|Theater of Dreams|
|Interior panorama from September 2012|
|place||Sir Matt Busby Way Trafford M16 0RA, Greater Manchester , United Kingdom
|start of building||1908|
|First game||19 February 1910
Manchester United - Liverpool FC 3: 4
|Renovations||1941, 1946-1949, 1951, 1957, 1973, 1995-2000, 2006|
|playing area||105 m × 68 m|
The Old Trafford is a football stadium in England and the home ground of the football club Manchester United . It is located in Trafford in Metropolitan County Greater Manchester , about three and a half kilometers southwest of central Manchester . The stadium is named after the Old Trafford district, which is also home to the Old Trafford Cricket Ground . With a capacity of 75,653, Old Trafford is the second largest football stadium in the United Kingdom after Wembley Stadium in London .
Old Trafford, nicknamed the Theater of Dreams by Bobby Charlton , was designed by architect Archibald Leitch and opened in 1910. The attendance record was achieved in 1939 when 76,962 spectators watched the FA Cup semi-finals between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Grimsby Town . Due to damage from aerial bombs during The Blitz in World War II , Old Trafford could not be used from 1941 to 1949 and Manchester United had to use the Maine Road stadium of city rivals Manchester City . The consequences of the Taylor Report published in 1990 resulted in extensive conversion work to a purely seated stadium in the following two decades, as a result of which the capacity has since fallen to 44,000 spectators. With several new stands, it rose to its current level by 2009.
Many important football matches have taken place at Old Trafford, including international matches for the English national football team , matches of the 1966 World Cup and the 1996 European Football Championship , the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League final and matches of the 2012 Olympic football tournament . Old Trafford is also home to important matches in the sport of rugby league , including the finals of the 2000 and 2013 World Cups ; in addition, the Super League final has been held here since 1998 .
Stadium construction and first years
The Manchester United Football Club , in 1878 as Newton Heath L & Y Railway Football Club founded, played in the first three decades of its existence at two different locations: first, to 1893 at the North Road in the district of Newton Heath , then at Bank Street in Clayton . Both stadiums were characterized by very poor space conditions, with the playing fields more like gravel pits or swamps. On Bank Street, the players also suffered from the smoke from neighboring factories. Brewery entrepreneur John Henry Davies saved the club from bankruptcy in 1902 and renamed it Manchester United. When more successful times began with the championship title in 1908 and the Cup victory in 1909, he no longer considered the stadium on Bank Street to be appropriate, so he made funds available for a new stadium. Davies looked for a suitable location in and around Manchester and found an open space beside the Bridgewater Canal in Old Trafford.
The first design by the Scottish architect Archibald Leitch , who had previously designed several stadiums, envisaged a capacity of 100,000 spectators. While a covered seating grandstand was planned on the south side, uncovered standing terraces were to be created on the other three sides. Together with the land purchase, the initial cost of construction was estimated at £ 60,000 . As costs began to rise, an additional £ 30,000 would have been required to achieve the intended capacity. At the suggestion of club secretary John Bentley , the capacity was reduced to approximately 80,000 spectators. Despite these austerity measures, the high construction costs cemented Manchester United's reputation as a “ moneybags ” club (Moneybags United) , which Manchester United had acquired since it was taken over by Davies , especially since the transfer fees were around £ 1,000 at the time.
In May 1908, Leitch tried to convince the Cheshire Lines Committee (CLC), which owned a depot immediately next to the proposed building site, by letter to support the construction of the main stand next to the railway line with 10,000 pounds - repayable in annual installments of 2,000 Pounds or half of the income from the grandstand ticket sales until the loan is paid. Despite assurances that the association itself and two local Davies-run breweries would vouch for the loan, the CLC turned down the proposal. The CLC had planned to build a train station next to the new stadium. The Trafford Park station was finally built just under two kilometers further out of town than originally planned. Two decades later, a small bus stop with wooden platforms was built right next to the stadium. It opened on August 21, 1935 and was initially called United Football Ground , but was renamed Old Trafford Football Ground at the beginning of the following year .
