Old Trafford is the second largest stadium in England and home to Manchester United FC. The stadium has a capacity of 75,811 seats. In the first decade of the 20th century Manchester United played its matches at a 50,000-stadium at Bank Street, when then president Davies began planning for a new stadium with double that capacity. A site was chosen near Trafford Park industrial estate, and architect Archibald Leitch appointed to design the stadium.
On the 19th of February 1910 the first match was played at the new stadium, a match between Manchester and Liverpool. Old Trafford counted at that time with one covered seating stand and open terraces on the other three sides. The capacity was slightly over 80,000.
Not many changes were made to the ground until the construction of a roof over the United Road terrace in 1934. In 1939 the stadium recorded its highest attendance of 76,962 during an FA Cup semi-final match between Wolves and Grimsby Town.
Due to its proximity to Trafford Park industrial estate, the stadium got heavily damaged by German air raids during World War 2. It took eight years to rebuilt the stadium, the delays being caused by limited post-war resources, and during that time United played at Maine Road, the ground of rivals Manchester City.
In 1949 the club moved back to a reconstructed, though smaller, Old Trafford, and in the following decades incremental improvements and expansions were made to the stadium, culminating in the complete renovation of the United Road (North) Stand in the 60s. This stand also held the first private boxes to be constructed at a British ground. During the 1966 World Cup the stadium hosted three group matches.
Further improvements were made to the ground in the 70s and 80s, mainly consisting of increased seating areas and executive facilities, however with the rise of hooliganism in Britain the stadium also saw the installation of security fences separating the stands from the pitch.
The early 90s saw Old Trafford being converted into an all-seater, the demolition of the famous Stratford End terraces to be replaced with the new West Stand, and the complete reconstruction of the North Stand. By the start of Euro 1996 this had resulted in a stadium that could hold about 56,000 fans.
During the Euro 1996 championships Old Trafford hosted three group matches, a quarter-final, and the semi-final between the Czech Republic and France (0-0). In the years following, second tiers were constructed on top of the East and West Stand.
In 2003 the stadium hosted for the first time a European cup final: the Champions League final between Milan and Juventus (0-0). A few years later the most recent changes to the stadium were made with the closing of the second tier corners on both sides of the North Stand, leading to the stadium’s current capacity.
Old Trafford is located just over 2 miles south-west from Manchester’s city centre, and just under 3 miles from Manchester Piccadilly stadium.
By car, from the M60, take junction 7&8 and turn onto Chester Road (A56) northbound. Follow Chester Road for about 2 miles and turn left onto Sir Matt Busby Way (access closed on matchdays).
By public transport the stadium is best reached by Metrolink overground metro. From Piccadilly Station it’s a 15-minute ride to Old Trafford station, which lies a 5-minute walk away from the stadium.
On matchdays a special train service is provided from most Manchester city centre stations to Old Trafford Stadium rail station.
Tickets for Manchester United games can only be bought online. Manchester United members receive priority when purchasing tickets. A membership costs £30.00 per year.
Even though Manchester United almost always plays for a full house, tickets for the games against lower-league teams will often be available in general sale.
Ticket prices vary from £28.00 to £50.00. For more information call +44 (0) 161 868 8000.
Manchester United organises guided stadium tours that include the dugouts, players tunnel, and the Manchester United Museum. The tour lasts about 60 minutes.
Tours run seven days a week except matchdays. Tours leave about every 10 minutes between 9:40 am and 4:30 pm. On the day before a Champions League home match tours will end at 1:00 pm. The museum is opened from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, but closes on weekend matchdays and three hours before a non-weekend match.