Wednesday, September 13, 2006
About Old Trafford: The Theatre of Dreams
Facility statistics
Location: Sir Matt Busby Way, Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England
Broke ground: 1909
Opened: 1910
Owner: Manchester United
Operator: Manchester United
Construction cost: £60,000 GBP
Architect: Archibald Leitch
Tenants: Manchester United (FA Premier League) (1910-present)
Seating capacity: 'in excess' of 76,000 [1]

Old Trafford (given the nickname The Theatre of Dreams by Bobby Charlton) is a football stadium that serves as the home of Manchester United.

Located in the borough of Trafford in Greater Manchester, it has been United's permanent home since 1910 apart from an eight year forced exile when the stadium was bombed in 1941. The club had to temporarily share Manchester City's home ground, Maine Road, until the rebuilding of Old Trafford was completed in 1949.

Until the new Wembley Stadium is completed Old Trafford will have the largest ground capacity of any English football stadium, currently holding just over 76,000 spectators (after redevelopments finished in the summer of 2006). The new Wembley stadium will join Old Trafford as the only UEFA 5-star stadia in in England. Thus, Old Trafford is currently the only ground in England eligible to host the Champions League Final (as it did in 2003).

Old Trafford is by far the largest club ground in Britain and is all-seater, which is a legal requirement of all higher league British club grounds and new stadium developments since the Taylor Report in the early 1990s. It became an all-seater stadium in 1992 when the Stretford End terrace was rebuilt.

The ground is currently being expanded by filling in the corners on either side of the North Stand, in order to provide about 11,000 additional seats. A lot of people have questioned why the South stand has not expanded like the North stand which dwarfs it. The main reasons for this are that directly behind the South stand lies the Old Trafford railway station linking the stadium to Manchester City Centre and even though this could probably be built over, the adjacent residental property would have to be demolished for any expansion to be possible.

Part of the new seating was used for the first time on 26 March 2006, when the attendance was 69,070, a record for the Premiership, a record that was broken just 3 days later when 69,522 people watched United play West Ham on 29 March.

The stadium's record attendance remains at 76,962, set on 25 March 1939 for a FA Cup semi-final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Grimsby Town, although this is expected to be beaten once all the new seating has been opened. The newest Premiership and United record was set on 20 August 2006 when 75,115 spectators saw United beat Fulham FC 5-1.

The ground has frequently hosted FA Cup semi-final matches (as long as Manchester United were not involved), and occasionally hosted England international fixtures whilst Wembley was under reconstruction. It also hosted 1966 FIFA World Cup matches, Euro '96 matches and the Champions League final in 2003. With London winning its bid for the 2012 Olympics, the stadium will be used for some preliminary men's and women's football matches during the Summer Games.

In 1968 Old Trafford hosted the second game of the Intercontinental Cup. Manchester United 1 - Estudiantes de La Plata 1. The Argentinian team won the Cup.

Since 1998, when rugby league adopted play-offs and a Grand Final to determine the Super League champions, Old Trafford has staged the Grand Final.

The football stadium is close to the Old Trafford cricket ground.

The Stretford End is the west stand of the stadium and is where the diehard fans have historically been situated. Previously, the K Stand in the old East Stand was the home of the vocal supporters although following expansion to the West Stand (Stretford End) many relocated. In the past, the noise has been compared to that of a jumbo jet. However, nowadays, Old Trafford is criticised for not creating a big enough atmosphere on a regular basis. This is perhaps because of the seating arrangements; the family section, the least vocally heard, is situated on the first tier of the Stretford End, together with the now infamous corporate 'Prawn Sandwich Brigade' in the South Stand. The rivalry between nearby neighbours Liverpool and Manchester City is particularly fierce.

Old Trafford was the first English ground to have to install a perimiter fence to counter fan violence and hooliganism in the 1970s.

In 2005, FA Premier League fans from all over the world voted online that Old Trafford would be the stadium they would prefer to watch any game.

The ground featured in the 1967 Albert Finney film Charlie Bubbles where a child is disappointed at missing out on fully being involved in the match due to watching from behind the glass window of one of the private boxes.

In its early days, the ground also hosted games of shinty, the traditional sport of the Scottish Highlands.

From Wikipedia
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
posted by Nuruddeen710 at 1:00 PM | Permalink |