The construction work on the stadium was carried out by Messrs Brameld and Smith from Manchester, and the construction project was completed at the end of 1909. The opening game took place on February 19, 1910: Manchester United received Liverpool FC and lost 3: 4. A Sporting Chronicle journalist attending the game reported that the stadium was “the most handsome, spacious, and extraordinary arena I have ever seen. As a football stadium it is unmatched in the world, it is an honor for Manchester and the home of a team that can work miracles if they are so willing. "
Before the Wembley Stadium was built in 1923, the FA Cup finals were held in alternating stadiums in England, including twice at Old Trafford. The first encounter was the replay of the 1911 final between Bradford City and Newcastle United after the actual final at Crystal Palace had ended in a goalless draw after extra time. Bradford won 1-0 in front of 58,000 spectators in Manchester on April 26th. The second final took place on April 24, 1915. Here triumphed Sheffield United 3: 0 against Chelsea . Since most of the 50,000 spectators were military personnel, this game was nicknamed the Khaki Cup Final . The first international match at Old Trafford followed on April 17, 1926: In front of 49,429 spectators, England lost 1-0 to Scotland .
As part of a £ 35,000 modernization program, the North Stand received an 80 yard (73.15 meter) roof in 1936 , and roofs were added over the two southern corners two years later. When the Second World War broke out, requisitioned the army stadium in order to use it as a warehouse. Football continued to be played until a German air raid on the neighboring industrial area of Trafford Park on December 22, 1940 damaged the stadium so much that the planned Christmas game against Stockport County had to be moved to the visiting team's stadium. After the damage had been repaired, the game could be resumed on March 8, 1941, but another German attack on March 11 destroyed a large part of the stadium (especially the main stand). Manchester United was forced to relocate its headquarters to Colnbrook refrigerated warehouse owned by club chairman James W. Gibson.
Under pressure from Gibson, the War Damages Commission granted the club £ 4,800 in compensation for cleaning up the rubble and an additional £ 17,478 for rebuilding the stands. While the stadium was being rebuilt, Manchester United played its home games on Maine Road , the stadium of city rivals Manchester City . The club had to pay £ 5,000 annually in rent and give up a share of the audience income. Manchester United now had a debt of £ 15,000 and could hardly pay it off due to the increased costs. The House of Commons MEP Ellis Smith from the Labor Party asked the government in vain for an increase in compensation for the club. More than eight years after the destruction, Old Trafford could be used again. The first game at the restored stadium took place on August 24, 1949, when 41,748 spectators watched the home team's 3-0 win over Bolton Wanderers .
Modifications after moving back in
In 1951 the roof over the main grandstand was restored and soon afterwards the three remaining grandstands were also given a roof, most recently the west grandstand in 1959. The club invested 40,000 pounds in a suitable floodlight system so that the stadium can also be used for European cup games during the week and thus avoid the need to switch to Maine Road. To avoid disturbing shadows on the field, two sections of the grandstand roof have been removed. The first game under floodlights was a championship game between Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers on March 25, 1957.
Although viewers could now see the players in the evening, the problem was still that the support pillars restricted the field of vision. The upcoming soccer World Cup in 1966 prompted the club's management to completely redesign the north stand on United Road. The old pillars were replaced in 1965 by modern projections on the roof, which gave all spectators an unrestricted view of the game. At a cost of 350,000 pounds, the grandstand capacity was expanded to 20,000 spectators (half seating and half standing). The responsible architects Mather and Nutter redesigned the grandstand so that the terraced standing area was in front and behind it the larger seating area, with the first VIP boxes in a British football stadium. The east grandstand, the only one not yet covered, was redesigned in 1973 in the same style.
