The Emirates: Arsenal FC

Arsenal Football Club, Hornsey Road, London, N7 7AJ

Jason Batterham Bigstockphoto.com

For most people of a certain age it is impossible to separate Arsenal from Highbury, their home from 1913 until 2006. Much as that ground was only ever known as Highbury despite its official name being Arsenal Stadium, so modern day football fans will perhaps only ever call the club’s new stadium The Emirates no matter what happens in the future.

Arsenal themselves are one of the most successful British clubs ever, with 13 top-flight titles to their name alongside a record 13 FA Cups. They were the first club from the South of England to join the Football League, which they did in 1983. In the 2003-2004 season the club went unbeaten for the entire Premier League season, the only club to have done so since its formation in 1992.

Stats

The Emirates Stats
Year Opened2006
Capacity60,260
Average Attendance60,031
Record Attendance60,161 ( Arsenal v Man United (2007))
Pitch Size105 x 68 (7140)
Former NameAshburton Grove
OwnerArsenal Holdings plc
SponsorEmirates
Clubs HostedArsenal
First FixtureArsenal v Ajax (22/07/2006)
Arsenal Stats
Year Founded1886
NicknameThe Gunners
Club MascotGunnersaurus Rex
RivalsTottenham, Chelsea, Fulham, West Ham, Manchester United
Previous StadiumsManor Ground, Invicta Ground, Highbury
KitRed & White (Home) / Gold & Black (Away) / Black with Gold, Blue & White Stripes (Third)
Training GroundArsenal Training Centre
Shirt SponsorFly Emirates
Team OwnerArsenal Holdings plc
Record GoalscorerThierry Henry (228)
Record AppearancesDavid O'Leary (722)

The Emirates Photos

The Emirates Seating Plan & Where to Sit

By Crookesmoor (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Emirates Stadium sees an abandonment of the more typical design of British stadiums that have four stands on each side of the ground. Instead the architect, Christopher Lee, opted for a three-tiered bowl. The upper and lower stands feature standard seating, whilst the middle tier is taken up premium seating and is known as ‘Club Level’. There are also 150 boxes above the club level.

Each section of the stadium does have a name like more traditional stands, which the choice open to you being not only where to sit but also whether to go for the upper or lower section of the ground. Whilst upper sections offer superb views the atmosphere isn’t quite as good as down below.

Away fans are normally seated in the lower section of the Clock End, whilst the rest of the ground is taken up by the home supporters. Whether you opt to sit in the Clock End, The East Stand, The West Stand or The North Bank, where the most vocal Arsenal fans sit, you’re pretty much guaranteed an excellent view of the match.

Arsenal Ticket Prices

Ticket prices for matches at The Emirates are amongst the most expensive in the league. The prices of tickets are different depending on whether or not you’re an Arsenal ‘member’. This requires you joining the membership scheme and paying a yearly fee, in return for which you’ll be able to buy tickets in advance of general sale and for less money than non-members will have to pay.

Here we’ll give you the price for non-members to go to a game at The Emirates. Arsenal make it very difficult to find out their ticket prices for juniors, concessions and so on, so here you’ll see the least expensive and the most expensive ticket prices for adults. Like most clubs, Arsenal separate their league fixtures into categories depending on how popular they imagine the matches will be. For that reason we’ll give you each category and the prices therein.

League Games

  • Category A - £65.50 - £97
  • Category B - £37.50 - £56.50
  • Category C - £27 - £39.50

How To Get Arsenal Tickets

You can buy tickets for Arsenal matches via the club’s website, their telephone booking line, by post and in person by heading to the box office which is beside the Arsenal club shop on Drayton Park. There’s a strong chance that people will be selling tickets near the ground on the day of the match, but we strongly recommend you avoid buying from such types.

Getting To The Emirates

Swap Start/End

The Emirates is located in the Islington area of London, so the transport options are numerous and top-notch. However you want to get to Arsenal’s ground you should find it a reasonably pain free experience.

Train - Your best bet for rail travel is to get yourself to one of Central London’s main stations and then get on the tube. Arsenal is the closest tube stop and is about 3 minutes walk from the ground, but both Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington are around 10 minutes away. The latter stations are also on the Great Northern railway line. For your information, Drayton Park is closed on match days and Holloway Road is exit only before and after matches.

