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Events in Wembley Stadium, UK

Photo Credit: Image by Freepik

On this page: Lessons learned on the usage of facilities during off-hours or off-seasons.  Find case studies below, or visit the Guidelines on Innovative Revenues for Infrastructure section and the Content Outline, or Download the Full Report.

Project Summary:


Cities across Europe are using festivals and events to achieve place marketing and economic development objectives and encourage cultural engagement and social cohesion. As a result, people are seeing more park concerts, festivals, competitions, and bazaars in public facilities.

Wembley Football Stadium (Wembley Stadium) in London which is traditionally used for seasonal sporting events like Football Association (FA) Cup is being rented to event organizers for mega-events and concerts during off-season. 

Project Structure

Wembley Stadium hosts major football matches, including home matches of the England national football team and the FA Cup Final.

The £326.5 million government-funded Stadium is crowned by the 134-meter-high Wembley Arch, which serves aesthetically as a landmark across London. With 90,000 seats, it is the largest stadium in the UK and the second-largest stadium in Europe.

Wembley Stadium is regularly used for English football games, mainly the FA cup. However, during off-season, the space hosts concerts and events of big acts that draw a high number of visitors from overseas who tend to extend their stay in England resulting in higher tourist spending associated with these events.

The rebuilding of the Wembley Stadium transformed the local area of Brent with investments in public infrastructure such as £70 million for road, rail and pedestrian routes to prepare the existing infrastructure for influx of fans on event days. Apart from that WNSL also promote and support local community projects.1

Concert crowd at Wembley Stadium 2

What sets it apart?

Amenities and connectivity

The Stadium has a range of hospitality spaces that allow 10,000 people to dine before a match. These facilities are also designed to be used on non-match days for conferences, dinners, and other events. The new Stadium has revitalized the London Borough of Brent, with upgraded public transport links encouraging match-day arrivals and benefitting local residents and businesses. Up to 1,800 people visit the area daily on the famous Wembley Stadium tour.

Key players for delivering improved services

Wembley National Stadium Limited (WNSL) which operates the Wembley Stadium is wholly-owned by The Football Association (FA), a governing body for football in England.

Sport England leads the development of sport in England and administers funding for sports from the National Lottery of England from which a £120 million Lottery Grant funded the purchase of the old Wembley Stadium.

The London Development Authority (LDA), the regional development authority for London, which was dissolved in 2012, has contributed £21 million to the rehabilitation of the Wembley Stadium.

Mechanism/s for Maximizing Funding for Infrastructure

During the 2017/18 season, the FA generated record revenue of £376m (USD 445.7m) from The Football Association Limited, Wembley National Stadium Limited, and the National Football Centre Limited.

The FA has invested back a record £128m (USD 151.7m) invested back into football. For example, on The FA’s Full-Time mobile app which has been a game-changer for grassroots football, making the management of teams much more efficient and effective.3

The 2017/18 season was the busiest year to date at the Wembley Stadium with 58 events and over 4 million spectators hosted including sporting events and concerts of big acts such as Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.4

In 2019, Wembley Stadium hosted more concerts than ever (a total of 38 shows) with a total gross of USD 102.2m. Among other acts to host big concerts, BTS grossed USD 13.5 million, and the Spice Girls grossed USD 27.3 million. Along with sold out concerts, the new hospitality facilities including F&B improvements also sold strongly.5

Typical Business Model

Sport England Responsible for sports events and lifestyle in the UK
London Development Agency Economic development body, promoting economic renewal and development
FA Responsible for the core services
Wembley National Stadium Limited The asset owner rents the space to event organizers
Event organizers Organize events, sell tickets, and promote the events

Lessons Learned

Managing the risks

  • Operational Risk: Developing a sporting venue that can accommodate multiple sporting and recreational events would require a more extensive land area and higher CAPEX and OPEX investment. Extended off-season like the COVID-19 pandemic may require more funding from government to maintain sports and concert venues.

Footnote 1: Wembley Stadium Local Community

Footnote 2: Wembley concerts boost record FA revenue

Footnote 3: A record £128M has been invested back into every level of football

Footnote 4: Ibid

Footnote 5: Wembley Stadium reports successful year of concerts in 2019


The Guidelines have not been prepared with any specific transaction in mind and are meant to serve only as general guidance. It is therefore critical that the Guidelines be reviewed and adapted for specific transactions To find more, visit the Guidelines to Implementing Asset Recycling Transactions Section Overview and Content Outline, or Download the Full Report.




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Updated: February 26, 2024