Old Trafford Stadium
Old Trafford is the home of Manchester United, a professional football club in the English Premier League. At the beginning of the 20th century, Manchester United played at a stadium at Bank Street. A decision was made to build a new stadium with double the capacity. The stadium at Trafford Park industrial estate was officially opened on February 19th, 1910.
Backstory and Context
When the stadium was built, one side of the seats was covered by a roof while the other three sides were completely open. The stadium underwent very few changes in the years after the construction was complete. The only change came in 1934 with a roof over another one of the terraces. The stadium seats a little over 80,000 people. In 1939, the stadium recorded its highest attendance with 76,962 people attending a FA Cup semi-final game between Wolverhampton and Grimsby Town.
Manchester Unites was originally founded in 1878 and was called Newton Heath L&YR football club. The team was primarily made up of railroad workers due to the rise of the Industrial Revolution. The team was taken over by a group of businessmen in 1902 and renamed the team Manchester United FC. The team won their first Europe League in 1908 and their first FA Cup in 1909. The team went through an extended dry spell until after the second World War. The team got a new coach, Matt Busby, who would eventually pull the team out of their drought. They won the league in back to back years in 1956 and 1957. In 1958, after playing a match against Red Star Belgrade in the European Cup, the plane carrying Manchester United crashed. Eight players and three members of the staff died. After the crash, the team had relative success but went through multiple different coaches until 1986 when Alex Ferguson took over the coaching job. Under Ferguson, the team won 25 major trophies. Since Ferguson left in 2013, Manchester United has struggled to find a way to continue to be the successful team they once were.
During World War II, the stadium sustained heavy damage from German air raids. The stadium took eight years to rebuild after the war. The building was continuously delayed due to limited resources during reconstruction. While the stadium was being rebuilt, Manchester United was forced to play at Maine Road, the home of their rivals Manchester City. Reconstruction ended in 1949 and Manchester United was able to return back to their home stadium. The new building was smaller than the original after the reconstruction. Improvements and expansions were continuously made, including a complete renovation of the north stands in the 60s. Other improvements in the 70s and 80s included new covers, increasing seating areas, and better executive facilities.
Old Trafford has hosted several popular events. In 1966, the stadium was one of the venues used for the World Cup. It hosted three matches that year for the cup. In 1996, it was one of the venues for the European Championships. For the European Championships it hosted three group stage matches, a quarter final, and a semi final.
Manchester United has had a long and successful history at Old Trafford. Their achievements include 20 English Championships, European Champion Club's Cup, 2x Champions League winners, 12 FA Cups, 5 English League Cups, FIFA Club World Cup, Europa League, International Cup, UEFA Supercup winner, 21 English Supercups.
Old Trafford, The Stadium Guide. Accessed December 2nd 2019. https://www.stadiumguide.com/oldtrafford/.
Manchester United, Transfer Markt. Accessed December 4th 2019. https://www.transfermarkt.com/manchester-united/erfolge/verein/985.
Anderson, Oscar. Manchester United FC, Football History. Accessed December 4th 2019. https://www.footballhistory.org/club/manchester-united.html.