camp Nou) and one of the largest (and tallest) in the world with every seat under cover. It is one of the most expensive stadia ever built, costing close to £800 million (roughly US$1.57 billion). Immediately following its opening, it was often referred to as the “new Wembley Stadium” to distinguish it from the original stadium. The land has been used for football since as early as the 1880s.
The previous Wembley Stadium (originally known as the British Empire Exhibition Stadium or Empire Stadium) was one of the world’s most famous football stadiums, being England’s national stadium for football, and, because of the geographical origins of the game, was often referred to as “The Home of Football”. It hosted the European Cup (now the UEFA Champions League) final a record five times, and is one of seventeen stadiums to have held a FIFA World Cup final. Though the original structure was closed in 2000, it was not demolished until 2003, after which construction began on the new stadium, originally intended to open in 2006. This was later delayed until early 2007. The final completion date of the stadium was 9 March 2007, when the stadium was handed over to the FA.
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