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Thursday, 26 September, 2002, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
High hopes for new Wembley
Wembley Stadium
It will take almost four years to rebuild Wembley

Football Association chief executive Adam Crozier insists the new Wembley will be the best stadium in the world.

The 757m deal to rebuild the home of English football was finally rubber-stamped on Thursday following months of uncertainty.

This will be a real football ground and England can be very, very proud
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson

"It has been a long wait in many, many ways," said Crozier.

"I don't think anyone would suggest there haven't been mistakes made. I think there is no doubt it has taken far too long."

But he added: "We believe we will have the finest stadium in the world, a stadium the whole country will be very, very proud of."

The bulldozers are due to move in at 1100 BST on Monday, with the project expected to be completed in early 2006.

It has been a long and, at times, painful journey to this point
Culture secretary Tessa Jowell

The cost has now risen to 757m, a world record for a national stadium and on a par with the cost of the ill-fated Millennium Dome.

But Crozier insisted the FA would never have gone ahead with the rebuilding of Wembley if it was going to burden the governing body.

"If we thought it was going to be a drain we would not be right to proceed," he said.

"We don't have any doubt that this is the right thing to do," he said.

The Scot also revealed the transport links to the new stadium would be a significant improvement on the chaos which often embroiled matches at the old stadium.

The deal is not the end of the story and no-one should relax
Government troubleshooter Patrick Carter

He added: "There's going to be a very large investment in Wembley Park tube station which should take that capacity to around 40,000 per hour and the road infrastructure will be changed as well.

"There will be park-and-ride schemes and obviously car parks will be improved."

The new Wembley has been designed by the World Stadium Team, a joint venture between original architect Lord Foster and partners HOK Sport, formed in 1998 specifically to handle the new development.

  • It will seat 90,000 and will have a 'triumphant arch' to replace the Twin Towers.

  • There will be a removable running track, cutting the capacity to 68,400 for staging athletics.

    The plans that I've seen have been amazing and hopefully it's going to be a big part of my life
    England captain David Beckham

    The FA will put 150m towards the cost, 50% more than was anticipated in an interim report published last December.

    German bank Westdeutsche Landesbank will make a 425m loan, with the remaining funding coming from the London Development Agency, sales of premium seats, plus sponsorship and leasing rights.

    Nearly 120m of Lottery money has already been spent on buying the Wembley site.

    FA chief executive Adam Crozier
    "All the finances are signed off and guaranteed"
    Culture secretary Tessa Jowell
    "It has been a long journey"
    Sport England's Trevor Brooking
    "It's a relief that it's up and running"
    Will the new Wembley be worth the money?



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