Emirates Stadium – Home of Arsenal

Emirates Stadium is a football stadium located in London. It is the current home of Arsenal, the English Premier League club. With a capacity of 60,260, it is the fourth largest football stadium in England after Wembley Stadium, Old Trafford, and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Emirates Stadium is Arsenal’s new home ground, which began to be used in the 2006-07 season. It is located in Holloway, in the London Borough of Islington, in the north of the city.

The stadium opened on 22 July 2006 and has a seating capacity of 60,432, making it the fourth largest football stadium in the UK, and the second-largest stadium in the Premier League after Old Trafford. It is also the third-largest stadium in London, after Wembley and Twickenham, which hosts rugby matches.

The stadium’s first official match took place on 19 August 2006, in a 1–1 draw with Aston Villa in the 2006–07 Premier League. The first goal was scored by Swedish defender Olof Mellberg.

Key facts

Club: Arsenal FC

Opening: 2006

Capacity: 60,361 seats

Emirates Stadium History

The need for a new stadium

Arsenal began to develop a stadium larger than Highbury, which had a capacity of 38,419 people (the smallest of almost all major European clubs), during the latter part of the 1990s. Considering that there was little room for expansion of Highbury, as it was located next to a public road and buildings, the club’s main project was the construction of a new stadium.

Arsenal had a membership waiting list that had been shut down for some time, with over 20,000 members, and was missing out on a lot of potential revenue. However, finding a location for a new stadium in London was extremely difficult.

The club was willing to consider the location, close to the M25 if necessary, but had a strong preference for a location in the London Borough of Islington, near Highbury. At a stage, they had considered moving to Wembley Stadium (Arsenal had hosted the UEFA Champions League matches there during the 1998-99 and 1999-00 seasons), but in the end, withdrew that possibility from the plans. There was widespread speculation that Arsenal and Tottenham (their biggest rivals) would move to play at the new Wembley stadium when it was completed, although Arsenal was already well into the then Ashburton Grove project at this time.

The Choice by Ashburton Grove

The club had chosen a location, an industrial park in Ashburton Grove, just 500m from Highbury. The plan was announced in November 1999, with a planned opening date of August 2003, which was later pushed back to summer 2006 due to planning and financial difficulties.

Construction of Emirates Stadium

Construction of the stadium began in February 2004. As well to the stadium itself, two bridges over the railway line connecting the north of the city with Drayton Park were also built, these were completed in the summer of 2004. The covered stadium, in August 2005, is being completed ahead of schedule. The club announced that by February 2006, 90% of the captive chairs had been sold, and by June 2006, the rest had been sold as well.

The first seat in the new stadium was solemnly installed on 13 March 2006 by Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby. The stadium’s floodlights were successfully tested for the first time on June 25, just under a month before it opened, and a day later the poles were erected.


Initially, the stadium was to be called Ashburton Grove, after the street on which it is located, but on 5 October 2004 Arsenal announced a £100 million sponsorship deal with Emirates Airlines. The agreement provided for the name change to Emirates Stadium, as a marketing strategy for the United Arab Emirates company, which would finance the project together with the Royal Bank of Scotland. The project cost £430 million, including the cost of associated infrastructure. The agreement also provided for shirt sponsorship for a period of eight years, starting with the 2006-07 season.

The stadium name is often shortened to The Emirates, although some fans continue to use the previous name (Ashburton Grove) for the new stadium, especially those who oppose the concept of stadium names being directly linked to corporate sponsorship.

Due to UEFA regulations, the stadium is not officially called Emirates Stadium in competitions such as the UEFA Champions League, as Emirates is not an official sponsor of this competition. UEFA refers to the stadium as Arsenal Stadium, a name that was also used for the former Highbury stadium, despite the vast majority of fans calling it Highbury.


The stadium opened on 22 July 2006 and has a seating capacity of 60,355, making it the fifth-largest football stadium in the UK, and the second-largest stadium in the Premier League, behind Old Trafford. It is also the third-largest stadium in London, after Wembley and Twickenham, which hosts rugby matches.

On the opening date, the then number 10 of the club and idol of the fans, Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp, ​​ended his brilliant career as a football player, in a game against Ajax, the club that revealed him. The game marked the inauguration of the stadium, and the score ended 2–1 for Arsenal. The stadium’s first goal was scored by Ajax’s Klaas Jan Huntelaar.

The official opening took place on 26 October 2006 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. It had been anticipated that Queen Elizabeth II would officially open the stadium, but the Queen suffered a back injury and was unable to attend that day.

Panorama of Emirates Stadium.
Panorama of Emirates Stadium.

Emirates Stadium Capacity

It has a seating capacity of 60,361.

Emirates Stadium Records

The largest attendance at a match at the Emirates Stadium is 60,161 in a 2–2 draw against Manchester United on 3 November 2007. Arsenal’s average attendance for the stadium’s first season (2006-07) was 59,837, averaging 60,045 in the Premier League, increasing slightly to 60,070 in 2007–08, Arsenal’s second season at the new stadium.

The stadium’s capacity is the third-largest in UK football, behind only Celtic Park and Old Trafford.

How to get to Emirates Stadium?

The Emirates Stadium is located in the Islington area of ​​north London, just 2 miles from King’s Cross St. Pancras Railway Station.

There are several ways to get to the stadium by public transport. A tube is an option: the nearest tube station is Arsenal, on the Piccadilly line. Suitable alternatives are Finsbury Park (Victoria and Piccadilly Lines) and Highbury and Islington (Victoria and London Overground Lines) stations. The stadium is about a 10-minute walk from both stations.

On non-match days, Holloway Road Station (Piccadilly Line) is the nearest station, but it will be closed before the match and you can exit after the match.

Alternatively, you can take the train to Finsbury Park or Highbury & Islington mainline stations. It is a 5-10 minute drive from Kings Cross Station. Trains also run from Moorgate during the week. Drayton Park Railway Station, the closest to the stadium, is closed on match days.

Fans are discouraged from coming by car on match days and limited parking is available around the Emirates Stadium on non-match days.

Address: Emirates Stadium, London N5 1BU

Emirates Stadium tours

Arsenal offers the option to see the Emirates Stadium through a self-guided stadium tour. You can visit the stadium at your own pace with an audio guide company. The tour includes changing rooms and a players’ tunnel.

Alternatively, the club offers guided tours of the stadium through an Arsenal legend. Both tours include access to the Arsenal Museum.

The stadium itself is open for guided stadium tours 7 days a week. Admission is from 10:00 a.m. and the last admission is from 5:00 p.m. There are no tours on match days and the stadium may close the day before the match or event. It takes 55 to 90 minutes to complete the tour around the stadium.

The Legends tour begins at 1:00 pm each day and lasts for 75 minutes.

The Self-Guided Tour is 17.50 and the Legends Tour is £ 35.00. Tours can be booked online, by calling +44 (0) 20 7619 5000, or upon arrival at the stadium (self-guided tours).

Muhammad Saleem is an aspiring writer and Admin at Football Arroyo. He is a fabulous Football writer, and a huge football fan. He is also a football fan since childhood and has a keen interest in regional sports events coverage.

Leave a Comment