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Wembley Stadium: A New Chapter for the Stadium
Various talks are underway about the sale of Wembley Stadium. Many ask, what will this mean for the future of the venue?
A Brief History of Wembley Stadium
The highly prized home of English football, an outstanding venue hosting the latest and greatest football and music events. Year after year, Wembley Stadium gathers thousands of fans from all over the world to enjoy the atmosphere of a thrilling evening.
Indeed, such defining moments for English football have been created at Wembley. England’s victory in the 1966 World Cup. The Stanley Matthews FA Cup Final of 1953 and England’s performances in the European Championship of 1996 are just a few reasons to mention as to why Wembley is the heart of English football.
Though the original ground and its well acquainted twin towers are long gone, the new Wembley still remains close to many fans.
On top of that, Wembley offers an abundant experience with luxurious hospitality suites offering first class dining options. Sumptuous food, drinks and more. The Club Wembley hospitality experience is like no other. Increasingly, a night at Wembley is paired perfectly with a superb hospitality package.
History has and continues to be made at the icon that is Wembley Stadium, however, with talks of selling the venue well underway, fans wonder what this will mean for Wembley going forward.
As of present, Wembley Stadium is currently owned by the Football Association (the FA) which is the governing body of English football. Within the next few years, this story may change.
The Newly Proposed Bid
The proposed £600m bid to buy Wembley Stadium stands from American businessman Shahid Khan, owner of Fulham FC and US NFL team Jacksonville Jaguars.
The FA council will vote on the proposed Wembley sale on the 24th October. Until then however, many weigh out the pros and cons of selling the venue.
So, why is Wembley Being Sold?
Reportedly, the case for selling Wembley is strong with some arguing that the stadium drains the FA’s resources. With reconstruction costs still owed to creditors, any upkeep and improvement costs to the venue will increase the FA’s responsibility.
Supporters of the sale comment that the FA can liberate itself from the construction and venue business and renew priority to its original focus: football. But questions arise as to how the money will be spent following a sale.
Additionally, private ownership may also provoke the England team to play at other venues more frequently. Which will serve to encourage a stronger connection with fans away from Wembley such as in the North or in the Midlands.
What Will A Potential Sale Mean for Wembley?
‘Wembley will remain England's home’ reassures Shahid Khan.
Many speculated that Wembley Stadium would become the new home to Fulham following a sale, yet Khan insists he has no intentions of moving the team if his purchase is approved. Instead, he plans to renovate Fulham's Craven Cottage.
On the other hand, the sale could see the growth of the NFL franchise within the capital. Khan could potentially base his Jacksonville Jaguars team at Wembley which would significantly increase UK support for the sport. With NFL London matches already being held at Wembley Stadium, there is incredible scope for growth in this field.
Khan is keen in furthering the growth of Wembley Stadium insisting in a previous statement: ‘an agreement will provide exceptional opportunities to invest in the game while ensuring that Wembley Stadium will forever be the national stadium of England [and] unquestionably one of the finest venues in the world.’
Those who oppose the sale have a more emotional and sentimental approach towards the proposition. They hold that tradition should be preserved and that the home of English football should not be sold at any price. Only time will tell what this next chapter holds for Wembley Stadium.
Whether a sale is approved or not, Wembley Stadium is certain to remain the number one destination for football and major events in the UK. The fan base will continue strong, so long as the outstanding experience that Wembley promises is upheld.
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