Old Trafford Stadium, also known as the Manchester United Football Ground, has been home to Manchester United F.C. since 1910. With a capacity of more than 75,000, it is the second largest football stadium in the United Kingdom after Wembley Stadium and the ninth largest in all of Europe. The stadium was used by American soldiers to play baseball during World War I and was used as a depot by the military in World War II, sustaining significant damage from German bombings.
The pitch is surrounded by four stands, each with two tiers, except for the South, which has only one. The Alex Ferguson Stand, named for the longest-serving manager in Manchester United history, is where visitors will find the museum, trophy room and the Red Café. The South Stand is where the VIPs tend to be found and the West Stand is traditionally where the most diehard fans congregate.
In addition to Manchester United matches, Old Trafford has hosted FA Cup semi-finals, matches at the 1966 World Cup, the 2003 Champions League Final, the rugby league’s annual Super League Grand Final and the final of two Rugby League World Cups. It also hosted football matches during the London Summer Olympics, including the first international women’s football matches to be played at the stadium.
Old Trafford is located outside of the Manchester city center, about a half mile from the Old Trafford Cricket Ground. Adjacent to the South Stand is the Manchester United Football Ground railway station, which is only open on match days. Visitors can also reach the stadium by the Metrolink tram, stopping at either the Exchange Quay or Old Trafford stops. Buses 255, 256, 263 and X50 also run to the stadium, with bus 255 providing extra service on match days. Tours of the stadium are available on non-match days between 9:40 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. A basic tour costs 18 pounds and includes access to the museum. A number of other uniquely themed tours are also available.