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Top facts about Old Trafford, the Red Devils Den

Thu 23 December 2021 | 17:30

A stadium located in Manchester and the place where Red Devils have perfected their ways of unleashing hell over the opponents' team, Old Trafford has been the house of Manchester United, and today we are ready to take a tour inside its wall; top facts about Old Trafford, the Red Devils Den.

Old Trafford is the home of Manchester United and is located in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, and the main subject of

top facts about old Trafford

article.

It is the second-largest football stadium in the United Kingdom after Wembley and the eleventh-largest in Europe, with a capacity of 74,140 seats. Old Trafford Cricket Ground and the nearby tram stop are around 0.5 miles (800 m) away.

Old Trafford, dubbed "The Theatre of Dreams" by

Bobby Charlton

, has been United's home field since 1910, albeit the team shared Maine Road with local rivals Manchester City from 1941 to 1949 due to bomb damage during WWII.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Old Trafford underwent major additions, including the building of additional levels to the North, West, and East Stands, almost restoring the stadium to its former capacity of 80,000.

A complete description of Old Trafford, the Red Devils Den

In this article of top facts about Old Trafford, we are aiming to completely describe this stadium for the ones who have only seen this beautiful field through their TVs.

We will also take some history lessons and read about its past as well as the plans which the owners have in mind for

Old Trafford's future development

. Now, without further introduction let us hop into the article of top facts about Old Trafford and enter the red devils’ den.

Old Trafford History

Let us get back to the old and prime days of the field and read about top facts about Old Trafford.

Prior to 1902,

Manchester United was known as Newton Heath

, and its football matches were held at North Road and subsequently Bank Street in Clayton. Both facilities, however, were plagued by deplorable conditions, with pitches varying from gravel to marsh, and Bank Street being plagued by clouds of pollutants from nearby manufacturers.

Following the club's near-bankruptcy rescue and rebranding, new chairman John Henry Davies determined in 1909 that the Bank Street facility was unfit for a team that had just won the First Division and FA Cup, so he contributed cash to build a new stadium.

Davies, who isn't one to waste money, scoured Manchester for a suitable location before choosing on a plot of property near to the Bridgewater Canal, right off the north end of Old Trafford's Warwick Road.

Construction

How was the field built and what is the

Old Traffords capacity

? Let's find out in this section of top facts about Old Trafford.

The field was initially constructed with a capacity of 100,000 people and had covered seating in the south stand, but the other three stands were left as terraces and uncovered. It was created by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch, who also designed numerous other stadia.

The stadium's construction was initially estimated to cost £60,000 in total, including the acquisition of the site. However, when prices increased, reaching the targeted capacity would have cost an additional £30,000 above the initial estimate, thus the capacity was cut to about 80,000 at the advice of club secretary J. J. Bentley.

Messrs Brameld and Smith of Manchester were in charge of construction, which was finished in late 1909. On February 19, 1910, the stadium staged its first game, with Manchester United taking on

Liverpool

.

The home team, however, was unable to give a triumph for their supporters, as Liverpool prevailed 4–3. According to a writer who attended the game, the stadium was described as "I've never seen a more beautiful, large, or stunning venue than this one.

It is an honor to Manchester and the home of a club that can perform miracles when they are in the right frame of mind as a football pitch ".

Incidents

The

top facts about Old Trafford

is not only about the structure and the stadium itself but also the incidents that happened in this field. For the first time, an 80-yard-long roof was built to the United Road stand (now the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand) in 1936 as part of a £35,000 reconstruction, while roofs were added to the south corners in 1938.

When the Second World War broke out, the military requisitioned Old Trafford for use as a storehouse. Football continued to be played at Trafford Park, but a German bombing strike on the stadium on December 22, 1940, severely damaged it, forcing a Christmas Day match against Stockport County to be moved to Stockport's pitch.

On March 8, 1941, football resumed at Old Trafford, but on March 11, 1941, a second German bombing devastated most of the stadium, including the main stand (now the South Stand), forcing the club's operations to relocate to Cornbrook Cold Storage, which is owned by United chairman James W. Gibson.

The War Damage Commission awarded Manchester United £4,800 to clear the wreckage and £17,478 to restore the stands after Gibson applied pressure.

Manchester United played their "home" games at Maine Road, the home of their cross-town rivals,

Manchester City

, for a cost of £5,000 a year plus a portion of gate proceeds, while the stadium was being rebuilt. Even though Old Trafford was reopened in 1949, although without cover, it had been over ten years since a league game had been played there.

Developments

Take a walk with us as we walk through the process of the development of this legendary arena in this section of top facts about Old Trafford.

By 1951, the roof of the Main Stand had been rebuilt, and the three other stands had been covered shortly after, with the Stretford End (now the West Stand) receiving a roof in 1959.

The club also spent £40,000 on appropriate floodlighting so that they could utilize the stadium for European games that were scheduled late on weekday evenings rather than having to play at Maine Road.

