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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Welcome to wherever you are

Yesterday I got to go to Wembley for the first time. Our visit was club class thanks to Peter's kind hospitality. Lots of salmon and white wine and uniformed young ladies calling you "sir".
From inside the place looks like an airport, particularly in the posh bits. The old Wembley used to smell of beer and urine. The new one smells like the world's biggest McDonald's. The seats are surprisingly comfortable and the sight lines are excellent but once you're inside you can no longer see its only interesting architectural feature, the arch. The old place was unlovely but whenever you see footage or stills shot there you knew immediately what you were looking at.


  1. I went to the FA Vase final at Wembley last May and Icouldn't believe that when it rained you still got wet!! All that money and it was as damp as before. Still Truro City won so I didn't mind that much.

  2. I'm tired of the over-reliance on Norman Foster and Richard Rogers in architecture. When I heard Foster was designing the new stadium, I guessed what it would look like (an arch of scaffolding), and was proved exactly right when the plans were revealed. Foster had two duties - to make it wonderful and effective to use on the inside, and make it memorable to look at from the outside. I think he's only achieved the former. The unique twin towers will always be remembered; the arch is already forgettable.

  3. I hate sport, but love the words 'FA Vase'. If we could have the FA Candlestick or the FA Fruit Bowl, I could be persuaded to get interested.

  4. I like the arch - it appears to defy the laws of physics by remaining in place - but I can't imagine it will age well. And you can see it from inside, but it depends where you're sitting.

    The rest of the outside is distinctly dreary. It pales next to the new Allianz Arena in Munich, or pretty much anything built in Japan or South Korea in recent years. Inside it's a perfectly nice, well-designed place to watch football, but there's nothing to differentiate it from most other modern stadiums. It's just like the Emirates, but bigger.

  5. Love the photo - it's like the answer to a 'spot the ball' competition

  6. I don't really like the new Wembley. I think the arch is boring and reminds me of a half-built section of a rollercoaster. The acoustics are crap and I would rather smell beer and piss than fried glutamates and emulsifiers any day!