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Last Updated: Friday, 28 November, 2003, 10:59 GMT
Wembley to open early
By Howard Nurse
Football Editor

How Wembley will look
Building work has gone well

The new 757m Wembley Stadium is on schedule to open early in spring 2006.

Building work at the north London site is five weeks ahead of schedule and the Football Association is confident that the stadium will open earlier than planned.

FA spokesman Nick Barron told this website: "The first match scheduled to take place at Wembley is the 2006 FA Cup Final.

"But, with work ahead of schedule, it's likely that the stadium will be completed early in 2006, meaning that we're hopeful that it will actually open with an England game."

Brazil, Argentina or Germany have been touted as the most likely potential opponents for England to open the new Wembley.

But that would depend on the draw for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany if England were to qualify.

Total stadium cost 757m
Capacity: 90,000
500 catering outlets and 2,000 toilets
Double the surface area of Stadium Australia
1km concourse the width of a four-lane motorway
Every seat will have more legroom than the old Royal Box seats
Four main eateries will be the four biggest restaurants in London

A number of warm-up events will be staged at Wembley to test the systems before the venue is officially opened.

These will not be football matches and will be non-competitive events that will attract sufficient numbers of people to properly test the stadium's new modern facilities.

Meanwhile, the FA is cashing in on the sale of the best corporate seats at the new stadium.

WNSL has already sold more than 150m from the sale of new Club Wembley seats and boxes.

More than 95% of the 160 corporate boxes have also been reserved with a waiting list in operation for some types of boxes.

Barron added: "We're pleasantly surprised. Given that the stadium doesn't open for three years, certain areas of the ground are selling out already."

The packages being sold include executive boxes worth between 60,000 and 200,000-a-year and debentures worth about 6,000-a-year.

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