Two parts of the Main Stand roof were chopped removed to prevent casting unsightly shadows on the field. On March 25, 1957, a First Division match between Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers was the first to be played under floodlights at Old Trafford.

Despite the fact that fans would be able to see the players at night, they would still be hindered by the pillars that supported the roofs. With the 1966 FIFA World Cup coming, the United directors decided to totally renovate the United Road (north) stand, which would host three group matches.

In 1965, the ancient roof pillars were replaced with modern-style cantilevering on top of the roof, enabling every spectator a totally unobstructed view, and the stadium was extended to house 20,000 people (10,000 seated and 10,000 standing in front) at a cost of £350,000.

The new stand's architects, Mather and Nutter (now Atherden Fuller), reorganized the structure to include terracing in the front, a bigger sitting space in the back, and the first private boxes at a British football venue. In 1973, the east stand, which is the only surviving uncovered stand, was built in the same manner.

The club's rebirth in popularity and success in the early 1990s made it clear that further development was required. The 30-year-old North Stand was destroyed in 1995, and construction on a new stand started fast to be completed in time for Euro 96 when Old Trafford hosted three group games, a quarter-final, and a semi-final.

In March 1995, the club paid £9.2 million for the Trafford Park trade estate, a 20-acre (81,000 m2) land on the other side of United Road. Construction on the stand started in June 1995 and ended in May 1996, with the first two parts of the three-phase structure debuting during the season.

The new three-tiered stand, designed by Atherden Fuller with Hilstone Laurie as project and construction managers and Campbell Reith Hill as structural engineers, cost £18.65 million to build and had a capacity of roughly 25,500 people, bringing the overall capacity of the stadium to more than 55,000.

Old Trafford hosted 12 of England's 23 home matches between 2003 and 2007, more than any other venue. The most recent international match at Old Trafford was England's 1–0 defeat to

Spain

on February 7, 2007. The match drew a turnout of 58,207 spectators.

With the installation of second levels to both the north-west and north-east quadrants of the stadium, Old Trafford's most recent expansion, which took place between July 2005 and May 2006, saw an increase of about 8,000 seats.

The Manchester United women's squad

played West Ham United in the Women's Super League for the first time on March 27, 2021, at Old Trafford.

Future plans

United continued to have plans to expand the stadium's capacity in 2009, with the next step pointing to the reconstruction of the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand, which, unlike the rest of the stadium, remains single tier.

The stadium's capacity would be increased to an estimated 95,000 if the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and North-East and North-West Quadrants were replicated, making it larger than Wembley Stadium (90,000).

Due to the closeness of the railway line that runs parallel to the stadium and the resulting requirement to build over it and so acquire up to 50 residences on the other side of the railway, any such development is estimated to cost over £100 million.

Despite this, Manchester United's group property manager acknowledged that expansion plans are in the works, citing earnings from the club's real estate holdings in the Manchester area "For the stadium, there is a strategic plan... We have no intention of remaining still “.

Here is a futuristic fact among many other top facts about Old Trafford. The stadium's capacity might be increased to 88,000 people by replicating the corner stands on the other side and increasing the number of executive amenities.

Plans have been put on hold owing to logistical challenges, according to reports from 2018.

Due to the requirement to install heavy equipment in portions of the stadium that are now inaccessible or used by crowds during match days, as well as the fact that the stand currently houses the changing rooms, press boxes, and TV studios, any reconstruction is likely to be a multi-season undertaking.

Old Trafford Structure

Let us investigate the structure itself and learn more about the facilities located within its walls, in this portion of top facts about Old Trafford.

The Sir Alex Ferguson (North), East, Sir Bobby Charlton (South), and West Stands are the four covered all-seater stands that encircle the Old Trafford field.

With the exception of the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand, which has just one tier owing to construction constraints, each stand has at least two levels. Each stand's lowest tier is divided into Lower and Upper portions, with the Lower sections converted from terracing in the early 1990s.

The Sir Alex Ferguson stand

The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, also known as the United Road Stand and the North Stand, spans along United Road. The three-tiered structure, which is the largest of the four, can seat roughly 26,000 people.

In executive boxes and hospitality suites, a few fans may be accommodated. It was once a single-tiered stand and opened in 1996 in its present condition. Many of the ground's most popular features, such as the Red Café (a Manchester United theme restaurant/bar) and the Manchester United museum and trophy room, are housed in the main stand.

The Manchester United museum, which was the first of its type in the world when it debuted in 1986, was located in the southeast corner of the stadium until 1998 when it was relocated to the renovated North Stand.

Pelé

inaugurated the museum on April 11, 1998, and since then, visitor numbers have risen from 192,000 in 1998 to over 300,000 in 2009.

On November 23, 2012, a statue of Sir Alex Ferguson was unveiled at Old Trafford.

On November 5, 2011, the North Stand was renamed the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand in honor of Alex Ferguson's 25 years as manager of the club. On November 23, 2012, a 9-foot (2.7 m) statue of Ferguson was built outside the stand in honor of his distinction as Manchester United's longest-serving manager, sculpted by Philip Jackson.

