Year ground opened: 2006
Address: Highbury House, 75 Drayton Park, London, N5 1BU
Telephone: 0207 619 5003
The Emirates was opened in 2006 and Aston Villa was the first Premier League side to play at the venue. The ground has a capacity of 60,432 and is currently the second largest football stadium in the country. The ground also boasts an underground car-park for club staff and commercial vehicles. It was initially known as Ashburton Grove until the naming rights were sold to airline Emirates in a deal that was struck in October 2004. The ground cost the football club £390 million.
Up to 3,000 visiting supporters can be accommodated and they’re housed in the lower tier of the south east corner of the stadium. Cup matches will see bigger allocations given, if required. The tickets, and food/drink within the ground, are pricey. An exception is made for the League Cup, when the home side often vastly reduce the admission price to ensure a greater attendance (tickets are sometimes available for as little as £10).
The Drayton Arms is away friendly and is usually absolutely packed on a match day, with fans spilling out onto the streets around it. There are usually a couple of burger vans there, too, to keep the blood-sugar levels up.
Another option is to drink around Finsbury Park tube station, to the north of the ground, where The Blackstock and The Twelve Pins (both easy to find as soon as you come out of Finsbury Park tube station) are welcoming of home and away supporters and are not much more than a ten minute stroll from the ground.
Parking is almost impossible to find around the stadium. Permit holder signs adorn the lamp-posts of many a street and, to be honest, unless you’re willing to pay £8 to park in any of the nearby ‘football’ car parks, travelling in by tube always seems to be the best option.
The nearest train station is Drayton Park, which is about 150 metres from the ground. However, the station is closed at weekends and on match days so the only use it will be to you is if you’re going to pick up match tickets or do the stadium tour.
The nearest tube stations are Holloway Road and Arsenal, which are on the Piccadilly line. Both of these are five minutes’ walk from the stadium. The other stations serving the stadium are Finsbury Park, roughly ten minutes’ walk away and served by both the Victoria and Piccadilly lines, as well as suburban rail services, and Highbury and Islington, also approximately ten minutes away, which is served by the Victoria Line and the North London Line.