Wembley Stadium connected by EE continued to deliver more unforgettable moments throughout 2023 – the year of its 100th anniversary.
Over the past 12 months, Wembley hosted 30 major events and welcomed over 2.2 million guests into the stadium. It proved to be another ground-breaking year for the venue, with more memorable moments to add to the illustrious number of historical events to have taken place at Wembley Stadium since it first opened its doors in 1923.
On the sports front, England’s Lionesses became the first ever women’s Finalissima winners when they defeated Brazil 2-1 in April. The men’s team also went through the year unbeaten at Wembley, securing qualification to EURO 24 with a 3-1 win over Italy in October.
Both Manchester teams claimed victories in the major domestic cups: United won the Carabao Cup in February, while City went home with the Emirates FA Cup in May. Chelsea won the women’s FA Cup.
Luton completed a dramatic rise up the football league by beating Coventry City on penalties in the Championship Play-Off final. Sheffield Wednesday and Carlisle United also went up via the play-offs as all three finals in May ended in dramatic fashion.
Sports history was also made in August, when, for the first time ever, the annual rugby league Challenge Cup Finals’ Day featured the women’s final. St Helen’s women were the victors, beating Leeds Rhinos women 22-8. Leigh Leopards won the men’s final, claiming a first Challenge League Cup final for 50 years.
In October, the NFL came to Wembley again. Jacksonville Jaguars beat Atlanta Falcons in what was their 10th appearance at the stadium. The national stadium is now a second home to the Jags who are having their most successful NFL season to date.
When not hosting sporting spectacles, Wembley Stadium was home to some of the biggest and best music concerts this year. In June, Harry Styles performed four sold-out shows to more than 320,000 delighted fans. Blur also returned for two sold out gigs, while The Weeknd rounded off the summer with a spectacular stage show in front of more than 80,000 fans.
Def Leppard, Motley Crue and The Capital Summertime Ball, featuring a surprise performance from Kylie Minogue, were further highlights of a music filled summer at Wembley.
August also saw Wembley put on one of the biggest entertainment shows this year when AEW Wrestling brought its All In show to London. It was the first major wrestling event at Wembley since 1992, when the stadium hosted WWE’s Summerslam event. Following its success, AEW immediately announced it would be returning to the venue in 2024 for another show.
Stadium Director Liam Boylan said: “Throughout its 100-year history Wembley has played an important role in so many momentous occasions across music, sport, and entertainment.
“It has been the place for some of the most iconic moments in UK history. We are delighted to have continued that tradition with another big year of special events here at the stadium and look forward to delivering more big moments in 2024.”
Whilst history was being made on the pitch, improvements were made off it too. In the summer, the stadium had a £5 million revamp to further boost fans’ experience at the venue.
Hospitality spaces, security and digital signage underwent comprehensive upgrades. The investment included an overhaul of the long bar areas on level two, which now provide a more relaxed environment for spectators to enjoy food and drinks.
Turnstiles and accessibility entrances were also made more secure, based on recommendations from the Baroness Casey review of issues during EURO 2022. A new three-metre perimeter fence is underway, and roller shutters are being added to external concourses for additional safety measures.
The two large screens at each end of the stadium will be upgraded in the new year, with improvements to hospitality areas on level 5 also in the pipeline.
2024 is set to be a big year for Wembley Stadium, as it prepares to host the Champions League Final for a record eight time. The venue will also be home to a record-equalling eight nights of Taylor Swift’s record-breaking The Eras Tour – all of which are already sold out. Bruce Springsteen and Green Day will be performing, with more great acts to be announced soon.
2024 will be another historic year for Wembley Stadium.