Now that two grandstands had been provided with cantilevers, the club owners worked out a long-term plan to convert the other two grandstands and to transform the stadium into a bowl-like arena. By doing this, they hoped to focus the noise of the crowd on the pitch, which would help create a better atmosphere. Since the final of the FA Cup in 1970 had ended in a draw, a repeat was scheduled on April 29, 1970 at Old Trafford; Chelsea won the game against Leeds United 2-1 in front of 62,078 spectators. The stadium was also the venue for the second leg of the 1968 World Cup , in which Estudiantes de La Plata secured the trophy with a 1-1 draw.
In the 1970s, British football saw a dramatic rise in hooliganism . A spectator threw a knife on the field of play against Newcastle United on February 27, 1971, after which the club was forced to erect a protective fence for the first time in a British stadium. As a result of this incident, Manchester United had to play the first two home games of the 1971/72 season at Anfield Road in Liverpool . From 1973 the stadium was covered in its entirety. The east stand received an additional 5,500 seats and in the north-east corner the old, manual display board was replaced by an electronic model. In 1975 a £ 3 million expansion program began, beginning with the addition of the Executive Suite to the main stand. You could see the field from the suite's restaurant, but the pillars still blocked the field of vision. For this reason, the roof of the main stand was also given a cantilever. This enabled the Executive Suite and the roof to be extended to the entire length of the grandstand, which enabled the club to relocate its offices from the southeast corner to the main grandstand. The southeast quadrant was removed in 1985 and replaced with a seating section. The completion of the cantilever roof on three sides of the stadium allowed the old floodlight pylons to be replaced in 1987 and new floodlights to be fitted around the inner edge of the roof.
Conversion to a pure seating stadium
With every renovation that had been made since World War II, the stadium's capacity fell continuously, from 80,000 originally to around 60,000. The Taylor Report published in 1990 , which examined the causes of the Hillsborough disaster in Sheffield on April 15, 1989, had far-reaching consequences. Based on the report, the British government called for the stadiums of all first and second division clubs to be converted into seats-only stadiums. Manchester United had planned to replace the west stand with a new standing stand with a cantilevered roof for £ 3.5 million. These plans now had to be fundamentally changed. The forced redesign, which also required the removal of the standing areas in front of the three remaining stands, not only increased costs to around £ 10 million, but also reduced audience capacity to an all-time low of 44,000. In addition, the government announced in 1992 that the association would receive only £ 1.4 million in subsidies for work related to the Taylor Report, instead of the possible £ 2 million.
Since the club celebrated more successes again from the early 1990s and thus increased in popularity, this required further structural measures. In 1995, the 30-year-old north stand was torn down in order to build a new one in view of the upcoming European Football Championship in 1996 . To this end, the association acquired 81,000 square meters of commercial space on the opposite side of United Road in March 1995 for £ 9.2 million. Construction began in June 1995 and was completed in May 1996. Two of the three tiers of the grandstand were able to open during the season. The grandstand, which cost a total of £ 18.65 million to build, had a capacity of 25,500, bringing the total capacity to more than 55,000. The cantilever roof measured 58.5 meters from the rear wall to the front edge and was the largest in Europe at the time. During the European Championship in 1996, three group matches, a quarter-finals and a semi-finals were played at Old Trafford.
The continuing success of Manchester United in the following years made further expansion appear financially worthwhile. First, a second tier was added to the east stand by January 2000, increasing the capacity to 61,000 spectators. The addition of a second tier to the west stand in the following year added more than 7,000 additional seats. The capacity was now 68,217 spectators, making Old Trafford the largest club stadium in Great Britain. On May 28, 2003, Old Trafford hosted a major European final for the first time when the Italian clubs AC Milan and Juventus Turin faced each other in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League final .
From 2001 to 2007, after the old Wembley stadium was demolished, the English national team temporarily had no actual home ground. During this time she was a guest at various stadiums, for example at Villa Park in Birmingham or at St. James' Park in Newcastle . Between 2003 and 2007, twelve of the 23 home games also took place at Old Trafford. The last international match so far in the Manchester United stadium was played on February 7, 2007, with England losing 1-0 to Spain in front of 58,207 spectators .
