History of Wembley Stadium
At a cost of £798 million in 2007, it was the most expensive stadium built in history, and it has the world's largest roof-covered seating capacity. For Wembley National Stadium Limited, Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners was hired to assist with building plans and obtaining planning permission for a new stadium.
With a capacity of 90,000, the stadium has a bowl design with a sliding roof that does not completely cover it. A circular lattice arch spanning 315 metres (1,033 feet) and rising to 133 metres (436 feet) is the stadium's signature feature, measuring 7 metres (23 feet) internal diameter. The north roof is supported by it, as is the retractable roof on the south side, which is supported by it at 60% of its weight. Wembley’s arch is the world's longest unsupported roof structure.
The stadium can temporarily be converted to athletics use with a platform system, but its capacity will be reduced to approximately 60,000 if it is used. No athletics events (track and field) have taken place at the stadium; the stadium was required to be converted to athletics use in order to receive lottery funding, which would cost millions of pounds and take weeks to complete. Since London was awarded the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in 2005, the London Olympic Stadium has been used for major athletic events.
Foster + Partners and HOK Sport (now Populous) designed and worked together with engineers Mott Stadium Consortium, a collection of three structural engineering consultants, including Mott MacDonald, Sinclair Knight Merz and Aurecon, to design the building services. Mott MacDonald designed the building services.
The construction of the stadium was managed by Australian company Multiplex and funded by Sport England, WNSL (Wembley National Stadium Limited), the Football Association, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the London Development Agency.
Sporting Events at Wembley Stadium
As the stadium is owned by the Football Association (the governing body of English football), the English national football team uses it extensively. Following the FA Cup final and FA Community Shield final, the League Cup final moved back to Wembley in 2007. Wembley has also hosted the Football League promotion play-offs and the Football League Trophy finals, which were previously held at the stadium. Since 2007, the Conference National (now National League) play-off final and FA Women's Cup final have been held at Wembley.
The new Wembley was a significant part of the plan for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London; it hosted several games in both the men's and women's football tournaments, including the final. Gebler Tooth, who also designed Team GB House at the London 2012 Olympics, designed the FA offices at Wembley Stadium, which also included a boardroom and social areas.
In addition, Wembley Stadium hosted both semi-finals of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, and it was one of the 13 venues for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The stadium also hosted the Race of Champions events in 2007 and 2008.