Bus - There are bus stops on each side of The Emirates, so your options for this form of travel are plentiful. There are direct routes to the ground from most of North & Central London, so consult TfL for more specific information.

Car - The Emirates is in a mostly residential area, so driving to the ground is tricky to say the least. If you really want to, however, then the postcode is N7 7AJ and you’ll be heading towards Central London. You maniac.

By Air - Gatwick, Heathrow, Stanstead and London City Airports all serve London so if you’re hoping to fly to the match then picking your airport is the best place to start. Once you’ve done that you’ll be able to find a way to get to Central London from there and then follow our directions for travelling by train.

Taxi - A taxi from Euston, for example, would set you back about £15 and would take around the same amount of minutes, traffic depending.

Parking Near The Emirates

We’re not going to say that parking near The Emirates is impossible, but it’s very, very tricky. There are numerous parking restrictions in place around the stadium that will stop you being able to park on a road that is reserved for residents. It’s also worth noting that traffic wardens are often out in full force on match days, so we’d recommend that you park in an official parking garage if you can find one.

Useful Resources

The Emirates Hotels

As you may have gathered from reading this guide, The Emirates is close to Central London. That means that your hotel options are virtually limitless. We’ve found some that are near to the ground for you here, though:

The Milestone Apartments - £75

105 Seven Sisters Road, London, N7 7QP
Just over half a mile from the stadium lie these self-catering apartments that offer housekeeping and laundry service along with free Wi-Fi. A good option if you’re thinking of coming to London with someone who doesn’t want to go to the match and would quite like a home from home. More details.

The Montcalm At Brewery London City - £120

52 Chiswell Street, Sundial Court, London, EC1Y 4SB
Around 2.5 miles from the ground, this hotel has a fitness centre, a top-class restaurant and free Wi-Fi. More details.

Hilton London Angel Islington - £199

53 Upper Street, London, England, N1 0UY
Around 1.4 miles to The Emirates Stadium, The Hilton offers free Wi-Fi, a restaurant and bar and self-parking, something that is often at a premium in London. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near The Emirates

London is filled with more bars and pubs than you can shake a stick at, though why you’d want to shake a stick at them rather than drink in them isn’t exactly clear. What is clear is the amount of choice you’ve got, so if you don’t like the sound of our suggestions then don’t panic!

The Twelve Pins

263 Seven Sisters Road, N4 2DE (020 8809 0192)
An Irish bar that tends to get very busy indeed on match days, The Twelve Pins is the perfect location for your pre-match pint. They do delicious food, too, though make sure you get there early if you want to get a seat!

The Auld Triangle

52 St Thomas's Rd, London N4 2QW (0207 354 2869)
Another Irish bar, The Auld Triangle has plenty of big screens for any pre-match sport you might want to watch. It’s pretty much equidistant from the ground and Finsbury Park Underground Station, so expect it to get nice and busy in the build up to the match.

The Drayton Park

Drayton Park, Highbury, Greater London, N5 1ND (Unknown)
The pub of choice for away supporters due to its proximity to the section of the ground the opposition fans are housed, The Drayton Park offers exactly what you’d expect of a pub on a match day: beer, non-alcoholic drinks and not much space to stand.

Facilities

As one of the newest stadiums in the country, the facilities available at The Emirates are excellent. From kiosks selling food and drink through to areas for you to place bets before and during the match, the ground has got everything you’d expect a modern day Premier League stadium to offer.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.50
  • Pie: 3.70
  • Cup of tea: 2.30
  • Beer: 4.30

Hospitality

By Javi Rodríguez from L'Ametlla de Mar, Catalunya (Emirates Stadium) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The hospitality options at The Emirates are excellent and numerous. The fact that the website for information about Arsenal’s hospitality is premiumconcierge.arsenal.com should tell you everything you need to know about the quality of the experience you’re likely to enjoy should you choose to watch a match in that manner!

