The wonder of the new Wembley

After more than 2,300 days of construction, a budget which rocketed to more than three quarters of a billion pounds and rows galore between the owners and the construction bosses, Wembley is back in business.

WEMBLEY came back with a bang - and I loved being one of the first to click through the new turnstiles.

After more than 2,300 days of construction, a budget which rocketed to more than three quarters of a billion pounds and rows galore between the owners and the construction bosses, Wembley is back in business.

However, all the waiting has been worth it. Britain has a stadium of which to be proud and I'm sure it will be a huge help in the battle to host the 2018 World Cup in this country.

After a complicated trip through London's underground system, I finally arrived at the Wembley Park underground station and took the legendary journey along Wembley Way, towards the arch which has replaced the famous “twin towers” as the symbol of our home of football.

The area was bustling with sightseers eager to visit the most expensive stadium ever built. I got one of the few tickets reserved for England fans, but most of the crowd of around 20,000 were from the area, testing the arena before a crowd of around 60,000 arrives soon for an England Under-21 match.

The massive arch which curls over the whole building is a symbol of the new era, but the immediate area is still an eyesore, awaiting its own transition. This, however, didn't stop the excitement as I went inside, eager to see my seat.

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Once though the turnstiles it was an escalator ride to my seating level. Then I walked up a final flight of stairs to find I was near the top of the arena - and the view was stunning.

I stood still for a few minutes to take in the magnitude of the

construction - simply awesome.

Next I went to my seat and was pleased with the leg room available and it was evident wherever you sat you were going to get a terrific view.

When I arrived, the amount of spectators in the stadium was relatively small but as the day went on more and more arrived, each one a flabbergasted onlooker.

With the ticket I was offered a complimentary tea, coffee or soft drink which was a nice touch, but after queueing at the bar I was shocked to find how high the prices were - £1.50 for a packet of crisps, £3.20 for a large coke and £4.50 for a pie. In future, I'll be bringing a packed lunch!

There was due to be a celebrity football competition and when it kicked off I was pleased to find out the Saturday morning football show Soccer AM had a team.

Even though it was a friendly, it was still surprisingly entertaining. The Soccer AM team, with captain and show presenter, Tim Lovejoy, in charge, outclassed the rest and won.

The community day was a success due to the decent turn-out and the exceptional work of the stewards, some of whom travelled from Ipswich.

As I was leaving, I turned back for a last look, I pondered on how amazing the atmosphere is going to be for the first senior international game.

Another thought was that in England we have so many huge luxurious stadiums - The Emirates, Twickenham, Old Trafford, St James' Park just to name a few.

In fact, by the time the London Olympic stadium is built for the 2012 event, we should have around 15

stadia worthy of World Cup football.

The next World Cup is in South Africa 2010 and will have ten venues, five of which are still be built and four which need extensive upgrades.

The World Cup in 2014 looks like it's going to South America, but the new Wembley should be a big enough incentive to bring the 2018 World Cup extravaganza to England.

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