London 2007 – Emirates Stadium

There’s one more place I’d like to blog about from my time in London.

I’m pretty sure you would know which place. You don’t think I would miss this one out, did you?

The Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal Football Club!

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Arsenal is THE only football club in north London, nay, even the whole of London by itself. You want evidence of why I make that bold claim? There is even an Underground station named Arsenal. Arsenal is so big it warrants a train station named Arsenal. You won’t see Totscum train station or Chelsea train station no matter how hard you find.

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Here, the stadium…

Panorama 1

When it opened, the Emirates Stadium was the most modern football stadium in England. It still is, actually. Everything in here are all state of the art. And it doubled up Arsenal’s matchday capacity from 32000 to well over 60000. More spectators = more money. Of course, they have been hampered by the massive debt incurred for building this stadium, but it is a necessary long term solution.

It was a shame that I was unable to catch a live football match here. We had to make do with getting a stadium tour. I tell you, if you are a neutral, the best value for money if you want a football stadium tour is this one. Like I mentioned above, this is the newest stadium with the best infrastructure.

Anyway, let’s continue with photos. Lots of photos.

First up, we were brought to the pitch. The football field. This is probably the most important part of any stadium tours, so it comes first. This is where you get to feel like a professional footballer for some minutes.

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Mandatory photo by the crest
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The tunnel where players line up before taking the pitch
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By the pitch
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By the pitch
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Subs bench by the pitch
Panorama 2
Panoramic pitch

Then we were brought to the dressing room. This is where the players spend their time before a match, at the half time break, and after a match is over.

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Sharing seats with Arsenal superstars.

Seriously, Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas used to sit in the exact same dressing room. Of course, also a host of money grabbing wankers like Ashley Cole, Samir Nasri and Robin ‘little boy’ van Persie. I was worried with how Arsenal was going at that time, when we went through a period where we sold all our superstars and replaced with lesser players. Thankfully, we were only warming the chairs for the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez of today.

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Tour guide acting like coach with the strategy board

And then we were brought to a press conference room. Usually, this is the place where they announce the signing of a new player. But we went there for a different purpose. It was two kid’s birthday that day, so they decided it was a good idea to throw the birthday kids a nice surprise by making them the center of everyone’s attention.

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Kids being “signed” by Arsenal

I guess I should explain to the laymen, the Emirates Stadium has not always been Arsenal’s home stadium. They only completed construction and started using this stadium in 2006. Which means it was barely 1 year old when I visited. Just a couple streets across sits Highbury, Arsenal’s original stadium since 1913. At that time, some fans were understandably unsettled and upset with the stadium change, so a little bit of Highbury was brought over.

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Patch of grass from last game in Highbury

In fact, even when this stadium was under construction, they already placed a time capsule here, with lots of stuff from Highbury put inside. This would remind people of our heritage and legacy.

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Time capsule

Last but not least, the trophy room. Arsenal may not have won any meaningful titles since 2005, but they ARE a football powerhouse in England. They DO have lots of trophies.

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Trophies
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More trophies
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Even more trophies

I loved this stadium tour. I love this stadium. It was the happiest day of my life…

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26 Comments

  1. Very happy for you CL that you got to visit your club’s stadium. Looks like you got to see it inside out. Such a treat. Was it one of the bigger stadiums you’ve ever visited, at 60,000 capacity? It looked like your group was a very obedient bunch going round the stadium 😀

  2. i think i have not been to any stadium before when i was in UK, hahaha!! in fact let me recall how many stadiums i actually have been?? hmmm, maybe just those in KL (for school sports day and concert) and the HK Coliseum for a concert too :p

    • In England, there are general stadiums, and football stadiums. Football stadiums will only be used for football and nothing else. No concerts will be done here.

  3. They could seat 60,000! Wow! That’s big one.
    I am surprised that you were so easily contented with the stadium tour till it became the happiest day of your life. I tried to recall back which place made me feel the happiest day of my life – Grand Canyon!

    Eh I like your hamsap T-shirt. Go screw yourself!

    Muahahahaha

  4. Your trip to London without a visit to your ‘god’ would be unthinkable (hehe)….the very source of your blog’s name. So, technically, your butt met the butts of some of your stars, eh? And yeah, Arsenal do have a lot of trophies….the ones that don’t count…..wakakakaka!! 😀 Glad you managed to take your two mandatory photos…one with the crest and the other with the cannon. 🙂

    • Tsk… You must be a recent football fan. Agreed, we have not won the EPL for some years now, but up till 2005, we have been constant winners/challengers. I visited in 2007, so that was still fairly recent lah… Those trophies that I took were from EPL, FA Cup and Emirates Cup (ok this one meaningless)… 😛

      And this year… hopefully… 🙄

      • Nah….fat hopes…but top 4 (for sure)! I think it will be Man City’s though I’d like to see a dark horse like Leicester win it….a team with no big names, no expensive payroll (compared to the big 4 lah) and no big ego managers! 😀 If they continue to play like they do now and consistently…who knows…anything is possible!

        • I really like Ranieri to be honest. I think he is a very good manager, just maybe not suited for big clubs with big egos. Still, I don’t think they can last the distance. I sure hope they will stay around though, and not do a Hull City.

          Like you said, anything is possible, so even us winning this season is possible too! Just wish the injuries stop happening 😐 .

  5. Wah, the Football Club cannot be missed lor, since you are a football fan.. Although I’m not a fan of football (I don’t even like football and anything to do with it), I’d still go inside take pictures la, “yat cheong hoi dou” (all the way go there liao), kan?

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