We won’t tell you every single different hospitality on offer, so instead here are three that are from different price brackets so that you know the sort of thing you’ll be getting if you go down the hospitality route:

  • Club Arsenal - Here you’ll enjoy a champagne reception, a three course buffet before the game on a private table, complimentary beers, wines and soft drinks, a match programme, an Arsenal gift and premium seating.
  • The Heritage Package - Tickets for this package are sold in pairs, so you and your guest will enjoy a cocktail on arrival, a five course meal with half-time and full-time snacks, a private table at the club’s exclusive restaurant, champagne at the table as well as complimentary drinks, a match day programme and premium seating in the midfield section of the pitch.
  • Club Level VIP - No messing around here; you’ll receive a champagne reception in the director’s box with a club legend, a pre-match four course meal on a private table, complimentary drinks for the duration of the match day, a souvenir photograph alongside your club legend, a signed Arsenal item and a match day programme as well as premium seating on the Club Level.

Private Hire

Much like with the hospitality options, there are numerous different types of private hire you can opt for at The Emirates. Their website is an excellent place to start, allowing you to say what sort of layout you want for your event - from boardroom to cabaret via dinner dance and theatre - and then saying the amount of guests you want to bring.

Both its location in one of London’s suburbs and the excellent facilities on offer mean that The Emirates is one of the countries premier locations for events and private hire occasions. From product launches to business meetings, the options on offer at The Emirates are truly excellent.

Stadium Tours & Museum

Tours of The Emirates stadium are excellent. As one of the most modern grounds in the country the entire time you spend at the stadium has been thought out and well planned. You’ll get to sit in the changing room, walk down the tunnel to the pitch and have your photo taken in the manager’s chair.

The other great thing about The Emirates is that there are numerous different tour options depending on how much time you’ve got and how much you want to spend. There is a self-guided audio tour of the stadium, narrated by former Arsenal great Bob Wilson, a Legends Tour that is led by a club legend and includes them telling you stories about their time at the club, and a guided tour that takes place on a match day.

All tours include entrance into the Arsenal museum where you’ll be able to look at the fascinating features, see Arsenal’s bulging trophy cabinet and enjoy their fascinating exhibits. If you’d rather see the museum without having to go on the tour then that’s possible too and will cost you £8 for adults, £5 for under 16s and over 65 years olds and is free for under 5s. The museum is open 7 days a week including match days.

Tour prices are £20 for adults, £15 for OAPs and £10 for children on the self-guided tour and varying prices for the Legends Tour depending on who is giving it.

About Arsenal

Jason Batterham Bigstockphoto.com

Founded in 1886 by workers at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, the Gunners are also one of the only clubs to have had their home in both North and South London at different times in their history. Arsenal fans have long enjoyed a rivalry with their North London counterparts Tottenham Hotspur; a rivalry that was aided, as far as Arsenal supporters are concerned, by the fact that are more successful than their neighbours. Arsene Wenger is, at the time of writing, the longest standing manager in English Football.

For a deeper look at the history of Arsenal football club from a fans perspective see First Football Histories: The Arsenal FC story

The Emirates History

Called The Emirates Stadium because of sponsorship, the ground originally started life as Ashburton Grove and is the third largest stadium in England. Only Wembley and Old Trafford boast larger capacities than Arsenal’s ground.

Tentative steps towards moving to a new stadium began for Arsenal in 1997 when they explored the notion of buying Wembley. In 2001 the club won the council’s approval to build on the site where the stadium now stands and work was completed in 2006, costing £390 million.

Over the last few years the ground has gone through a process of “Arsenalisation” after fans said they felt it lacked the feel of any of Arsenal’s history or heritage. They have attempted to turn it into a ‘visible stronghold of all things Arsenal’ via methods such as the installation of ‘The Spirit of Highbury’, a shrine that depicts every player to have played for Arsenal over the last 99 years.

As well as some classy football The Emirates has also witnessed concerts by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay and Muse.

Future Developments

The waiting list for an Arsenal season ticket has over 40,000 people on it, so it would be far to say that the club would like to expand their capacity if they could. Unfortunately it is not just the stadium that would need to be developed in order to do this as both local tube stations currently operate at maximum safety capacity on match days. Any changes to the capacity at The Emirates would also need to entail developments of the local stations, too. There are no plans to do that at present.

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