Emirates Stadium opens doors for first time

July 20, 2006

Arsenal today opened the doors to their stunning £390million new home by inviting 20,000 supporters to sample the Emirates Stadium for the first time.

Emirates Stadium
GettyImages / PaulGilhamThe Emirates Stadium on opening day

Just 66 days after saying goodbye to Highbury, the Arsenal squad staged a training session in front of the fans who lined the vast upper tier of the 60,000-capacity ground at Ashburton Grove.

Manager Arsene Wenger oversaw the session as stars such as Emmanuel Adebayor, Alexander Hleb, Manuel Almunia and £7million new signing Tomas Rosicky were put through their paces on the pristine pitch.

Wenger said: 'This is the third time the club has organised a Members' Day for supporters but this one is extra special of course as fans are getting the chance to see Emirates Stadium for the first time.

'It's a fantastic stadium and it needs a fantastic team. We believe we have a great team here and we want to challenge for the title and the Champions League.

'We also want to add one or two players.'

The state-of-the art ground will host its first match on Saturday when a crowd of 54,000 will see the Gunners take on Ajax in Dennis Bergkamp's testimonial.

Stars such as Ian Wright, Patrick Vieira and Johan Cruyff will take to the field as Arsenal bid farewell to the legendary Dutchman.