Since the expansion in 2006
An expansion of Old Trafford carried out between July 2005 and May 2006 increased the stadium capacity by an additional 8,000 seats by adding second tiers in the northwest and northeast quadrants. Some of the new seats could be used for the first time on March 26, 2006, when 69,070 spectators were present in the 3-0 home win against Birmingham City and achieved a record attendance for a game in the Premier League . The record was successively increased until it reached a temporary high on March 31, 2007 with 76,098 viewers and 76,212 available seats. A change in the rows of seats in the stadium led to a reduction in capacity by 255 seats to 75,957 in 2009. For the 2013/14 season, the Premier League indicates a further slightly reduced capacity of 75,731 spectators.
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the stadium on February 19, 2010, the club organized several events. The official website listed 100 memorable events in the stadium's history, from which a jury (including former players Pat Crerand and Wilf McGuinness ) selected the ten best. A drawing competition for children from nearby schools was held under the direction of artist Harold Riley, in which they created depictions of the stadium in the past, present and future. The best drawings were honored and exhibited in the entrance to one of the grandstands. Former goalkeeper Jack Crompton and general manager David Gill opened a special exhibition in the club's museum on the anniversary day . At the home game against Fulham FC on March 14th, the fans received a reprint of the program booklet for the first game at Old Trafford and during the half-time break, descendants of the players involved at the time, the then club chairman John Henry Davies and the stadium architect Archibald Leitch, buried one near the central tunnel Time capsule with memorabilia.
During the 2012 Summer Olympics , Old Trafford hosted several games of the football tournament . The men played five preliminary rounds, a quarter-finals and a semi-final, while the women played a preliminary round and a semi-final. It was the first time ever that international women's soccer matches had taken place at Old Trafford.
In 2013, Trafford City Council classified the stadium as an Asset of Community Value , which would mean that Manchester United would first have to offer Old Trafford to interested parties from the community in the event of a sale. The management of the association initially opposed this classification, but later withdrew the request for revision.
Structure and facilities
The Old Trafford pitch is surrounded by four covered grandstands. They are officially called Sir Alex Ferguson Stand (North Stand), East Stand ( East Stand ), Sir Bobby Charlton Stand (South Stand) and West Stand ( West Stand ). The grandstands have at least two tiers, with the exception of the south stand, which has only one tier due to structural restrictions. The lower tier of each grandstand is divided into a lower and an upper section, the latter being created in the early 1990s by converting the earlier terraces. The stadium can be visited daily on guided tours (with restrictions on match days).
North Stand (Sir Alex Ferguson Stand)
The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand , formerly known as the United Road Stand and North Stand , stretches across the adjacent United Road . The grandstand is three tiers high and holds around 26,000 spectators, making it the largest of the four grandstands. It can also accommodate some fans in VIP boxes and hospitality suites . In its current form, it opened in 1996 and has been the main grandstand of Old Trafford ever since. It houses several facilities, including the Red Café (a Manchester United themed restaurant) and the club museum with the trophy collection. The museum opened in 1986 as the first facility of its kind in the world and was originally located in the southeast corner of the stadium until it moved twelve years later. The museum was reopened on April 11, 1998 by Pelé ; thereafter the annual number of visitors rose from 192,000 to more than 300,000 in 2009.
On November 5, 2011, the North Stand was officially renamed the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand in honor of Alex Ferguson 's 25th anniversary as the club's coach. Ferguson received another honor on November 23, 2012 with the unveiling of a statue. The work by sculptor Philip Jackson is made of bronze, is nine feet (2.74 meters) high and stands on the outer wall of the grandstand.
South Stand (Sir Bobby Charlton Stand)
The South Stand is the former main stand of Old Trafford. Although it has only one tier, it contains most of the VIP boxes. Media representatives are seated in the middle of the upper section to give them the best possible view of the game. The frame for the television cameras is also attached to the south stand, so that this side of the stadium is least visible during television broadcasts. TV studios can be found at both ends of the south stand; the club's own broadcaster MUTV uses the studio on the east side, while other broadcasters such as the BBC or Sky use the studio on the west side.
