Old Trafford, known as the “Theatre of Dreams” has been the home of Manchester United since it opened in 1910. With a capacity of 74,140 it is the largest club football stadium in the United Kingdom and second largest football stadium behind Wembley Stadium.
Manchester United played their inaugural fixture at Old Trafford on the 19th February 1910, losing 4-3 to Liverpool. At this point, capacity was just over 80,000. The stadium recorded its highest attendance of 76,962 in 1939 during an FA Cup semi-final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Grimsby Town.
Tenants: Manchester United (Premier League)
The stadium was heavily bombed during World War II, resulting in Manchester United playing at Maine Road from 1941. The club returned to a reconstructed but smaller Old Trafford in 1949. The stadium was subsequently renovated across the decades, most significantly in the 1990s and 2000s as it became all-seater, almost returning to its original capacity.
Some of the world’s biggest football events have been at the stadium. This includes several group matches at the 1966 FIFA World Cup, five matches at UEFA Euro 1996 including the semi-final in which the Czech Republic defeated France, the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final which AC Milan defeated Juventus on penalties and a number of matches at the London 2012 Olympics.
Prior to the original Wembley Stadium opening in 1923, Old Trafford hosted the 1915 FA Cup Final in which Sheffield United defeated Chelsea 3-0 and the 1911 replay where Bradford City beat Newcastle United 1-0. The 1970 replay where Chelsea defeated Leeds United 2-1 was the only Final or Replay not held at Wembley after its opening and is remembered as one of the fiercest matches ever played.
England first played at Old Trafford in 1926, losing 1-0 to Scotland in the British Home Championship. England have returned a number of times since, most notably between 2001 and 2007 was the new Wembley Stadium was constructed, the most well remembered being David Beckham’s 90 minute free kick to secure a 2-2 draw with Greece and send England to the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
The stadium is also heavily used for Rugby League, hosting every Super League Grand Final since its inception in 1998, as well as its predecessor the Rugby League Premiership Final since 1987. A number of England and Great Britain internationals have also been held in the ground. Matches at the 1995, 2000 and 2013 Rugby League World Cup were held in the venue, including the Final in 2000 and 2013 in which Australia defeated New Zealand on both occasions. The 2021 Rugby League World Cup Final is also due to be staged at Old Trafford.
Two England Rugby Union international matches have also been played in the ground, New Zealand defeating England 25-8 in 1997 and England beating Argentina 37-15 in 2009.
Tickets at Old Trafford
Given Manchester United’s global fan base, matches are often sell outs and you need to be a member to purchase tickets. Memberships start at £20.
Ticket prices for Manchester United matches vary depending where you sit in the ground, ranging from:
- Adults (Aged 21-64): £36-£58
- Under 16s: £13
- Aged 16-17: £22-£28
- Aged 18-20: £29-£45.50
- Age 65+: £22-£28
Tickets are only available to purchase online through the official website.
Location & Travel to Old Trafford
The ground sits within the area of Trafford in Manchester, approximately 3 miles west of the City Centre.
Airport: Manchester Airport is the third busiest in the UK and serves a number of international destinations. The airport is approximately 9 miles south of Old Trafford and has a train and tram station, where you can travel to the city to connect with the ground.
Thinking of going to Manchester? Search & book your flights through Skyscanner here.
Coach: Manchester Coach Station is close to the city centre, about 3 miles from Old Trafford, with tram line 1 and 2 going to the ground.
Alternatively, Megabus offers cheap travel to Manchester and offers over 10 routes from Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Inverness, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Newcastle and Sheffield. You can search and book your tickets here.
Driving & Parking: The stadium is located just off the A56 (Chester Road), accessible from junction 7 and 8 on the M60. Parking is available at the stadium but must be pre-booked in advance through the official website.
Train: Manchester Piccadilly is the main station in the city, with links to all major cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Sheffield, Southampton and York. From the station, you can catch a Tram straight to Old Trafford or on matchdays there are rail services to Old Trafford Stadium rail station.
Thinking of catching a train to Manchester? Search and book your journey through the Trainline here.
Tram: Manchester is served by an extensive tram network, operated by Metrolink. Tram line 1 or 2 both stop at Old Trafford station, just a short walk from the ground.
Where to stay in Manchester
Old Trafford Stadium Tour & Manchester United Museum
Manchester United offer guided stadium tours of Old Trafford, which also includes entry to the club’s museum. Tours run frequently every day of the week (except match day) with tickets costing £25 for Adults and £15 for Children.
Further information and booking is available on the official website.