Sunday, 18 March 2007

Wembley Stadium

Went to the new Wembley Stadium yesterday. Obviously, it isn't properly opened yet. I 'won' the chance after the local council offered tickets to local residents (ie me) to come and be the first to see and experience the new stadium.

We were to "help the organisers test facilities such as the turnstiles, escalators and toilets". In other words, we were to be human lemmings. If anything went wrong, we would be sacrificed to the Gods of Multiplex who would sprinkle our ashes over the newly laid turf.

Well, all things considered, the place is magnificent. Climbing the stairs and catching the first glimpse of the all red-seated bowl is breath taking. Once inside the bowl shaped stadium, it's hard not to be taken away by the sheer size and feeling of awe at what is before you. Even though the atmosphere from the crowd consisted of one man and his dog, there were a few moments when the sounds quietly reverberated around the cauldron we were seated in. When it's full, the noise will be deafening.

I was sat high up at the back but the view was still very, very impressive. There isn't a spot where view is impeded (unless you're sat behind a very big headed person). However, the climb up to my seat was quite tiring. At one point, I'd got so high that I was worried the oxygen was actually getting very thin in the air. Old biddies and those afraid of heights should take note - the climb up to the back is VERY steep and VERY high.

'Entertainment' was provided by the usual Z-list celebrities wanting to be footballers. Again. Yawn. Please, give up the ghost Ralph Little. We've seen you. Over. And. Over. Again. Yes, you can kick a ball. Hoo-rah. Weighing it up, in the grand scheme of things, your ability to do so ranks about as highly as me buttoning my shirt up. The only solace that we, as a crowd had, was that Robbie Williams' fecking shadow, Jonathan "Just What Is It I Do Exactly?" Wilkes wasn't there.

As for the facilities that we were testing:
1) Turnstiles - Opened 15 minutes late. Made a clackety sound as we went through.
2) Escalators - 3 sets up to the main concourse. One of them broke.
3) Toilets - Very dark in colour. You can see the girls washing their hands from outside. The hand-dryer is strong enough to power a jet engine.

Along with flat beer and soft drinks, and extortionately priced snacks, it feels as though Wembley's never been away

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