Arsenal called Highbury home for 93 years before it moved into the Emirates Stadium in 2006. Highbury was no longer able to accommodate the Arsenal fanbase or the club’s plans for expansion, which were being hindered by housing. Construction plans for a new stadium were first being made in the 1990s.
Although, at that time, discussions about moving into the new and reopened Wembley Stadium were also being held. The final decision, however, was to move into a stadium that was a mere few hundred yards from Highbury. After several delays, work on the Emirates got underway in 2004. Arsenal fans are often so keen to see their team play, they arrive up to an hour early. Here’s a guide to the Emirates stadium, including how to get there and what to do if you’re early.
What to Do If You Arrive Early
As long as you have your smartphone with you, you should be able to find something to keep you entertained. You can bet on the upcoming match for example. Placing a bet will take just minutes, and if you have some extra time and want to play more, check out the scratch card games available online. It’s the quickest way to test your luck and is an ideal game if you’re in a hurry.
Getting to the Emirates Stadium
The Emirates Stadium is based in Islington, slightly more than two miles away from Kings Cross St Pancras railway station. There are a number of different public transport options to get to the stadium. One of these options is the underground, with the closest tube station being Arsenal, which is on the Piccadilly line. Supporters are discouraged from making their way to the stadium by car on match days, and there is a lack of available parking on non-matchdays.
You can purchase match tickets over the Internet or by phone on 0844 277 3625 (+44 207 649 9003 if calling internationally). Arsenal is one of the most difficult Premier League clubs to get tickets for and supporters will often require to be a member of the club in order to buy tickets. The basic membership is the Red Level membership, which costs around £33. This allows supporters to be buy tickets during pre-sale.
Arsenal matches fall into one of three categories. Category C match tickets start at £26, with the higher-end central upper-tier seats sell at £51. Category A tickets start at £63.50 and go up to £126 for a central upper-tier seat. A £2 booking fee applies. Member tickers are slightly less.
Arsenal supporters have the option of taking the self-guided stadium tour. They are free to walk around the stadium at their own pace with an audio guide for company. Along the route are the players’ tunnel and changing rooms.
Another option is a tour offered by an Arsenal legend. It may even be Arsene Wenger himself, who recently gave permission for a statue of himself to be erected outside the stadium. Both tours include a visit to the Arsenal stadium.
The self-guided tours are open seven days a week. Entry starts at 10:00, with the last entry at 5:00 pm. No tours are available on matchdays, and times may change on the day before or after a match or other event. The duration of the tour is anything between 55 and 90 minutes.
The legend-led tours take place at 1:00 pm daily and last for 75 minutes.