The coaches' benches are located in the middle of the south stand, raised slightly above the level of the field, so that the coaches have a better view of the action. Both flank the old player tunnel, which was in use until 1993. The tunnel is the only remaining part of the original stadium from 1910; in the bombing in World War II, which destroyed most of the stadium, he was unscathed. It was renamed Munich Tunnel on February 6, 2008 , in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 1958 Munich plane crash , in which eight Manchester United players were killed. The new player tunnel is located in the southwest corner and also serves as an entrance for emergency services. In the event that large vehicles need to enter the stadium, the seating above the tunnel can be raised 25 feet (7.62 meters). The tunnel leads through the interview zone to the cloakrooms and the players' lounge.
On April 3, 2016, the South Stand was renamed “Sir Bobby Charlton Stand” in honor of former player and goalscorer Sir Bobby Charlton.
West Stand (West Stand)
The West Stand is also commonly known as Stretford End as it faces in the direction of the Stretford borough . Traditionally, Manchester United's most fanatical and loudest supporters hang out here. Originally with a standing capacity of 20,000, Stretford End was the last grandstand to be covered and also the last remaining fully terraced grandstand in the stadium before the upgrade in the early 1990s. The remodeling of Stretford End during the 1992/93 season was carried out by Alfred McAlpine . In addition to individual VIP boxes, this grandstand has since also included an area for families. Stretford End is so deeply rooted in fan culture that Denis Law was nicknamed King of the Stretford End . Since 2002, a 10-foot (3.05-meter) high statue by the sculptor Ben Panting at the entrance to the upper tier of the grandstand commemorates him. Stretford End also hosted a year counter from 2000 to 2011 that counted the trophy-free years for city rivals Manchester City. The banner was taken down at the stand of 35 years after City won the FA Cup in 2011.
East Stand (East Stand)
The east stand was the second stand that received a cantilever roof. It is also commonly known as Scoreboard End , called because once the here scoreboard (English scoreboard was). The east stand can currently accommodate almost 12,000 visitors and is the location of the guest sectors as well as the seats for physically handicapped spectators with their attendants. During the 2011/12 season, the guest fans were assigned third place in the north stand as part of an experiment, but the results could not be determined in time for the 2012/13 season, so this temporary measure remained.
At the back of the east stand has a tinted glass facade, behind which are the offices of the club administration and the editorial staff of the club magazine Inside United . The facade is often decorated with pictures and advertising messages (mainly products from the shirt sponsor Nike ). In memory of the Munich plane crash, the facade was decorated in January and February 2008 with a picture of the Busby Babes , the successful team of the 1950s trained by Matt Busby . A permanent memorial to this misfortune, which represents a deep turning point in the club's history, is a plaque at the southern end of the east stand (in the form of a football field). At the transition between the east and south stands, the Munich Clock ("Munich clock") has also been installed since 1960 , a simply designed clock with the inscriptions "Feb 6th 1958" and "Munich".
The Manchester United fan shop has been in six different locations since it opened. Originally it was housed in a small hut next to the train tracks south of the stadium, later it was moved to a building opposite the entrance to the south stand. The club's growing popularity in the early 1990s led to another move, this time to the forecourt of the west stand. This move was associated with a significant expansion and the conversion of the small shop into a “megastore”, which Alex Ferguson opened on December 3, 1994. Only a few years later, this megastore had to give way to the expansion of the west stand and was relocated to a temporary location opposite the east stand. The fan shop has been located on the ground floor of the extended east stand since 2000 and has a sales area of 1,600 square meters. The store is owned and operated by Nike. A bronze statue of Matt Busby, also a work by Philip Jackson, has stood above the entrance since 1996.
