Arsenal stadium

Arsenal changed home turf numerous times since their humble beginnings in Southeast London.

Plumstead

plumsteadShortly after being founded and renamed to Royal Arsenal in 1886, the team utilized the premises of Plumstead common urban park in the Royal Borough of Greenwich for training purposes. However, this didn’t prove ideal, and so the club searched for alternative premises, initially moving to the nearby Sportsman Ground in Plumstead, only to relocate again to Manor Ground in 1888. Having found the facilities unfavourable, Royal Arsenal settled at the Invicta Ground in 1890, and remained there for the following three years, before returning to Manor Ground (Invicta Ground proving to be too expensive).

Manor Ground

It was here that Royal Arsenal would take home their first local victories and subsequently enter their first FA Cup. This success was sadly overshadowed by the realization of the growing divide between the pro leagues and amateur southern football clubs. Taking the leap into professionalism in 1891 proved to be no easy task for Royal Arsenal, having been barred from the local tournaments by the London Football Association. After a failed attempt at setting up a Southern football league, the club founded and renamed itself Woolwich Arsenal LLC in order to raise funds to buy Manor Ground. Woolwich Arsenal’s eleven seasons playing Second Division in the FA Cup and eventual promotion to first in 1903/04, only served to bring to light the club’s struggle, owing to their dwindling financial situation. Being based in the sparsely isolated region of Plumstead, the match turnout and thus club revenue was invariably low. Woolwich Arsenal became bankrupt in 1910 and temporarily disbanded, before being bought by a syndicate of businessmen, headed by property magnate and Fulham club owner Sir Henry Norris.

Highbury

highburyAware of the location difficulties of the club’s stadium, Norris had the Arsenal Stadium constructed and the team relocated to the Highbury in 1913. It was the same year, after their first FA Match, that Woolwich Arsenal would become merely known as Arsenal.

Arsenal proved to be successful following this move, and would subsequently go on to purchase the grounds in 1925, calling them home until their move to Ashburton Grove in 2006, leaving the prior site to be converted into luxury apartments with the historical facades preserved and left intact.

Emirates Stadium / Arsenal Stadium/ Ashburton Grove

emirates-stadiumWith its repertoire of sold out matches and increasing amount of supporters over the years, it was only fitting that Arsenal move to a larger stadium. Initially being denied the request to expand Highbury, they purchased a site in Ashburton Grove, which would house the stadium in 2000 and they were granted approval for its development a year later. The move was initiated in 2002, whereby it stalled briefly till 2004, due to financial difficulties. Emirates Airlines was announced as the sponsor shortly afterwards. The stadium under was finalized in 2006 at a cost of a whopping £390 million and an additional expense of £130 million in 2009 for Highbury Square development.

The current home of Arsenal Football Club boasts a capacity of 60,000 spectators, making it the third largest football stadium in England.