Take to the skies with GOAL to get a different view of England’s second largest football stadium.
Steeped in history, Old Trafford has played host to many famous nights and been the home of some of English football’s greatest talents.
With an abundance of success brought upon the ground, the club’s trophy cabinet alone can be enough to pay a visit.
So if you are going to plan a trip, GOAL brings you everything you need to know.
Where is Old Trafford?
Address: Sir Matt Busby Way, Old Trafford, Manchester, M16 0RA
Google maps: Further directions to the stadium can be found here
Old Trafford is located in the western region of Manchester, roughly two miles south-west of the city centre.
If driving from the M60, take exits 7 and 8 and turn onto Chester Road northbound (A56). After about 2 miles, turn left onto Sir Matt Busby Way and follow the road to the stadium. On matchdays, you may have to walk down some of the way as car access is restricted.
Alternatively, taking public transportation can be an easier option; the stadium is reachable via the Metrolink overground. It is a 15-minute train journey from Piccadilly Station to Old Trafford Station.
On matchdays, a special train service is provided which runs from most Manchester city centre stations to Old Trafford station, from there the stadium is a five minute walk away.
When was Old Trafford built?
Old Trafford officially opened on 19 February 1910, a year on from when construction began, with a game between Man Utd and Liverpool which ended 4-3 to the away side.
Manchester United played their home matches at a 50,000-capacity stadium at Bank Street for the first decade of the 20th century, but then-president Davies began planning for a new stadium with twice that capacity.
A location site near Trafford Park industrial estate was chosen, and architect Archibald Leitch was assigned to design the stadium.
The stadium remained relatively unchanged until 1936, when an 80-yard-long roof was added to the United Road terrace (now the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand) as part of a £35,000 refurbishment. Roofs were then also added to the south corners in 1938.
When World War II broke out, the military commandeered Old Trafford to be used as a depot. Football was still played at the stadium, until it was severely damaged by German bombing raids in the early 1940s.
In the meantime, Man Utd played their ‘home’ games at Man City’s ground, Maine Road, at a cost of £5,000 a year (almost £100,000 in today’s money), as well as a percentage of their ticket sales.
Eight years on from the bombings, the stadium had been rid of rubble and reconstructed, and Man Utd returned to the ground in August of 1949, where fans witnessed the home side defeat Bolton Wanderers 3-0.
In preparation for the 1966 World Cup, in which Old Trafford hosted three group games, improvements such as the removal of pillars that restricted fans’ views were made.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the stadium gradually developed, including improved cover, better executive facilities and more seated areas, as well as an increase in ground security to combat the rise of hooliganism.
Due to the Taylor Report’s rules, the stadium had to be converted into a fully seated stadium in the early 1990s.
The club’s upsurge in success and popularity in the early 1990s meant that further development was required.
The 30-year-old North Stand was demolished in 1995, and construction on a new stand began quickly in order for Old Trafford to host three group games, a quarter-final, and a semi at Euro 96.
Old Trafford’s most recent major renovation took place in 2006, when second tiers were added to the stadium’s north-west and north-east quadrants.
Plans for the stadium’s future began to emerge in early 2022, with either mass redevelopments or the possibility of building an entirely new stadium on the same site being considered, although nothing has yet been finalised.
What is Old Trafford’s capacity?
At the time of writing, Old Trafford has a capacity of 74,140.
When the stadium was initially built in 1910, it could hold up to 80,000 and recorded its highest attendance of 76,962 in 1939.
However, between the stadium’s reconstruction after World War II bombings and subsequent developments, including those involving the Taylor Report, the stadium’s capacity dropped from 80,000 to less than 60,000.
Expansions in the 1990s and early 2000s increased capacity, but it wasn’t until 2006, as part of the stadium’s most recent major innovation, that it reached its current levels.
Which teams play at Old Trafford?
Manchester United are the sole occupants of Old Trafford.
England have played many games at Old Trafford, including their famous World Cup qualifying match against Greece which ended 2-2, with David Beckham scoring a last-gasp free-kick to send the country to the World Cup.
England now play the majority of their home games at Wembley.
Does Old Trafford host music concerts and other events?
Old Trafford’s secondary main purpose is the hosting of Rugby Union and Rugby League matches.
Since 1987, every Rugby League Premiership final, as well as the competition’s successor, the Super League Grand Final, has been held at Old Trafford.
The stadium is not typically used for other sporting events, although in October 1993, 42,000 people attended to watch a nification fight between WBO champion Chris Eubank and WBC champion Nigel Benn. On the night, Eubank emerged victorious.
In addition, Old Trafford has also hosted numerous concerts by major artists such as Bon Jovi, Genesis, Bruce Springsteen, Status Quo and Rod Stewart.
Can you book an Old Trafford tour?
Old Trafford provides guided stadium tours, which include a look at the players tunnel, dugouts and Manchester United Museum.
Tours are available from 9:30 to 16:00 on Sundays through Thursdays, and from 9:30 to 17:00 on Fridays and Saturdays. They do not, however, run on match days.
Tickets cost £25 for adults, £18 for juniors and £5 for educational groups. Bookings can be made on the official Manchester United website.
What is Old Trafford’s seating plan?
A seating plan for Old Trafford is available on the Seat Pick website.