The Sir Bobby Charlton stand

The Sir Bobby Charlton Stand, originally Old Trafford's primary stand and formerly known as the South Stand, is located directly across from the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand.

The Sir Bobby Charlton Stand, while being simply a single-tiered structure, houses the majority of the ground's executive suites as well as any VIPs that may attend the match. Members of the media are situated in the Upper South Stand's center section to have the finest view of the game.

Because the television gantry is also located in the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand, the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand is the one that is most often shown on television.

The Sir Bobby Charlton Stand has television studios on both ends, with the club's in-house television station, MUTV, in the East and other television networks, such as the BBC and Sky, in the West.

The manager and his coaches get an elevated perspective of the game from the dugout, which is located in the heart of the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand.

Other stands

The West Stand, popularly known as the Stretford End, is perhaps Old Trafford's most well-known stand. The stand is traditionally where the most ardent United supporters congregate, as well as where they create the greatest noise.

The Stretford End was the final stand to be covered and the only surviving all-terraced stand at the pitch before the forced conversion to seats in the early 1990s. It was originally built to house 20,000 supporters. Alfred McAlpine was in charge of the Stretford End redevelopment, which took place during the 1992–93 season.

Many supporters from the previous "K Stand" migrated to the Stretford End when the second tier was erected in 2000, and they opted to hang banners and flags from the barrier at the front of the tier.

The Stretford End is so embedded in Manchester United tradition that Denis Law was dubbed "King of the Stretford End," and a monument of him now stands on the top tier's concourse.

Old Trafford Field Metrics

The field is roughly 105 meters (115 yards) long by 68 meters (74 yards) wide at the ground, with a few meters of run-off area on either side. The pitch is nine inches higher in the middle than it is at the margins, enabling surface water to drain off more freely.

An underground heating system, consisting of 23 miles (37 km) of plastic pipes, lies 10 inches (25 cm) under the pitch, as it is at many contemporary venues. Former manager

Alex Ferguson

often asked that the field be resurfaced, most recently in the middle of the 1998–99 season, when the team won the Treble, at a cost of about £250,000 each time.

Old Trafford's grass is irrigated on a regular basis, albeit less so on rainy days, and mowed three times a week from April to November and once a week from November to March.

Now, time for the last part of top facts about old Trafford.

Old Trafford Other Uses

Other than football Old Trafford has been utalised for other sports and events too. Let us read about

Old trafford other uses

.

Both types of rugby football have been played at Old Trafford, however, the league is played there more often than the union. Since the 1986–87 season, Old Trafford has hosted every Rugby League Premiership Final, as well as the competition's successor, the Super League Grand Final, since 1998.

In 1997, when New Zealand beat England 25–8, Old Trafford hosted its first rugby union international. On June 6, 2009, a second match was held at Old Trafford, with England defeating Argentina 37–15.

The stadium was one of 12 confirmed locations for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, however United withdrew out of the deal in April 2013 due to worries over field condition and a desire not to jeopardize their connection with the 13-man code.

Aside from sports events, Old Trafford has hosted a number of concerts, including performances by Bon Jovi, Genesis, Bruce Springsteen, Status Quo, Rod Stewart, and Simply Red. In September 1994, an edition of Songs of Praise was recorded there.

Private occasions, such as weddings, Christmas parties, and business conferences, are often held at Old Trafford. In February 1996, the Premier Suite hosted the first wedding at the facility.

Old trafford Records

For the last part of the

top facts about Old Trafford

, we will take a look at the records which have taken place in this magnificent field.

On March 25, 1939, 76,962 people attended an FA Cup semi-final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Grimsby Town at Old Trafford. However, this was before the stadium was renovated to an all-seater stadium, allowing for a far larger capacity.

The record attendance for an all-seater stadium at Old Trafford is now 76,098, which was reached for a Premier League match between Manchester United and

Blackburn Rovers

on March 31, 2007.

The attendance record for a non-competitive game at Old Trafford is 74,731, which was reached on August 5, 2011, for a pre-season testimonial match between Manchester United and New York Cosmos. The lowest recorded attendance at an Old Trafford competitive game in the postwar period was 11,968, when United defeated Fulham 3–0 on April 29, 1950.

The facility, however, staged a Second Division match between Stockport County and

Leicester City

on 7 May 1921, with an official attendance of just 13. This statistic is a little deceptive since the stadium also housed many of the 10,000 fans who had stuck around after watching Manchester United's match against Derby County earlier in the day.

The highest average attendance at Old Trafford during a league season was 75,826, which occurred in 2006–07.

The highest overall attendance at Old Trafford occurred two seasons later when 2,197,429 fans witnessed Manchester United win the Premier League for the third year in a row, the League Cup, the UEFA Champions League final, and the FA Cup semi-finals.

The lowest average attendance at Old Trafford was in the 1930–31 season when each game drew an average of 11,685 fans.

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