Playing field and surroundings
With a length of 105 meters and a width of 68 meters, the pitch has the dimensions required for European Cup competitions. The center of the playing field is about nine inches (about 23 centimeters) higher than the edges, so that the rainwater can drain away better. Underfloor heating is installed 25 centimeters below the playing field , consisting of plastic pipes with a total length of 23 miles (37 kilometers). Since the 2013/14 season, the playing surface has consisted of an 800,000 pound hybrid turf from the Desso GrassMaster brand , made up of 97 percent natural grass and 3 percent synthetic fibers.
In the mid-1980s, when Manchester United owned the Manchester Giants basketball team , there were plans to build a 9,000-seat sports hall on the site of today's E1 car park. However, then-chairman Martin Edwards was unable to raise the funds necessary to make the project a reality and the team was eventually sold. The Hublot Clock Tower , a ten-meter-high clock tower that is shaped like the logo of the Swiss watch manufacturer Hublot and has four dials, each two meters wide, has been in this parking lot since August 2009 .
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of winning the European Cup for the first time, another bronze statue of Philip Jackson was unveiled on May 29, 2008. It represents the so-called "Holy Trinity" of Manchester United. These are the players George Best , Denis Law and Bobby Charlton , who were then known as The United Trinity ("The United Trinity"). The statue stands on Sir Matt Busby Way, the street that runs along the east stand, directly opposite the Busby statue. In the immediate vicinity of the stadium, on the opposite bank of the Bridgewater Canal, the Hotel Football , a ten-story hotel building with 138 rooms , is currently being built . The project, which will be worn by former United players Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs , is slated for completion in late 2014. The hotel should also allow fan events with up to 1,500 participants.
Manchester United plans to further increase the capacity of Old Trafford in the longer term. A new construction of the south stand is planned, which is the only one that still has only one tier. If the new building were designed in the same way as the north stand opposite, the stadium's capacity would increase to 95,000 spectators, which would mean 5,000 more seats than the Wembley Stadium. Such a construction project would cost around £ 100 million. It is uncertain whether the project will ever be realized in this form. Compared to the other new grandstands, it would be disproportionately expensive, as the adjacent railway line would have to be laboriously bridged due to the limited space behind the grandstand. On the other side of the railway line, there are also private properties with houses on them that would have to be expropriated and bought up.
Use next to football
Old Trafford is not just a football stadium, but also served other purposes. Even before the stadium was built, the area was used for Shinty , the traditional game of the Scottish Highlands . During World War I , American soldiers played baseball games at the stadium, and in 1981 cricket games were held as part of the Lambert & Butler Cup . On October 9, 1993, Old Trafford was the site of a super middleweight boxing match between WBO world champion Chris Eubank and WBC world champion Nigel Benn . The fight in front of around 42,000 spectators ended in a draw after nine rounds.
The Old Trafford is of particular importance as a venue for rugby games, with matches in the League version occurring significantly more frequently than those in the Union version. The final of the Super League , the most important European rugby league championship, has been held exclusively at Old Trafford since the play-off system was introduced in 1998. This agreement is in force until at least 2017. The first rugby league game at Old Trafford took place during the 1924/25 season, when a selection team from Lancashire received the New Zealand national team , with Manchester United receiving 20 percent of the revenue. The first championship game followed in November 1958: Salford met Leeds in front of 8,000 spectators .
The first international rugby league match ( test match ) took place on October 25, 1986 . Australia beat Great Britain with 38:16 in front of 50,583 spectators . The third edition of the World Club Challenge (Rugby League World Cup) was held on October 4, 1989 at Old Trafford; the team from Widnes beat the Canberra Raiders with 30:18 in front of 30,768 spectators . Further games between the national teams of Australia and Great Britain followed in 1990, 1994 and 1997. As part of the Rugby League World Cup in 1995 , England met Wales in the semi-finals and prevailed in front of 30,042 fans with 25:10. During the Rugby League World Cup in 2000 , Old Trafford hosted the final. This ended in front of 44,329 spectators with a 40:12 victory for Australia over New Zealand. The final of the Rugby League World Cup 2013 was also played at Old Trafford. Australia won 34: 2 against defending champions New Zealand. The audience number of 74,468 at the time also meant a new world record for an international rugby league match.
