Friday, March 23, 2007 at 10:35 AM
This Saturday, London’s Wembley Stadium will host its first event after more than six years of reconstruction. It looks like the work has paid off, as this is what the stadium now looks like:
Photo courtesy of Craig Morey/pixelthing.comThe closure of Wembley for all this time has been a pretty big deal, as it’s the official (and spiritual) home of English football, or soccer as our American audience knows it. The English national team plays its most important matches there, and in 1966, it was the site of England’s greatest triumph on the world stage, a controversial 4-2 defeat of West Germany in the FIFA World Cup Final. Here’s a brief account of the match, along with tactical analysis, for those who are interested in exploring the finer points of the game.
Apart from its role as an important sporting venue, it regularly plays host to many major concerts. A band has definitely arrived if they make it to Wembley — just read rock journalist Mark Paytress's book, which includes a description of a 1972 T. Rex concert, to see how important a gig there can be. Some of the largest acts in popular music have played gigs there, and it was the natural place for the English half of the first Live Aid concert in 1985.
There are already a number of events on the new Wembley’s calendar: a Metallica concert, a regular season American football game, and, as is traditional, the final of the FA Cup, a major English soccer tournament. I’m definitely hoping to make it to a game there one day. In the meantime, I’ll keep reading up on it!