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Manchester United Stadium Tour

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Hi everyone,

Hope you’re all well.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend an Include Summit in Manchester. As a football fan whilst in Manchester we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to embrace the football culture and do another stadium tour picking the red side with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

On route and the way back we used every mode of transport (bus, tram, train) to test the accessibility and found the city was very accessible and easy to get around.

We were a little late to the stadium tour but I’m not sure the start was accessible anyway as when we met up with the group they came down the stairs. Our tour began in the concourse area, which on matchday is filled with United fans. One of the first portraits we saw of club legend Sir Alex Ferguson was made out of fibres from an old United shirt.

The next stop was the view of the pitch from the East Stand, I have sat in this stand both times I’ve been to watch them face Palace. Old Trafford was the first stadium to reintroduce safe standing in their away end as a trial for the FA. The pitch is made from 97% natural grass and 3% Nylon, costing just under 1 million pound and has to be redone every summer. It also has underfloor piping to prevent freezing which is why it is raised.

We then went to the home changing room via some more concourses. The room was pretty big with a United badge printed on the floor, red lighting and TV’s/boards for team talks. If any of you know me personally you’d know Jadon Sancho is one of my favourite players so of course I went straight to his shirt for a photo, it was located next to his England teammate Marcus Rashford who I am also a big fan of. Ex-palace player Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s shirt was also on display along with a few of the women players such as Ella Toone. The shirts on display were only replica’s but the shirts the players wear on matchday are all custom made. The players are seated depending on line up with the starting 11 nearest to the board so manager Erik ten Hag can address them easily. We didn’t see the away changing room so I’m unable to compare.

We were then taken to the tunnel where the guide shared how Liverpool was their first game in 1910, and in 1993 the tunnel and dugout was moved to be nearer the more passionate fans. He explained how Old Trafford, as a 74,000 seat stadium, take 2 hours to fill but in an emergency only 8 minutes to exit with lots of precautions in place.

Finally we were led out of the tunnel to the music the players exit to heading towards pitch side and the dugouts. From here we saw the booths where the games are filmed and the directors box. The guide shared how during his time at the club Sir Alex Ferguson asked for dugouts to be moved back and up so they can see far side. When Ten Hag joined he asked to be moved to the right dugout to be ‘nearer to their most passionate fans’, but really it was probably because they have more pitch than the opponents on the left as the dugouts aren’t in the middle of the pitch. The old tunnel is still in place and a time capsule was laid in between dugouts on 100 year anniversary in 2010 containing items from ex-United players.

That was where my tour ended but the rest of the group were taken to the media room. Frustratingly, this isn’t accessible for wheelchair users. Overall I would say the tour was anticlimactic with most of the stuff we saw being available to the supporters on a matchday and for the size of the stadium a lot wasn’t shown. As part of our ticket we did gain access to the Manchester united museum which showcased their history and MANY trophies, so that was a unique bonus.

We didn’t have time to visit the Manchester city stadium for a tour, but the day we arrived city were facing west ham so we went to the stadium to soak in the pre-match atmosphere (and for pictures 😊). Despite trying to get tickets we were unsuccessful and ended up watching the 3-0 win in a local pub. We also watched Manchester United face Brighton in a Manchester pub, but sadly the result didn’t go the way we (me a Palace fan and United fans) hoped 😬.

Hopefully I can do more stadium tours in the near future!

Thank you for reading.

Ellie Xx


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