How much has the stadium project cost?
The total cost of the entire project is £390 million. This includes the construction of Emirates stadium, a new waste and recycling centre and relocation of local businesses and statutory services.
What is the capacity of Emirates Stadium?
How was the site for the stadium chosen?
The aim of the Club has always been to stay close to our current home at Highbury. The chosen site ensured that Arsenal remains in the Borough of Islington, the Club's home since 1913.
Why couldn't Highbury be extended?
Arsenal Stadium is located in a high density residential area therefore restricting the feasibility of increasing capacity.
In the long term will Emirates Stadium be used for any other events?
The Club has planning permission for a limited number of other non-footballing events to take place at Emirates Stadium. However, first and foremost the stadium is the home of Arsenal Football Club and the Club has no definitive plans with regards to non-footballing events at the present time.
How are you funding the project?
To finance this highly complex project, Ashburton Properties, a subsidiary of Arsenal Holdings plc was formed and obtained a £260million senior loan facility from a stadium facilities banking group. This banking group comprises: the Royal Bank of Scotland PLC, Espirito Santo Investment, The Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks PLC, CIT Group Structured Finance (UK) Limited and HSH Nordbank AG. Interest on the senior debt is set at a commercial fixed rate over a 14 year term.
Arsenal is contributing the balance of the stadium project costs through funds from Granada, Nike and the sale of surplus land assets relating to the stadium site. Also once the Club relocates in 2006, Arsenal has planning permission for a residential development of Highbury. The Club is actively looking to re-finance this £260million loan early in 2006. Managing Director Keith Edelman explains:
"We believe most of the risk is behind us because most of the major engineering challenges have been met and the physical structure is there. 14 years (the term of the current loan) is a short space of time for an asset which we hope will last 50, 75 years or more. Therefore we are looking to go for 25 years at a lower interest rate. If we can do this it will reduce our debt payments on an annual basis and allow us to have more free cash."
What will happen to Highbury?
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury is being redeveloped into 711 homes, facilities such as a gym, health centre, nursery and retail unit. The East and West Stand façades, together with the Marble Halls and other key elements of the current stadium such as the art deco Sunburst glazing panels will be retained and incorporated into the new scheme, named 'The Stadium - Highbury Square'.
Highbury's Grade II-listed East Stand and opposing West Stand will be converted into high-spec apartments, many overlooking the pitch, which has seen so many glorious football moments over the last 93 years. The goalposts will be removed and the pitch will become a garden of nearly two acres. The North and South Stands will be replaced by new-build apartments designed to harmonise with the East and West Stands.
The luxury of the development continues with an underground swimming pool and fitness centre under the pitch. There will also be a 24-hour concierge service and spaces to park cars and bicycles. Perhaps best of all, The Stadium will be a walk away from Arsenal's new home, Emirates Stadium, where the world's top sides will play from August 2006.
For more information visit www.thestadium-highbury.com or call the marketing suite on T: 0845 2626000 or joint selling agents: Savills on T: 020 7472 5000 or visit www.savills.com; Anthony Green and Spencer on T: 020 7609 1111 or visit www.anthonygreenandspencer.com
What will happen to the pitch area at Highbury and will the public have access to it?
The pitch which is being turned into a landscaped garden will be open to members of the local community by arrangement with the Management Company, who will look after The Stadium when the development is complete. A memorial garden will form part of the garden and will also be open to members of the public.
What will happen to artifacts from Highbury? Will you be holding an auction?
The contents of Highbury will be sold at a spectacular auction just prior to the Club's move to Emirates Stadium next summer. The auction is likely to take place over a three-day period at Highbury next summer, with the North Bank Stand earmarked to host thousands of potential buyers during the event.
Arsenal supporters and football memorabilia collectors from all around the world will have the opportunity to purchase bespoke items from the famous old stadium, by either visiting the auction in person, or by logging on to a live webcast of the event.
As the East Stand is a listed building and the West Stand retains original art deco features from the 1930s, some items will be retained at Highbury and some recreated in Emirates Stadium. Although specific lots on sale at the auction have yet to be confirmed, it is sure to contain thousands of truly historic items from the stadium. The Club expects demand to be huge and strongly urge people interested in attending the event and other auction activities throughout the course of the year to visit www.highburyauction.com and register their details.
Will there be a museum at Emirates Stadium?
Yes. Plans are now afoot for a new museum, which will replace the 12 year old attraction in the North Bank at Highbury. Memorabilia and exhibits currently on display will be moved across to Emirates Stadium. Although exact plans are still under consideration, initial proposals offer a completely modern design which is sure to engage and excite supporters.
