Old Trafford - The Games Venue Guide

Old Trafford - The Games Venue Guide
By Eurosport

02/07/2012 at 12:02Updated 02/07/2012 at 18:17

During the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Manchester ground will play host to nine matches in the men's and women's football tournaments, including a semi-final in both competitions.

One of the most spectacular and impressive sports venues in Great Britain, Old Trafford has a remarkable history and a fantastic sporting heritage.

As the world famous home of 19-time English champions Manchester United the ground regularly welcomes sell-out crowds of 76,000 fans for Premier League and Champions League football matches. Old Trafford has also hosted numerous rugby union and rugby league fixtures, as well as boxing matches.

As a neutral venue Old Trafford hosted international football matches in the 1966 FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championships in 1996.

The England national football team played several matches here when London’s Wembley Stadium was being rebuilt and the stadium also hosted the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final between AC Milan and Juventus. Several big name music concerts have taken place at Old Trafford, including performances by the likes of Bon Jovi, Genesis, Bruce Springsteen, Status Quo and Rod Stewart.

During the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Manchester ground will play host to nine matches in the men's and women's football tournaments, including a semi-final in both competitions.

Established as Manchester United’s permanent home more than 100 years ago – it was built in 1910 – Old Trafford was extensively damaged by bombing during the Second World War. That meant United were forced to rely on the neighbourly hospitality of their local rivals Manchester City, the current English champions, who allowed the Reds to use their then home at Maine Road, whilst Old Trafford was rebuilt.

The famous ground re-opened in 1949, though it has undergone several facelifts and expansion projects since then, originally due the introduction of all-seater stadia requirements in the 1990s and later to increase capacity and allow more fans to attend matches.

Capacity: 76,000

Public facilities: As one of the most modern and well-equipped stadiums in England, Old Trafford does not lack for facilities and will have extra services available during the Olympics. The Games Mobility service will be present, plus there is a London 2012 Shop. There will also be London 2012 information points for venue and sports information, transport updates, lost and found services and pushchair and wheelchair storage.

History: Founded more than a century ago Old Trafford has undergone two major rebuilding projects, the first immediately after it was damaged in the Second World War and the most recent being a modernisation and expansion process over the last two decades.

Timetable: Football (26th July to 7th August)

How do you get there?: Manchester is an easy place to reach by train, road or plane. Trains are direct to Manchester’s Piccadilly station from London and Victoria station is also a popular destination. Manchester Airport has a direct train to Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Central coach station is a short walk from Piccadilly. Olympic football attendees can travel free to Old Trafford on Metrolink trams from Piccadilly with their match tickets (alight at Exchange Quay or Old Trafford and it's a ten minute walk). Meanwhile, frequent free shuttle buses for Olympic event ticket-holders are another option from Piccadilly and will drop you off right next to the stadium. Park-and-ride is also available for Old Trafford on Olympic match days.

Location – in relation to other venues: Approximately 200 miles to the North of London.