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10 Things You Might Not Know About Wembley

18 May 2016

Palace will make their ninth appearance at Wembley Stadium in its various guises on Saturday, having won on their first two trips to the ground since it was rebuilt and opened in 2007. Here are some fun facts about the newer version of the national stadium that you can impress your mates with on your way down Wembley Way!
  • Wembley Stadium is a UEFA category four stadium. With 90,000 seats, it is the second-largest stadium in Europe and the largest stadium in the United Kingdom and costs £798 million to construct.
  • The 133m tall arch that sits above the north stand has a span of 315 metres, making it the longest single span roof structure in the world. The arch supports all of the weight of the north roof and 60 per cent of the weight of the southern side, and with a diameter of 7.4 metres it is wide enough for a Channel Tunnel train to run through.
  • During excavation of the new playing field, the concrete foundations of Watkin's Tower, a failed attempt to construct a rival to the Eiffel Tower in London, were found. Only the base of the tower was ever built before being abandoned and demolished in 1907.
  • There are 107 steps in the trophy presentation route – the old stadium famously had 39 steps.
  • The acoustics of the new ground used the original stadium as a benchmark. Recordings taken during the 1999 FA Cup final and models of the stadium created by using three blasts of white noise during the England v Poland game in 2000 formed the basis of sophisticated computer models used by the design team.
  • The new ground encloses 4,000,000 m³ inside its walls and under its roof. This is the equivalent of 25,000 double-decker buses or seven billion pints of milk.
  • Each of the two giant screens in new stadium is the size of 600 domestic television sets.
  • The rows of seating, if placed end to end, would stretch 54 kilometres.
  • Wembley has 34 bars, eight restaurants, 98 kitchens and 688 food and drink service points. Approximately 40,000 pints of beer can be served during half-time of a match
  • The first game in front of spectators saw the Geoff Thomas Foundation Charity XI beat the Wembley Sponsors Allstars 2-0 on 17 March 2007, with ex-Palace personnel Mark Bright and Simon Jordan scoring. The first official match involving professional players was an under-21 game between England and Italy under-21s a week later, which finished 3–3.

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