Will there by any events or a closing ceremony to bid farewell to Highbury?
A number of plans are being considered to bid the final farewell to Highbury including activities after the final game against Wigan. Confirmation of all activities will be communicated in the New Year.
What is the countdown clock counting down to?
The countdown clock serves as a reminder of how long the Club officially has left before it closes its turnstiles to football matches at Highbury. Therefore the clock is counting down to the final match against Wigan and the end of the closing ceremony which will take place following the match. The event will end 6-30pm on May 7th 2006.
How do I get a ticket for matches at Emirates Stadium?
Supporters can secure their position on one of the ticket waiting lists by joining The Arsenal, the official membership of the Club.
The Arsenal provides existing and new supporters greater affiliation with the Club. Members' benefits include a special Highbury Farewell membership pack, which includes an exclusive behind-the-scenes DVD and 'The Highbury Collection' - a fantastic hardback book featuring over 100 captivating Highbury images from 1913 to the present day as well as a voucher book that offers various discounts at both Club and sponsor venues. Members also have the opportunity to attend exclusive events and the use of an exclusive website through which match tickets can be purchased. Supporters can refer to www.arsenal.com/membership or call the Membership Customer Services Help Line in 0870 343 0870.
Due to high demand it may be unlikely that many supporters on the season ticket waiting list will be able to secure a season ticket at Emirates Stadium. Supporters in this position are therefore encouraged to consider Club Level seats.
Club Level, which will form a separate tier encircling Emirates Stadium at Directors' Box level, will provide supporters with quality hospitality and some of the best sight lines of the pitch. The area will have its own dedicated entrances and will be served by an enviable range of first class bars, restaurants and lounges, providing supporters with the complete match day experience.
It is essential that all supporters who have yet to secure their seats at Club Level should visit www.arsenal.com/clublevel or call the Club Level registration hotline on 0845 262 0001 as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Will the affordable housing to be provided at the Arsenal Stadium development be concentrated in one area or will it be spread throughout the development?
There will be a development of affordable housing along the southern boundary adjacent to Aubert Court. In addition, there will be affordable housing interspersed in other parts of the development, including within the refurbished stands and along Highbury Hill.
Is there affordable housing on the other developments related to the stadium move?
Arsenal has helped to create much needed affordable housing throughout the many developments associated with the stadium project. 40% of all accommodation will be affordable housing.
Just under 400 homes are available for sale through shared ownership on most of the sites being developed through the Arsenal Development Scheme. Newlon Housing Trust will have the following properties available:
Eden Grove - 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats
Estimated Date of Occupation - March 2006
Northern Triangle - 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats
Estimated Date of Occupation - July 2006
Caledonian Road - 1 and 2 bedroom flats
Estimated Date of Occupation - October 2006 - April 2007
Hornsey Street - 1 and 2 bedroom flats
Estimated Date of Occupation - November 2006
Highbury Square - 1 and 2 bedroom flats
Estimated Date of Occupation - September 2007
Queensland Road - 1 and 2 bedroom flats
Estimated Date of Occupation - March 2008
(To qualify for shared ownership at one of these developments you must be living or working in Islington or a keyworker working in London.)
How will public transport cope with the extra 22,000 spectators?
Public transport to Arsenal Stadium is already the best in the Premier League with research showing that 70% of supporters travel by means other than private cars.
TfL, Islington Council and Arsenal are in the final stages of developing a transport plan, to support Emirates Stadium when it opens in August 2006, which will accommodate the increased supporter travel and will ensure the safe and reliable access to and from local Tube stations, two Underground lines (Victoria and Piccadilly lines), national rail and the many bus services that provide access to the local area.
The first details of the transport plan will be announced later this season, thus ensuring that everyone will know the travel arrangements that will be in place well in advance of the new stadium opening and also allowing fans to begin planning their new journeys to and from the local area.
Measures to improve the transport infrastructure around Emirates Stadium are being undertaken. As well as improvements to surrounding underground and mainline stations, there will be a comprehensive Environmental Traffic Management system; the fine-tuning of pedestrian facilities and improved cycle parking facilities.
The Club will include information in all new stadium ticketing and promotions, which will actively encourage supporters to avoid travelling to our new stadium by car. This will hopefully result in a high percentage of people travelling to Emirates Stadium by public transport.
The Club is very confident that the travel plans will ensure our supporters will be able to access and leave Emirates Stadium in a safe manner and will not severely affect the local community.
Will there be car parking at the new stadium?
There will be limited parking for disabled supporters. Emirates Stadium is situated in an area that will have an extensive Event Day Parking Scheme in operation. Only car owners with residents' permits will be able to park on-street in the designated areas.