ARE you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
I spent part of yesterday afternoon taking a look around inside the new Wembley Stadium.
It’s every bit as impressive as it should be for the £800m plus price tag, aside from a little problem involving some of the seats.
Ahead of the first FA Cup Final to be held at the new stadium, I went into the dressing rooms to be used by Manchester United and Chelsea on May 19.
I traced the route of the 107 steps up to the royal box and sat in the pitch-side seat which will be occupied by Sir Alex Ferguson a week on Saturday.
Wembley managing director Alex Horne and proud grounds manager Steve Welch also took time out for a chat.
There’ll be more about the new Wembley in an MEN feature ahead of the Cup Final next week.
At one stage, Reds fans faced being in the pink – as you can read in today’s news story here.
But it’s clear from events already held at the stadium that all the delays and complications surrounding its construction are long forgotten once people actually experience the venue for themselves.
If you’re lucky enough to have an FA Cup Final ticket, then you’re in for a treat, including a stadium opening ceremony which begins at 1.30pm – 90 minutes before kick off.
It will feature a tribute to past greats at previous finals between 1923 and 2000, when the old stadium closed.
The rest of us will have to make do with TV coverage of the 126th FA Cup Final in a BBC1 v Sky Sports clash.
And if you are heading for Wembley, leave the car behind.
Roads in the area are a nightmare at the best of times and there is no public parking available on Cup Final day.
Illegally parked vehicles will incur large fines and may be towed away.
There are various public transport alternatives, including arrival at the modernised Wembley Park tube station (pictured).
Check out the new Wembley Stadium website and other links below for more.
Sitting Pretty Update (Thu May 10): The story about the pink seats, and my pic, from yesterday’s MEN have been picked up today by the Metro here , by the Daily Telegraph on its front page here and sports pages here, the Daily Mail here and here and BBC News here. The photo and story also made the back page lead in later editions of last night’s Evening Standard.
How To Get To Wembley