The first international rugby union match at Old Trafford took place on November 22, 1997 when the New Zealand All Blacks beat England 25-8. A second international match followed on June 6, 2009; England beat Argentina 37-5 . The stadium was designated as one of twelve venues for the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup . In April 2013, however, Manchester United canceled the contract with the organizers, as the club feared that the rougher play compared to Rugby League in a crowd could affect the quality of the new hybrid turf.
Old Trafford has also hosted several concerts, with artists such as Bon Jovi , Genesis , Bruce Springsteen , Status Quo and Rod Stewart performing in the stadium. A special feature was the Simply Red concert on June 29, 1996 on the occasion of the 1996 European Football Championship in England .
In September 1994, an edition of the BBC music program Songs of Praise was recorded here. Old Trafford is also regularly used for private occasions, especially weddings, Christmas parties and business meetings. The first wedding ceremony on the stadium grounds took place in February 1996 in the Premier Suite .
The attendance record for a football game at Old Trafford came about on March 25, 1939 without the participation of Manchester United: In the FA Cup semi-finals, Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Grimsby Town 5-0 in front of 76,962 spectators . The highest number of spectators for a championship game of the home team before the Second World War was recorded on December 27, 1920, when 70,504 visitors followed the 1-3 loss to Aston Villa . These two records came about when the stadium was significantly smaller than it is today, but mostly had standing room. The record for a seat-only game is 76,098, achieved in Manchester United's 4-1 win over Blackburn Rovers on March 31, 2007. This is also the record number of viewers for a game in the Premier League. The record for a friendly was 74,731 when Manchester United faced New York Cosmos on August 5, 2011 .
The lowest attendance at a championship game was achieved on April 29, 1950, when only 11,968 spectators saw Manchester United's 3-0 win over Fulham FC . For a Second Division game between Stockport County and Leicester City on May 7, 1921, the official attendance figure is 13. This figure is misleading, however, as it does not include many of the 10,000 or so spectators who stayed at the stadium after the previous Manchester United- Derby County match .
The highest average attendance over an entire championship dates from the 2006/07 season, when an average of 75,826 spectators were present at the 19 Premier League home games at Old Trafford. The highest total number of spectators for Manchester United followed in the 2008/09 season: a total of 2,197,429 people came to 30 games (19 Premier League, 1 FA Cup, 4 League Cup , 6 Champions League). The lowest average attendance (championship and cup games) was 11,685 in the 1930/31 season.
The information on the number of viewers (and thus also the records) vary depending on the counting method. While Manchester United, like other clubs, always stated the number of tickets sold as the number of visitors, the police counted the number of spectators actually appearing in the stadium for security reasons: According to these figures, Manchester United had an average attendance of 61,739 in the 2012/13 season , the club, however, gave the average with 73,653. In a Champions League game against CFR Cluj in December 2012 , 71,521 tickets were sold, but only 46,894 turned up for the game, according to the police.
The Manchester United Football Ground train stop is adjacent to the stadium's south stand . It is on the Liverpool – Warrington – Manchester line , between Trafford Park and Deansgate stations. Since it opened in 1935, it has been served exclusively on match days by special trains that run to and from Manchester Piccadilly Central Station (with a stop at Oxford Road ). It is operated by Northern Rail . The stadium can also be reached by the Manchester Metrolink light rail system . The nearest stops are Exchange Quay (on the Eccles line ) and Old Trafford (on the Altrincham line, next to Old Trafford Cricket Ground ) and are both a few minutes' walk away. Motorists can park their vehicles in the club's own parking lots, which are east and west of the stadium and along the Bridgewater Canal (up to a distance of about 600 meters). In addition, several bus lines stop not far from the stadium.
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